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Emmerdale Opening 2005.jpg
Emmerdale opening credits, introduced in 2005.
Format Soap opera
Created by Kevin Laffan
Starring Present cast
Country of origin  United Kingdom
No. of episodes 5558[+]
(as of 17 March 2010)
Executive producer(s) Steve November[1]
Producer(s) Gavin Blyth
Running time 22 mins
(excluding advertisements);
Tuesdays or Thursdays
29/30 mins
(including advertisements)
Original channel ITV
Picture format 576i
4:3 (1972–2001)
16:9 (2002–present)
Original run 16 October 1972 –
(&0000000000000037.00000037 years, &0000000000000153.000000153 days)
External links
Official website

Emmerdale, known as Emmerdale Farm until 1989, is a popular and critically acclaimed British soap opera that has aired on ITV since 1972. It is set in the fictional village of Emmerdale (known as Beckindale until 1994) in West Yorkshire, England, and was created by Kevin Laffan, with Steve Frost and Gavin Blyth serving as Executive Producer and Series Producer respectively since 2009.

Emmerdale is the third most popular soap opera on British television, behind Coronation Street and EastEnders.

The series is produced by Yorkshire Television and broadcast on the ITV network, and was first aired on 16 October 1972. It was originally conceived and broadcast as a daytime programme in an afternoon slot, becoming an early evening programme in 1978 in most ITV regions – but excluding London and Anglia, both of which followed in the mid-1980s. Until the mid-1980s, Emmerdale took seasonal breaks and was not an all year round soap. The series was first broadcast over the Christmas holiday period in 1988.

Emmerdale is shown on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday at 19:00 and on a Thursday at 19:00 and 20:00 (as of 23 July 2009). Episodes are first broadcast on ITV1. Every episode lasts around 29/30 minutes (including commercials). Without adverts the total time of footage averages to around 22 minutes per episode. Repeat episodes and the omnibus of the show can be seen on ITV2.



The basic premise of Emmerdale Farm was very similar to the BBC radio soap opera The Archers – focusing on a family, a farm, and characters in a nearby village.

The farmyard filming techniques of Emmerdale Farm were originally modelled on the revolutionary soap-opera The Riordans, made by RTÉ, Ireland's broadcaster, from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s. The Riordans broke new ground for soap operas by being filmed largely out of doors (on a farm owned, in the storyline, by Tom and Mary Riordan), rather than, as was the norm in British and American soap operas, being almost totally shot in studios (where 'outdoor' scenes were sometimes filmed indoors). The Riordans pioneered farmyard location shooting, with real farm animals, and actors driving tractors. In the 1960s and 1970s, outdoor filming of television programmes using OBUs (Outdoor Broadcast Units) was in its infancy, due to the far higher costs involved, and the reliance on things like the weather that were out of the control of the programme makers.

The success of The Riordans showed that a soap opera could be filmed largely out of doors. Yorkshire Television sent people to The Riordans set in County Meath, Ireland to see the making of the programme at first hand.[2][3]

Series background

The Miffield estate was the biggest employer in the village of Beckindale – situated 39 miles (63 km) from Bradford and 52 miles (84 km) from Leeds. Lord Miffield gave the lease of Emmerdale Farm, on the edge of the village, to the Sugden family in the 1850s out of gratitude, after Josh Sugden had sacrificed his life for the Earl's son in the Crimean War.

Josh's grandson Joseph married Margaret and they had a son Jacob. In the 1930s, Jacob Sugden supposedly purchased Emmerdale Farm for his family. In 1945 he married Annie Pearson – daughter of farm labourer Sam Pearson.

Jacob had run the farm into the ground, as he had drunk away most of the profits, leaving it in a sorry state. It was badly maintained, and the future of the farm looked bleak at the time of Jacob's death on 10 October 1972.

Jacob left a wife Annie and three grown children, two sons, Jack (the eldest) and Joe (the youngest of the three), and daughter Peggy. These characters would form the basis of the series Emmerdale Farm.

The first episode

The Sugden family in the first episode

The first episode of Emmerdale Farm opened with the funeral of Jacob Sugden on 16 October 1972.

Jacob had upset the family when he left the farm to his eldest son, Jack, who had not been seen since 1964 when, at the age of 18, he left his family, heritage and Beckindale – for London.

Jack Sugden returned to the farm in this opening episode, although he chose to stay away from the funeral – making his presence known only after the service, when the Sugdens returned to their home, Emmerdale Farm – where they found him waiting for them.

The first lines uttered in this first episode were spoken by Peggy Skilbeck:

"Matt, who's she?"

Peggy was referring to Marian Wilks who was watching the funeral cortege whilst out riding.

The Wilkses proved to be new to the village; Marion's father Henry Wilks was a wealthy businessman.

In subsequent months, Jack sold a share of the Farm to Annie, Joe, Peggy and his grandfather Sam Pearson. Emmerdale Farm Ltd was formed after Henry Wilks bought Sam's share of the estate.

