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Revealed: TV's most lethal locations

01 September 2016

From Albert Square to Ramsay Street, which TV soap is the deadliest?

  • Gocompare.com Life Insurance has created an infographic on the deadly world of TV soaps.
  • 42 characters were killed off in 2006 alone.
  • Coronation Street holds the all-time highest body count with 163 character deaths in its 56 year history.
  • Hollyoaks is the most deadly soap with an average of 4.7 character deaths per year.
  • Characters on Coronation Street are three times more likely to die of a heart attack than on any other soap.

Deaths, disasters, murders and cliff-hangers, for more than 50 years TV soap operas have had Brits tuning in night after night to see the latest goings-on in their favourite fictional communities.

Understandably, some viewers can become quite attached to the characters as they watch their lives unfold in front of them, making the famous on-screen death one of the most powerful weapons in a soap writer's arsenal.

Gocompare.com Life Insurance has crunched the numbers to find out just how many residents of soapland have bitten the dust since Coronation Street first graced our screens in 1960.

Lethal locations

Budding soap actors looking for a long on-screen life may want to steer clear of Channel 4's Hollyoaks. With an average of a whopping 4.7 deaths a year Hollyoaks is by far the most deadly soap, amassing a total of 101 deaths since the show first aired in October 1995.

The award for the highest body count goes to the nation's oldest soap, Coronation Street, with a total of 163 character deaths in its 56 year history, or 2.9 deaths per year. Coronation Street was also responsible for the first soap death with May Hardman kicking the bucket on 30 December 1960, just 21 days after the first episode aired.

With 52 deaths in 31 years Ramsay Street, the setting for Australian soap Neighbours, is the safest fictional town.

Coronary Street

It appears that heart disease is a real issue in soapland, particularly for the residents of Weatherfield. Characters on Coronation Street are three times as likely to suffer a heart attack than those on any other soap. Maybe it's time to trade in Betty's hot-pot for a healthier option.

Killer ratings

Nothing gets soap fans talking more than a good "whodunit", and with a grand total of 143 murders soap fans have had plenty to talk about.

2015 was a bumper year for soap murderers with 14 characters meeting a grizzly end.

Hollyoaks has the highest murder rate of any soap with 43 characters meeting their fate by the hands of another. Hollyoaks also boasts the deadliest soap serial killer with Lindsey Roscoe having seven character deaths to her name.

Since the first episode of EastEnders, murder has been a common theme in Albert Square. In the shows premier it was revealed that Reg Cox had met an unfortunate end and viewers would later find out that none other than the infamous Nick Cotton was responsible. Since then the show has had a murder almost every year.

Once again Neighbours is the safest soap with just six characters being bumped off in the shows history.

Going out with a bang

Over the years writers have come up with some truly original ways for killing off their cast. Here are four of the most creative deaths from TV history:

  • Anne Malone (Coronation Street) - Frozen in a supermarket freezer
  • Dennis Rigg (Emmerdale) - Gored by a bull
  • Ruby Haswell (Emmerdale) - Killed by a helicopter blade
  • Rory Heywood (Home and Away) - Shark attack

Matt Sanders, life insurance spokesperson at Gocompare.com, said: "While a character on a soap meeting their maker can be a big water cooler moment, as a nation we tend to be less comfortable talking about the real issues that can stem from somebody passing away, including financial difficulties.

"It's not nice to think about our own mortality, but life insurance is something you should consider when planning for your family's future as it can help ease any financial strain should the worst happen. Even soap characters have had life insurance policies in the past; though we wouldn't recommend doing a Clare Devine in Hollyoaks and trying to bump off your partner in an icy lake for a payout."

Gocompare.com has created an infographic on the fascinating world of TV soap deaths.


Notes to editors:

* http://coronationstreet.wikia.com/wiki/Coronation_Street_Wiki, http://hollyoaks.wikia.com/wiki/Hollyoaks_Wiki,