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‘Emmerdale’ producers reveal the storylines they're most proud of

The title card for ITV soap Emmerdale. (ITV)
Emmerdale turns 50 this year. (ITV)

It's time for Emmerdale to celebrate its 50th birthday, and now the ITV soap’s team of producers are looking back on the show’s legacy.

Part of that includes those storylines that kept viewers talking or made a powerful impact. Executive producer Jane Hudson reveals her fondest Emmerdale plots are those that reached out to the public.

“My proudest story is any story that gives a voice to a viewer who has been silenced through guilt, shame, or fear.

Read more: Emmerdale star Sally Dexter reveals Faith’s joyous final day ahead of exit

"For example, Vinny suffering domestic abuse from his father, Victoria’s rape, and Laurel’s decision to have a termination after the diagnosis that the baby has Down Syndrome.

FROM ITV

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Print media - No Use BeforeNo Use Before Tuesday 126th January 2021
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Emmerdale - Ep 8958

Tuesday 2nd February 2021

Will Jai Sharma [CHRIS BISSON] be able to help Laurel Thomas [CHARLOTTE BELLAMY]?

Picture contact David.crook@itv.com 

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
Jai and Laurel made the decision to terminate their pregnancy. (ITV)

“I was massively proud of that story because there are so many women and men who live in shame, guilt, and fear they can’t speak out over what is fundamentally their right to choose.”

Producer Kate Brooks agrees with this sentiment. “I am most proud of stories that raise awareness and help people. We have got access into people’s living rooms.

“Every story is important, whether it is a lighter story that gives people a respite from the daily grind or the hard-hitting stories like Marlon’s stroke. Working here makes me feel proud.”

FROM ITV

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Emmerdale - Week 12

Marlon Dingle [MARK CHARNOCK]

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Photographer - Mark Bruce

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
Emmerdale aired a stroke storyline for Marlon Dingle. (ITV)

Fellow producer Laura Shaw shares her long history with the show as she ponders the stories that stand out for her. “I’ve worked on Emmerdale for 20 years and I am going to struggle to pick out one!

Read more: Emmerdale: Soap’s 50th anniversary storm will leave the village 'derelict'

“I echo everything that has been said. I enjoyed producing Charity’s historical abuse and the flashback episode. You take a character like Charity who you feel you know everything about and then you discover something new.”

But as Shaw points out, the lighter moments have their place, too. “Bernice thinking that Liam was a serial killer was a great story too. Only Emmerdale can do a comedy story like that!”

FROM ITV

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Emmerdale - Ep 9287

Tuesday 15th February 2022

At a remote viaduct, Meena Jutla [PAIGE SANDHU]smiles as she taunts Billy Fletcher [JAY KONTZLE] and Dawn Taylor [OLIVIA BROMLEY] with her gun; soaked with menace. Billy’s horrified when Meena tells him about the little game they are about to play where he gets to either save himself or Dawn. She threatens to kill them both if Billy doesn’t decide. Billy tells Dawn that he would always take a bullet for her and Meena points the gun and fires...  someone is shot.. 

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Photographer - Mark Bruce

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Murderous Meena kept viewers gripped. (ITV)

As for storylines that earned the most attention from the audience, it will come as no surprise that the exploits of murderous Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) make that list.

“The Meena story garnered so much reaction,” says Brooks.

“It brought so much love and hate. Regardless of whether you liked Meena or not, you still watched it. Emmerdale is a form of escapism.”

Read more: Emmerdale unveils 50th birthday logo and promises big celebratory plans

But what about the soap’s big milestone? Well, Hudson gave us some fresh teasers at a recent press event.

FROM ITV

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Emmerdale - Ep 9496 

Monday 17th October 2022

When both Kerry Wyatt [LAURA NORTON] and Chas Dingle [LUCY PARGETER] are injured by flying debris in the storm, Al Chapman [MICHAEL WILDMAN] is forced to choose between them. Al rushes to aid Chas watching him Kerry gets a sense something isn’t right. 

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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
A storm is brewing in the Dales. (ITV)

"It is a rollercoaster of emotions, and there is a visual impact that will blow more than your socks off, put it that way!" she reveals.

"There's deaths, there's destruction, but there's also real moments of intimacy, of heartbreak and love. We're going to see our characters tested in not just their physical strength, but their emotional strength as well.

"There's going to be a lot of tears — I must warn you about that!

"We go into our storm, which has got more than one stunt across the week; and then just when you think things can't get any worse for our Emmerdale characters, they really, really do," adds Hudson.

"We end the month on a really big bang that propels us well into the New Year."

How much more can those villagers take? Find out when Emmerdale airs an hour-long anniversary special on Sunday 16th October at 7pm on ITV.

Watch Emmerdale cast members tease the 50th anniversary