The first episode was repeated on Granada Plus on 1 January 2000.[4]

Subsequent earlier episodes from the 1970s and 1980s have been aired on Granada Plus, and Sky Soap.


Over 5,000 episodes of Emmerdale have now been made. All episodes exist in the archives, however episodes 35 and 36 now only exist as a double 'omnibus' edition, despite being billed as two separate episodes at the time (1973).



Initially the show focused on the farm, and the Sugden family who lived on and ran it. As time went on, the show's focus moved to the nearby village of Beckindale. To reflect this change, the show's title was changed in November 1989 to Emmerdale.

In the story the name of the village was changed from Beckindale to Emmerdale in 1994, after the plane crash.

Coinciding with the show's 1989 title change was the introduction of the Tate family. The Tates emerged as the soap's leading family in the 1990s, overshadowing the Sugdens. The Tate family has since been supplanted, with the Dingle family taking centre stage beginning in the mid-1990s, and the King family from mid to late 2000s. By the end of the 2000s, several new families were created, such as the Wyldes and the Bartons.

In 2001, a new family was introduced made up of five people who had been selected through a TV series Soapstars using open auditions similar to the successful Popstars format. This provoked criticism from the existing cast although a mooted strike did not materialise after it became clear that all five had previous acting experience and some were already Equity members. However their run on the series was very brief and none were still in the cast a year later.

Village businesses

Despite being a small village, Emmerdale is a bustling place for business. The current businesses are:

The Woolpack Landlady: Diane Sugden Barman: Bob Hope, Barmaids: Maisie Wylde, Moira Barton Chef:Marlon Dingle Cleaner: Betty Eagleton

Home Farm Estates Owner:Natasha Wylde Employees: Holly Barton, Nicola De Souza

Home Farm Stables Owners: Natasha Wylde & Katie Sugden

Butlers Farm Farmers: John Barton, Andy Sugden, Adam Barton

Emmerdale Veterinary Clinic Vets: Paddy Kirk Receptionist: Pearl Ladderbanks

The Grange B&B Owners: Terry Woods, Val Pollard, Eric Pollard Cleaner: Olena Petrovich

The Post Office Owners: Bob Hope, Viv Hope, Brenda Walker Postman: Jamie Hope

Cafe Hope Owners: Bob Hope, Viv Hope, Brenda Walker

Emmerdale Haulage Owners: Jimmy King, Carl King Office Assistants: Edna Birch, Scarlett Nicholls Driver: Charity Tate

Emmerdale Exclusive Cleaning Services Owner: David Metcalfe Employees: Betty Eagleton

Windsor and Dingle Garage Owners: Cain Dingle and Debbie Dingle Mechanics: Aaron Livesy, Ryan Lamb

Home Farm Fayre Owner: Natasha Wylde Manager: Douglas Potts Employees: Leyla Harding

Sharma and Sharma Sweet Factory Owners: Nikhil Sharma, Jai Sharma Supervisor: Chas Dingle Floor Workers: Lisa Dingle, Eli Dingle, Genesis Walker, Adele Allfrey

Major storylines

Until 1993, Emmerdale was largely ignored by press and viewers alike, in the face of better-known soaps such as Coronation Street, EastEnders and Brookside. This, however, was changed when its plane crash storyline brought Emmerdale into the public eye, giving the show its highest-ever viewing figures of 18 million, and consequently keeping the show as one of the most watched soap operas on British television. Other major storylines included the Home Farm siege in 1994, the storm of 2003, the Kings River explosion of 2006, the Tom King kidnapping of 2006, and the murder of Tom King on Christmas Day 2006.


Emmerdale is extremely well known for the number of disasters and dramatic stunts it has featured over the years. The most notable disasters are listed below.

