Emmerdale announces plans to introduce a new Black family

Daniel Kilkelly, Simon Timblick
·2-min read

From Digital Spy

Emmerdale spoilers follow.

Emmerdale bosses are planning to introduce a new Black family, Digital Spy can exclusively reveal.

Show chiefs are currently in the process of casting the new characters, who'll arrive on screen within the next few months.

The plans were announced as part of an in-depth Digital Spy feature which reveals how soaps are making positive changes in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. The show already features diverse characters like Ellis Chapman (Aaron Anthony), Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) and Al Chapman (Michael Wildman).

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Related: How soaps and soap stars have responded to Black Lives Matter

"On Emmerdale we are currently casting a brand new Black family who will come in right at the heart of the village," John Whiston, Managing Director of Continuing Drama & Head of ITV in the North, told Digital Spy.

Further details about the new characters are expected to be announced at a later date.

On the wider picture for the ITV soaps, Whiston added: "The Black Lives Matter movement rightly gave us an impetus to a great many initiatives on screen and off screen. Off screen, we're working on our Diversity Acceleration Plan, which is part of ITV's overall Diversity Action Plan.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Related: Emmerdale's Gabby Thomas steps up her scheming in 28 new spoiler pictures

"For us, a key part of that is increasing the number of BAME writers and directors we employ as they are the key creative powerhouse behind the shows.

"This is something we are making real progress on, though obviously there is more to be done."

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

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