Working with animals is just one of the charms
of being a star of Emmerdale
THIS PAGE WAS WRITTEN IN 1998 - INFO AND LINKS MAY BE OUT
Emmerdale began in 1972, although not as an all-year show. In fact, it wasn't networked to start with but became a daytime favourite. The slow-moving rural soap had plenty of fans but the powers that were in London
didn't think it suitable as a ratings winner to start with. Yorkshire TV plugged away, and slowly the audiences built.
The first production revolution began in the mid '80s when lightweight camera equipment was brought in to replace to old OB scanners used for location work. The production found a permenant base at Farsley in an old textile mill where two floors of permanent sets were housed. The show still used a great deal of location shooting, and the village of Esholt, just north of Bradford, became very familiar to viewers.
The second upheaval was triggered when Carlton TV threatened to stop taking the show in the London area if ratings were not improved in the south. YTV brought in Phil Redmond, and all hell broke loose! A plane crash was used to decimate the cast and the word "Farm" was dropped from the title. Mervyn Watson (ex Coronation Street) took over as the new producer in 1994 and he brought more humour to the screen. Emmerdale is now a firmly established show in the ITV schedules.
"He's only taking the picture so he can show it to people and say 'Look where I made them put the crane'."
Since working on the show, it has moved its base from Farsley and increased its output, so any information I give will probably be out of date. Of nine days shooting, only two were in the studio, but production there was so fast that still over 70% of screen time came from the multi-camera set ups. Studio scenes were also rehearsed and a proper producer's run performed. My best memory from the show was having the luck to cast Butch and Zak Dingle, from which the whole Dingle family grew.
There is a Web page at
which has some infomation about the show.