  • 1986 – Pat Sugden died when she crashed her car down a hill, after swerving to avoid a flock of sheep
  • 1988 – Crossgill fire
  • 1993 – Plane crash in Emmerdale
  • 1994 – Shirley Turner is shot dead in the aftermath of the Home Farm raid by the ex-husband of Viv Windsor, Reg Dawson
  • 1995 – Luke McAllister died after his car crashed into a tree and exploded into flames
  • 1996 – Dave Glover died in a fire after attending the wedding of Biff and Linda Glover
  • 1997 – At the engagement party of Steve Marchant and Kim Tate, Lord Alex Oakwell took Linda Fowler for a late-night drive and crashed while trying to snort cocaine. He removed Linda from the passenger seat as she was starting to wake up and moved her to the drivers seat, and fled the scene of the accident, leaving Linda there to die
  • 1999 – Graham Clark threw Rachel Hughes off a cliff, killing her
  • 2000 – A van and minibus collide in the village. Van driver Pete Collins dies at the scene; minibus passenger Butch Dingle dies in hospital from his injuries the next day
  • 2000 – Long-serving character Sarah Sugden died in a barn fire that was started deliberately by her adopted son Andy. Sarah's lover Richie Carter was also trapped in the barn but was rescued by Sarah's husband Jack
  • 2001 – Miss Jean Strickland, the headmistress, was struck and killed by a stolen car driven by student Marc Reynolds on his way home from a night out with friends
  • 2002 – The church was burnt down by schizophrenic Zoe Tate
  • 2004 – A large storm hit Emmerdale, leaving parts of the village in ruins, with collapsed power lines and trees. The Woolpack was damaged by its chimney collapsing through the roof into the bar area, and also out the front, crushing Tricia Dingle and resulting in her dying in hospital a few days later; Ashley Thomas and Louise Appleton became stuck on the road as a result of the terrible weather. The disaster took place on the tenth anniversary of the plane crash
  • 2005 – Shelly Williams fell off a boat in Scotland, and was never found
  • 2005 – Zoe Tate and Callum Rennie destroyed Home Farm in a gas explosion for revenge on the Kings before leaving Emmerdale
  • 2005 – Max King died instantly when the Land Rover he was in went off the road and through a brick wall and exploded, although driver Robert Sugden escaped the car unharmed and gave a false story about the accident to avoid being arrested; and the police believed his version of events, as there were no witnesses to contradict his story
  • 2006 – The vicarage burnt down after a stray spark ignited spilt vodka, with Debbie Dingle trapped inside
  • 2006 – Kings River showhome collapsed after several explosions caused by a gas leak. The collapse claimed threes lives: Noreen Bell and estate agent David Brown were killed in the explosion, and Dawn Woods later died in hospital from internal injuries
  • 2006 – Tom King was murdered on Christmas Day when son Carl hit him over the head with a horse statue and pushed him out of a window
  • 2007 – A tampered van driven by Billy Hopwood crashed into a lake and sank with him and Victoria Sugden inside, but they both survived
  • 2007– DCI Grace Barraclough was killed instantly when she was run over by a lorry, while on the way to the police station to report Carl for killing his dad, Tom King
  • 2007 – Victoria Sugden threatened her father Jack and adoptive brother Andy in their home that if they didn't confess to who killed her mum Sarah, then she would set alight the family home with them all trapped inside. After they calmed her down, the fuel ignited accidentally when the boiler started up and set the house on fire. The house was gutted but the family survived
  • 2008 – Val's Interiors, owned and run by Eric Pollard, was burnt down by Sam Dingle and Eli Dingle, after Sam mistakenly thought Eric wanted the factory burnt down for the insurance money, as Eric had previously confided in Sam that he was in serious debt
  • 2008 – Matthew King was killed after he crashed a van into a wall after trying to run over his brother Carl. The two had been brawling viciously inside Home Farm previous to this, as Carl had ruined Matthew's wedding to Anna De Souza earlier that day
  • 2008 – Victoria Sugden fell through the ice on the frozen lake at Home Farm, finding the body of Shane Doyle. She was rescued by Daz Eden and survived.
  • 2009 – A vintage car driven by Rodney Blackstock hurtled through the village after the handbrake was not securely fastened. It careered into the Farm Shop trapping Douglas Potts, Leyla Harding and Ryan Lamb inside and caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.
  • 2009 – Sally Spode burnt down the village church with Laurel Thomas trapped inside, Luckily Laurel survived.
  • 2010 – Natasha Wilde shot Mark Wilde in the grounds of Home Farm.
  • 2010 – Ashley Thomas accidentally ran over Sally Spode on his way out of the village to take a sabbatical.

Memorable exits

Emmerdale is famous for its hugely dramatic exit storylines. These characters have made some of the most famous, memorable exits from Emmerdale.

