'Emmerdale' 50th anniversary: When is the special episode on TV? What happens in it?

Emmerdale storm
Nothing says 'anniversary celebration' like a natural disaster in Emmerdale. (ITV)

Emmerdale reaches the ripe old age of 50 this week, with some big celebrations and extra special storylines planned.

The ITV soap, which launched in 1972, is such an institution that even the King recorded a congratulatory message to surprise Emmerdale's cast and crew at the National Television Awards.

Read more: Emmerdale producers reveal the storylines they're proudest of

It's been a sad week so far in the Dales after the passing of Faith Dingle, but what else can we expect from the 50th anniversary?

When is Emmerdale's 50th anniversary episode on TV?

The 50th anniversary episode airs on ITV on Sunday, 16 October at 7pm.

What happens in Emmerdale's 50th anniversary?


Print media - No Use Before Tuesday 11th October 2022
Online Media - No Use Before 0700hrs Tuesday 11th October 2022

Emmerdale - Ep 9464.95

Sunday 16th October 2022

Will Taylor [DEAN ANDREWS], Kim Tate [CLAIRE KING] and Harriet Finch [KATHERINE DOW-BLYTON]

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Danielle Baguley

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Of course, there's a wedding involved. (ITV)

In typical soap fashion, Emmerdale will celebrate the milestone birthday with a wedding, a baby and a natural disaster.

Autumn is always disaster zone time in the Dales, so this year's is set to be extra dramatic in honour of the 50th anniversary.

Kim and Will are ready to celebrate their wedding, but love rival Harriet has been causing problems.

Read more: Is Emmerdale the deadliest soap on TV?

However, it isn't just the run up to the big day that doesn't go smoothly, as the newlyweds emerge from the ceremony to see a huge storm is brewing.

Amelia faces a terrifying labour. (ITV)
Amelia faces a terrifying labour. (ITV)

It causes destruction and devastation across the village, with Chas hurt by flying debris, Moira's barn collapsing leaving the cows to escape, and many a villager cut off from each other.

Potentially the most catastrophic twist is for Amelia, who gets stuck on her own with no phone signal and then goes into labour in a barn.

Will she manage to find help in time for the baby's arrival?

What did the King say in his message to Emmerdale?

King Charles III paid tribute to Emmerdale in a pre-recorded message for the NTAs. (ITV)
King Charles III paid tribute to Emmerdale in a pre-recorded message for the NTAs. (ITV)

The Emmerdale cast and crew got a huge surprise at the National Television Awards when a message from the King was played congratulating them on their anniversary.

He talked about being old enough to remember its original name of Emmerdale Farm and praised the production team's efforts to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030.

The King said: "It is a testament to all the hard work of its production team that it has since become such an important British institution and a major British export with hundreds of thousands of fans from Scandinavia to New Zealand, all keen to follow the fortunes of what is left of the Sugdens and their new neighbours.

“What makes Emmerdale so special is that it has kept true to the vision of its original writer, Kevin Laffan, who wanted to demonstrate that farming is not just a job, it’s a whole way of life.

“On a daily basis, Emmerdale continues to depict what life is really like for those who work the land and protect our precious countryside.

"It also stresses brilliantly something that concerns me greatly: the long-term sustainability of the way we produce our food."

Emmerdale marks 50 years on Sunday at 7pm on ITV.

Watch: The King sends message to Emmerdale cast as the soap cleans up at the NTAs