Tonight’s Emmerdale will feature only female characters in a celebration of International Women’s Day and the talents of women in the television industry.

It has been written, produced, directed and recorded by a female led crew.

“I believe soaps are leading the way with gender equality on set. This is a great opportunity for Emmerdale to show the female talent we have both in front and behind the camera.” – Jane Hudson, Executive Producer

On a daily basis the rural soap has three mixed-gender crews filming scenes across four episodes, but a female-led team was assembled to work on this special episode.  

In the episode – from 7pm on ITV, STV and UTV – Moira senses she’s being watched at the farm, but convinces herself that it’s nothing. Later, catching a hooded figure in her yard, Moira calls their bluff with threats of a shotgun. Chas feels hope returning as she tends to Grace’s grave. Chas glows with happiness as she reveals a secret to Laurel. Meanwhile, Charity is distracted away from the village, April is filled with self-doubt and Rhona finds an unlikely confidante.

“Our international women’s day episode is not only a celebration of women in the broadest sense of the word, but also a showcase for the female talent we have in the television industry. We wanted the episode to be character driven and story led, exploring all aspects of what it’s like to be a women in 2019.” – Kate Brooks, Producer

Emma Atkins, who plays Charity, said: “Charity is on a mission in this episode, and although I can’t give anything away about her scenes, they will have a significant impact going forward. We work with a fabulous team, day in and day out, on Emmerdale so it was interesting they pooled all the female crew and cast into one team.” Charlotte Bellamy, who plays Laurel, said: “We have a fantastic cast on the show, but it was lovely to have an episode that concentrated only on the female characters.” Natalie J. Robb, who plays Moira, praised how the episode focuses on what women can achieve with their careers: “I think it’s a great opportunity to show woman who have an interest in this industry and others what the opportunities and roles are.”

Moira is disturbed by an intruder

Chas shares a secret with Laurel

“I feel incredibly honoured to work alongside such a strong, inspiring and determined team of people at Emmerdale, and making this special episode gave us the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the workplace in the last few decades. Some of the people still working on the team today helped pave the way so women like me could pursue the career they wanted and this episode celebrates that and everything we have achieved at Emmerdale.” – Laura Shaw, Producer

Lucy Pargeter, who plays Chas, relished the opportunity to work alongside other female actors: “The episode essentially deals with female stories across different ages from little April upwards. My character Chas bonds with Laurel over some news she has and they are not two characters who normally make time for each other.”

Liz Estensen, who plays Diane, felt similarly: “In a TV programme such as Emmerdale with a large core cast, many of the characters never meet. Rhona and Diane’s paths, for example, haven’t really crossed. The episode that broadcasts on the 8 March to celebrate International Women’s Day sees the two characters meet, for the first time I worked with Zoe Henry and what a pleasure that was.”

“I was honoured to direct this episode. Loved the atmosphere/script/team and I really enjoyed undertaking a bespoke episode. There are so many jobs in TV and it was lovely to highlight them and show the sky’s the limit when it come to key roles. We have regular trainees coming up through the Assistant Director ‘AD department’ and many of them once in the show, transfer either into permanent roles or get jobs in different departments.” – Sarah Kendell, Director

Emmerdale, Friday at 7pm on ITV, STV and UTV.

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