  • Kim Tate – Kim and her husband Steve Marchant stole a horse, intent on selling it, as they had cashflow problems. As they were driving away from the scene, Steve ran over Kathy Glover. While in hospital, Kim convinced Kathy that Steve had not stopped his vehicle when he had hit her, in order to make her husband seem to be the villain – even though she helped to plan the theft of the horse. On the day of trial in January 1999, with the lawyers questioning Kathy's validity as a witness for Steve's hit-and-run crime, Kathy questioned how true Kim's words had been. For this, and numerous other crooked tricks, the police were soon on her trail. She confronted Chris Tate to get money as a means of escape, and knocked him out savagely with a paperweight when he would not comply. She left with her son James in a helicopter, never to be seen again. The pilot asked her if she was Kim Marchant, and with her final words on the soap she replied, "No, it's Kim Tate".
  • Sarah Sugden – Sarah was married to Jack Sugden, but had been having an affair with their lodger Richie Carter. Having fallen in love with Richie, Sarah told Jack that their marriage was over and that she was in love with Richie. Jack kicked Sarah out of the farm on which they lived, and told her she was never going to see her three children Robert, Andy and Victoria again. Jack was also in serious debt, and Andy overheard him saying that it would be good if something caught fire so they could claim on the insurance. After hearing this, Andy went out with a lighter and box of matches and set the barn on fire, but was unaware that his adopted mother Sarah was inside with Richie ending their relationship. Richie got out alive, but Sarah was trapped inside the barn when it exploded, and died, leaving Jack and her three children devastated.
  • Tricia Dingle – After discovering that her husband Marlon Dingle had had a drunken one night stand with his cousin Charity Tate whilst she had been in India, Tricia left Marlon and intended to leave Emmerdale. She was planning to leave on New Year's Eve 2003, the same night as the Emmerdale storm. Upon leaving, Diane Sugden gave Tricia a letter that Marlon had asked her to give to Tricia, it was a list of 101 reasons why Marlon loved her. After spending hours in the phone box, sheltering from the horrific weather, trying to get a taxi sent to the village, she decided to give Marlon another chance, and returned to the Woolpack to see him. Upon reaching the Woolpack, lightning struck a tree, making Tricia trip, and a second bolt struck the roof of the Woolpack, making it collapse onto a helpless Tricia. She was found under the rubble by Diane and Marlon, and taken to hospital in a helicopter. She was put on a life support machine until Marlon finally decided to let her go. She died on 8 January 2004.
  • Charity Tate – After Sadie King tricked Tom King into believing Charity was having an affair with Cain Dingle, Tom called off his and Charity's wedding. Despite discovering the lie, Tom was unable to convince Charity that they should reconcile. Charity wanted revenge for what Sadie had done, which she got by sleeping with Jimmy King. She made him realise what Sadie was like, and filmed them together. She got him to confess that Sadie set her up. She went to visit Tom, taking the tape with her, and played it to him and his family. Sadie went for Charity so Charity punched her, said an emotional goodbye to her daughter Debbie Dingle, and left, despite an emotional plea from Tom. Charity returned in 2009, with a son, Noah.
  • Zoe Tate – Zoe was standing trial for the attempted murder of Scott Windsor, but was found not guilty after it transpired that Scott had threatened witness Paddy Kirk. After Sadie King blackmailed her into selling her Home Farm, she took revenge by blowing up the house. In her final scene, she waited in a car in front of the house, waiting for the explosion, then drove off and out of the soap.
  • Cain Dingle and Sadie King – The couple kidnapped Tom King, with Sadie pretending to have been double-crossed by Cain. The story took a number of twists and turns, with Cain's car going over into a quarry, although it was later discovered to be empty, and Cain shooting Sadie, although it was later discovered that this was faked too. As they prepared to escape by plane, Cain betrayed Sadie, leaving her at the airfield, and flew off over the village. Both Cain and Sadie left the soap, although Cain returned in 2009.
  • Steph Forsythe – Steph finally did the right thing, though it could have been in better circumstances when she pleaded guilty to the murder of her brother Terence Turner. This was to make amends for causing the death of Shelly Williams. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, although it was, in fact, her husband Adam Forsythe who killed Terence.
  • Mark Wylde – After a year in the soap, the secrets and lies of Mark were finally exposed. His first wife who he never officially divorced, had his only legitimate child, Ryan. In turn Ryan was unknowingly starting a relationship with his half sister, Maisie. Because of Mark's bigamy, Natasha's subsequent marriage with Mark was void, and Natasha's three children, Maisie, Nathan and Will were all technically illegitimate. During the episode aired 14 January 2010, Mark considers suicide in the woods of Emmerdale Farm. However he is relieved of the shotgun by Natasha. Mark's subsequent words push Natasha over the edge and she appears to shoot Mark with the shotgun.

Filming locations

A purpose-built set on the Harewood estate in Leeds was built in 1997

Location shooting originally occurred in the village of Arncliffe in Littondale, one of the less frequented valleys of the Yorkshire Dales. In exterior shots, the village's hotel, The Falcon, was used to represent the fictional Woolpack Inn. Eventually the location of the shooting location became publicly known, which is perhaps what prompted the move to the village of Esholt in 1976, where it stayed for the next 22 years. This location also became a tourist attraction and the village pub(previously 'the Commercial Hotel')has retained the adopted name of The Woolpack Inn.

The original Emmerdale Farm buildings are near the village of Leathley. Creskeld Hall (Home Farm) is one of the few original filming locations used in the entire run of the series and has been involved in many storylines.

Since 1998, a purpose-built set on the Harewood estate in Leeds has been used (building on the Harewood estate started in 1996). The first scenes shot in the purpose-built set on the Harewood Estate were broadcast on 17 February 1998, from the front of the Woolpack (although some scenes were shot there from 1997).

The houses in the new village at Harewood are timber framed structures covered in stone cladding. The village is built on green belt land so all the buildings are classed as "temporary structures" and must be demolished within ten years unless new planning permission is given. There is no plan to demolish the set and new planning has now been drawn up. The new village included a church, a churchyard full of gravestones, some of them for the characters who have died in the serial.

