Emmerdale marks 50th with edible Woolpack Inn

Emmerdale kicks off its 50th birthday celebrations with cast and producers marking the occasion with a huge cake of the Woolpack.

With the countdown to the huge milestone in October now on, executive producer Jane Hudson reflects on what has made Emmerdale such a success since its relaunch in 1989 that took it from the far end of the TV top twenty to a top rating saga,

Jane Hudson:

“Emmerdale celebrating 50 years is a huge achievement and to be the executive producer at such an exciting time is an honour. For five decades, Emmerdale has kept its audience entertained with incredible storylines and memorable characters. We want to make sure our 50th birthday month is a treat for all our loyal viewers and has them gripped to the edge of their seats as the stories unfold.

“We are very proud to be a jewel in Yorkshire’s crown and want to make sure we celebrate our wonderful village and everyone who lives there. Across the month you will see stories which have you in tears, make you laugh out loud and of course, amaze you with some of the most epic stunts you will have ever seen. The Emmerdale team is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to creating drama as its very best, and never before has this been more true.”

The series was launched as Emmerdale Farm by Yorkshire Television in 1972 as part of ITV’s new daytime offering.

Emmerdale Farm, the early years were slightly more relaxed…

The theme tune devised by Tony Hatch of Crossroads and Neighbours fame introduced viewers to the Sudgen family of the farm and those they interacted with around the village.

For the first 20 years, the show rarely hit the ITV Top 10, nor was much noticed by the newspapers. However, by the early 1990s production company, Yorkshire Television, were keen to make the show a ‘must-see’ serial. Regular interest in the show was finally brought about when Brookside creator Phil Redmond was drafted in to drop a plane on the village and shake up its press-created ‘sleepy image’ – since then the show has been a powerhouse of primetime drama and a ratings winner for ITV.

A book will also mark the YTV production’s sleepy start and transition into a much loved and watched dramatic saga.

50 Years of Emmerdale, “The complete story of TV’s most iconic rural drama” published by ITV Ventures and Octopus Publishing Group, follows 60 Years of Coronation Street “The Incredible Story of Britain’s Favourite Continuing Drama” which was released in 2020 to mark the fellow ITV serial’s six decades of drama. The Emmerdale hardback is due on sale around the anniversary date of the saga launching in October.

Award winning: Emmerdale won Best Soap at this years Soap Awards / Image: Kieron McCarron/ITV

Celebrating 50 years since the show’s creation, this book is packed with history, engrossing features, long lost imagery, and plenty of behind-the-scenes detail. Each character, event, family and location is explored in exhaustive detail, with special features on Emmerdale legends, the show’s villains, births, marriages, deaths, and celebrity cameos, bringing all the highlights together with interviews and insights from cast and crew members past and present.

Written by Tom Parfitt the book also includes a gatefold section on key family trees, a specially commissioned map of Emmerdale and bespoke artworks for each location, making it a truly desirable package to read or give as a gift.

ITV Ventures:

“50 Years of Emmerdale is a stunning and engrossing book, which will delight every fan of this iconic show.”

The anniversary year has already seen celebrations as Emmerdale took the ‘Best Soap’ gong at The British Soap Awards.  The Leeds produced show also had a strong showing in the viewer-voted categories with Paige Sandhu – malevolent Meena Jutla – winning the award for ‘Best Leading Performer’.

The viewers also picked the Dingles as their favourite family, while the soap awards panel awarded Mark Charnock ‘Best Dramatic Performance’ for his portrayal of Marlon’s stroke.

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