Butlers Farm is really Brookland Farm, a working farm, located in the nearby village of Eccup. Brookland Farm is where all the external, farmyard and buildings shots are filmed with the internal house shots being filmed in the studio.

Much location footage is carried out in other areas of the City of Leeds, West Yorkshire, such as the fictional market town of Hotten, which is actually shot in Otley, a market town on the outskirts of Leeds. The Benton Park School in the Rawdon area of the city and the primary school in Farnley are also used as shooting locations. Indoor scenes are mostly filmed at Yorkshire Television's 'Emmerdale Production Centre' on Kirkstall Road, Leeds (located next to the main Yorkshire Television's Leeds Studios).[5]


When Emmerdale was first broadcast in 1972, it was twice a week in an afternoon slot. It later moved to a 19:00 slot and the number of episodes has steadily increased, with there now being six half-hour episodes each week. Emmerdale is filmed roughly between 4–6 weeks before it is first broadcast on ITV1. On 8 July 2009 it was announced that from 23 July Emmerdale would have two episodes on a Thursday —- one at 19:00 – 19:30 and one at 20:00 – 20:30 and drop its hour long Tuesday episode which would instead revert to a half hour episode from 19:00 – 19:30. The announcement was made as part of a major rescheduling exercise by ITV.[6]


The show is one of the most watched programmes on British television, and is ranked high in the British popularity stakes, only being outdone by the two major mainstream soaps, Coronation Street and EastEnders. An average Emmerdale episode generally attracts 5–7 million viewers.

  • On 30 December 1993 Emmerdale attracted its highest ever audience of 18 million when a plane crashed into the village killing four villagers. The aftermath of the plane crash on 5 January 1994 attracted 16 million viewers. The storyline brought Emmerdale into the public eye, and consequently kept the show as one of the most watched soaps on British television
    The famous plane crash was watched by 18 million viewers, and consequently kept Emmerdale as one of the top UK soaps
  • On 27 May 1997 Emmerdale attracted over 13 million viewers when Frank Tate died of a heart attack, after his wife, Kim Tate, returned after faking her own death months before
  • On 20 October 1998 Emmerdale attracted 12.5 million viewers when the Woolpack exploded after being burnt down with fireworks
  • On 1 January 2004 Emmerdale attracted an 11.19 million viewers when the village was hit by a storm, which caused the Woolpack roof to collapse after it was struck by lightning, which then collapsed onto Tricia Dingle, who died from her injuries in hospital. One of the soap's most famous storylines, it gave the show a huge ratings boost and the storyline went down in Emmerdale history. The year to come would see the show gain an even higher profile.
The storm episode attracted 10.7 million viewers, and gave Emmerdale a huge ratings boost
  • On Christmas Day 2005 Emmerdale attracted 6.24 million viewers, when the villagers searched for Daz Eden and Belle Dingle who had fallen down a mine shaft
  • On 22 September 2006, 8.12 million viewers watched the exit of Cain Dingle after more than six years in the soap
  • On Thursday 14 January 2010, Emmerdale hit their highest ratings since March 2006 [9.9 million at peak] during the much-awaited Murder of Mark Wylde when he was shot by Natasha Wylde after a week-long online "Whodunnit?"

Numerous other hour long episodes that have clashed with rival soap EastEnders have won in the battle for viewing figures. Over the past few years the village soap has gone head to head with BBC's EastEnders on numerous occasions, and has emerged on top many times, establishing itself as a serious contender for the second most popular British soap opera. Some notable examples include:

  • 18 May 2004, when Jack Sugden was shot by his adopted son Andy Sugden. Emmerdale attracted 8.27 million viewers, whilst EastEnders could only manage 7.32 million viewers
  • 21 September 2004, when Diane Blackstock and Jack Sugden got married. Emmerdale attracted 8.72 million viewers, whilst EastEnders could only manage 6.83 million viewers
  • 1 March 2005, when Charity Dingle left the soap after five years. Emmerdale was watched by 9.89 million viewers, whilst EastEnders was watched by 7.21 million viewers
  • 17 March 2005, when Shelly Williams fell overboard from the Isle of Arran ferry off the west coast of Scotland during a confrontation with Steph Stokes. Emmerdale was watched by 9.39 million viewers, whilst EastEnders was watched by 6.96 million viewers, its lowest ever audience at that time
  • 22 September 2005, when long standing, popular character Zoe Tate left the soap after 16 years, and made a dramatic exit which saw her blow up Home Farm, which she been conned into selling to the King family. Emmerdale was watched by 8.58 million viewers, whilst EastEnders could only manage 6.76 million viewers for the funeral of Den Watts
  • 13 July 2006, The Kings River house collapse. Emmerdale won in the ratings battle here, attracting 6.90 million viewers, whilst EastEnders could only manage 4.11 million viewers, its lowest ever
    The hour long episode where the Kings River house exploded and collapsed beat EastEnders in the ratings by far, attracting 6.7 million viewers, whilst EastEnders managed its lowest ever audience of 3.9 million viewers
  • 1 February 2007, when Billy Hopwood, with Victoria Sugden, crashed his truck into a lake. Emmerdale won here too, surprisingly since the EastEnders episode involved an important storyline involving two of its most high profile characters, Martin and Sonia Fowler, leaving. Emmerdale attracted 8.15 million viewers with EastEnders gaining 6.70 million viewers
  • 17 May 2007, when the Who Killed Tom King? plot came to a close when the murderer was revealed. Emmerdale gained 8.92 million viewers, which peaked to 9.1 million when Tom's son Carl confessed to the murder, between 19:00 and 20:00. EastEnders could manage only 4.29 million between 19.30 and 20:00
  • 16 October 2007, when Annie's Cottage was blown up by Victoria Sugden. Emmerdale was watched by 8.12 million viewers, whilst EastEnders was watched by 6.59 million viewers.
  • 22 July 2008, when surrogate mother Katie Sugden gave birth to Perdy and Grayson Sinclair's baby. Emmerdale was watched by 6.09 million viewers, whilst EastEnders was watched by 5.30 million viewers
  • 27 January 2009, when Debbie Dingle was arrested for the murder of Shane Doyle. Emmerdale attracted 7.39 million viewers, whilst EastEnders attracted 6.36 million viewers

In January 2010 Emmerdale received good ratings:

Emmerdale maintained strong ratings leading up to the reveal of Mark Wylde's past.


Emmerdale is the third most award winning British Soap, behind Eastenders (being the most award winning) and Coronation Street.

Year Result Award Category

British Academy Television Awards

2000 Nominated British Academy Television Awards Best Continuing Drama
2001 Won British Academy Television Awards Best Continuing Drama
2007 Nominated British Academy Television Awards Best Continuing Drama
2008 Nominated British Academy Television Awards Best Continuing Drama
2009 Nominated British Academy Television Awards Best Continuing Drama
Year Result Award Category

National Television Awards

1997,2000-2008,2010 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Serial Drama
1996 Won National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Lisa Riley
1998 Won National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Anna Brecon
1999 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress - Lisa Riley
2000 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress - Samantha Giles
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Kate McGregor
2002 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress - Leah Bracknell
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Emily Symons
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Sammy Winward
2003 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Charley Webb
2004 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Patsy Kensit
2006 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Actress - Ursula Holden Gill
Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Jenna Louise Coleman
2007 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - Joseph Cilgun
2008 Nominated National Television Awards Outstanding Serial Drama Performance - Charlotte Bellamy
2010 Nominated National Television Awards Most Popular Newcomer - James Sutton
Year Result Award Category

British Soap Awards

1999 Won British Soap Awards Best Dramatic Performance - Kelvin Fletcher
Won British Soap Awards Best Exit - Claire King
2000 Won British Soap Awards Best Exit - Paul Loughran
2001 Won British Soap Awards Hero of the Year - Clive Hornby
Won British Soap Awards Spectacular Scene of the Year - Clive Hornby and Kelvin Fletcher For "Andy Sugden" burning down the barn
2002 Won British Soap Awards Best Exit - Batley the Dog
2003 Won British Soap Awards Best Single Episode - Mark Charnock and Sheree Murphy For Marlon's and Tricia's failed wedding day plans
2004 Won British Soap Awards Spectacular Scene of the Year - Mark Charnock and Sheree Murphy For The Storm
Won British Soap Awards Best Dramatic Performance - Mark Charnock
Won British Soap Awards Best Exit - Sheree Murphy
2005 Won British Soap Awards Best Single Episode - Patsy Kensit, Emma Atkins and Kenneth Farrington For Charity and Tom's Wedding
2006 Won British Soap Awards Best Comedy Performance - Charlie Hardwick
Won British Soap Awards Best Exit - Leah Bracknell
Won British Soap Awards Soap Bitch of the Year - Nicolla Wheeler
Won British Soap Awards Spectacular Scene of the Year - Eden Taylor-Draper, Luke Tittensor, Brian Morgan and Neil Alderton For Belle and Daz trapped in a mine shaft
2007 Won British Soap Awards Best Dramatic Performance From a Young Actor or Actress - Eden Taylor-Draper
Won British Soap Awards Spectacular Scene of the Year - Elizabeth Estensen, Nick Miles, Julia Mallam, Antony Audenshaw, Duncan Foster For The House Collapse
2008 Won British Soap Awards Best Single Episode - Charlotte Bellamy and John Middleton For Daniel's Death-Heartbreak
Won British Soap Awards Special Achievement Awards - Tony Prescott (Director)
2009 Won British Soap Awards Spectacular Scene of the Year - Lee Salinsbury, Luke Tittensor and Isabel Hodgins For Victoria falling through the ice
Year Result Award Category

TRIC Awards

2007 Nominated TRIC Awards TV Soap of the Year
Won TRIC Awards Special Recognition Award
2008 Nominated TRIC Awards TV Soap of the Year
Year Result Award Category

Royal Television Society Awards

2002 Nominated RTS Awards Soap and Continuing Drama
2004 Nominated RTS Awards Soap and Continuing Drama
2005 Won RTS Awards Soap and Continuing Drama
2006 Nominated RTS Awards Soap and Continuing Drama
Year Result Award Category

TV Quick and Choice Awards

1998 Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Newcomer - Anna Brecon
2000 Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress - Samantha Giles
2005 Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress - Emma Atkins
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline - Emma Atkins, Patsy Kensit and Ken Farrinton For Charity and Tom's Failed Wedding
2007 Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress - Ursula Holden Gill
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline - Ursula Holden Gill and James Hooton For Alice's Battle with Cancer
2008 Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Actress - Charlotte Bellamy
Won TV Quick and Choice Awards Best Soap Storyline - Charlotte Bellamy and John Middleton For Laurel and Ashley's cot death heartbreak
Year Result Award Category

Broadcast Awards

2010 Nominated Broadcast Awards Soap and Continuing Drama

Although Emmerdale has sometimes won the 'ratings debate', it is Eastenders who is the clear winner in both the ratings and the awards vote.

Emmerdale has also won 12 awards at the Inside Soap Awards

Emmerdale has also won 3 All About Soap Bubble Awards, winning awards in 2007,2008 and 2009.



Emmerdale reaches viewers in the Republic of Ireland via both the widely available UTV from Northern Ireland and the TV3 Television Network in the Republic of Ireland. UTV and TV3 screen Emmerdale simultaneously in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Emmerdale was broadcast as a Daytime soap on RTÉ One from 1972 to 2001 before moving to TV3, RTÉ were a number of months behind – since for many years they choose to broadcast 5 days a week rather than ITV's 3 days a week and RTÉ took a break during the summer months, however as the series began a 5 night week RTÉ got further and further behind ITVs broadcasts. The gap between RTÉ One's last episode and TV3's first episode was about 3 months.


Emmerdale has been shown in Sweden since the 1970s – originally on TV2 and since 1994 on commercial channel TV4. Under the title Hem till gården ("Home to the Farm"), the programme is broadcast twice a day (as of May 2008, previously only once a day) on Monday to Friday 11:50–12:50. The episodes currently being screened (March 2010) date from mid2007.


The programme is shown in Finland on commercial channel MTV3, where it goes out at 18:00 to 18:30, and 18:30 to 19:00 Mondays to Fridays with a repeat of each episode at 11:00 and 11:25 on the following weekday. The episodes currently being screened (March 2010) date from March 2007.

New Zealand

Emmerdale is shown in New Zealand on TV One from Monday to Friday at 12:30 to 13:30.


Emmerdale was shown in Australia for the first time in July 2006 when subscription television channel UKTV began airing the 2006 series from episode 4288.[7][8] Episodes are currently 6 months behind the UK. Emmerdale also airs on Channel Seven's new free-to-air digital channel 72 7Two weekdays at 15:00, airing episodes from 2003.


On 2 February 2007 it was announced that Emmerdale would be broadcast on the Romanian free-to-air channel Pro TV. The station has bought 50 episodes of the soap dating back to 2000.


Opening and closing credits

The original titles were on film and featured a slow panning shot of the Yorkshire dales, before slowly zooming in on Beckindale village/Arncliffe and then the farmhouse. The title caption zoomed out to the camera. The closing credits were on captions and the film underneath was the view from a helicopter of the Dales passing by Arncliffe. The theme, written by Tony Hatch, was performed on the cor anglais with piano and strings accompaniment. The opening titles changed for the 1974 episodes to an aerial panning shot of Arncliffe and a different view of the farmhouse and the font was changed to a bold yellow one. The end credits remained the same but with the different font.

The farmhouse in sunset credits lasted the longest and were introduced in 1975, and continued to be used until November 1989 when the programme's title was shortened to Emmerdale. This was replaced with a montage of images, shot around Esholt, of various activities such as someone hang-gliding, a Land Rover fording a stream, an oil tanker going over a bridge and someone out horse-riding at Home Farm, the credits rolled over a static shot of the farmhouse. This lasted until September 1992 when the theme tune was changed. The opening credits used from September 1992 until December 1993 were similar but used superimposed images. The closing credits rolled over a static shot of some Yorkshire scenery. Initially, the credits were displayed on separate slides but, after several weeks, reverted to the all scrolling format used from 1989.

The opening titles changed again from the plane crash episode in December 1993. This sequence comprised shots from the 1989 introduced titles, 1992 introduced titles and some newly filmed shots. Unlike the previous titles, this new sequence did not feature superimposed images. It remained in use until November 1994 when another similar new sequence was introduced. From January 1994, the credits rolled over a static shot of Esholt/Emmerdale. This credit sequence is notable since the original "Emmerdale Farm" music was used for the closing credits, while the newer version remained in use for the opening and break bumpers. The exception to this was during the plane crash when the credits rolled over the destruction of the village and a slow piano theme was used. When the opening titles were updated again in November 1994, and the new theme tune was used exclusively.

In December 1998, the opening titles were replaced by another montage, this time of helicopter shots of the Yorkshire moors and farming areas. Superimposed were short scenes of actors (which were not members of the cast) performing the various emotions seen in a soap. The closing credits rolled over a continuous shot of Emmerdale, filmed from a helicopter flying away from the village. At the same time, in 1998, a new version of the theme tune was introduced. A grand orchestral theme was introduced over the titles, credits and break bumpers. From September 2004, a different version of the theme, played mainly on the piano, was used for the break bumpers only.

In September 2005, the opening titles were replaced with another helicopter montage, this time marginally slower and without the actors. The closing credits were generic ITV Network style credits over a continuous shot of the village, again from a helicopter, but filmed from a different angle.

In 2009, the original theme played over the end credits of Jack Sugden's funeral episode.


Emmerdale has in the past been sponsored by a number of commercial partners including Daz, Heinz Salad Cream, Calgon, Airwick, Veet and Lemsip. On 6 October 2009, ITV announced a sponsorship agreement with online bingo site Tombola Bingo.[9]

DVD Releases

  • The first twenty-six episodes of "Emmerdale Farm Volume 1" from 1972–73 on a four disc set
  • "The Best of Emmerdale" twelve of the best episodes taken from 1993–2006 on a two disc set, starting with two episodes covering the plane crash

The full list for the 'Best of Emmerdale' DVD:

    • Episode 1829 – Plane Crash – Part 1
    • Episode 1830 – Plane Crash – Part 2
    • Episode 1870 – Jack & Sarah's wedding
    • Episode 1875 – Post Office Robbers Caught
    • Episode 2473 – Kim Flees Emmerdale
    • Episode 2668 – Bus Crash
    • Episode 3018 – Nicola Jilts Carlos
    • Episode 3215 – Zoe Gets Sectioned
    • Episode 3339 – Louise Kills Ray
    • Episode 3623/3624 – The Storm
    • Episode 4159 – Home Farm is Blown Up
    • Episode 4425 – Alice Dingle's Euthanasia Pact

  • "Emmerdale 35th Anniversary Edition" is the other two releases together in a box set.

Controversially, for a 35th anniversary set, the years 1974–1993 were totally omitted.

A second volume featuring episodes 27–52 has been released on 24 August 2009.

A third volume featuring episodes 53–78 is scheduled for 2010 with a fourth volume featuring episodes 79–104 to follow.

Series producers

  • David Goddard (October 1972 – January 1973)
  • Peter Holmans (January 1973 – July 1973)
  • Robert D. Cardona (July 1973 – October 1976)
  • Michael Glynn (October 1976 – June 1979)
  • Anne Gibbons (June 1979 – October 1983)
  • Richard Handford (October 1983 – June 1986)
  • Michael Russell (June 1986 – March 1988)
  • Stuart Doughty (March 1988 – December 1991)
  • Morag Bain (December 1991 – 1993)
  • Nicholas Prosser (1993–94)
  • Mervyn Watson (1994–98)
  • Kieran Roberts (1998 – April 2001)
  • Steve Frost (April 2001 – December 2004)
  • Kathleen Beedles (January 2005 – December 2007)[10]
  • Anita Turner (January 2008[11][12] – January 2009[13])
  • Gavin Blyth (January 2009 – present)[14]



  1. ^
  2. ^ Byrne, Andrea (8 February 2009). "The plough and the stars: how TV's revolutionary Riordans changed Ireland". Retrieved 6 October 2009. 
  3. ^ Kirby, Terry (15 July 2006). "Emmerdale: the village that won over a nation". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2009. 
  4. ^ First episode at website
  5. ^ See on Google Earth here.
  6. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (8 July 2009). "Coronation Street to move from Wednesdays – after nearly 50 years". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2009. 
  7. ^ "Symons: Marilyn Fisher was easy, cracking the UK wasn't". Australian Associated Press. 22 June 2006. 
  8. ^ Brown, Pam (27 June 2006). The West Australian (West Australian Newspapers Limited): p. 5. 
  9. ^ "Tombola Bingo New Sponsor of Emmerdale". Gaming Supermarket. Retrieved 13 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "Frost, Beedles quit soap production roles". Digital Spy. Retrieved 14 November 2007. 
  11. ^ "Emmerdale's new Producer". Retrieved 15 November 2007. 
  12. ^ "New Corrie, 'Emmerdale' producers named". Digital Spy. Retrieved 15 November 2007. 
  13. ^ "ITV exec Richardson leaves Emmerdale after 24 years". 15 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 
  14. ^ "Blyth named new 'Emmerdale' producer". Digital Spy. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2010. 

External links

Coordinates: 53°53′14″N 1°32′22″W / 53.8871°N 1.5394°W / 53.8871; -1.5394

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