1980 was Emmerdale's 9th year. Storylines included Joe Sugden's appointment as Assistant Manager at Home Farm, Jack Sugden's return to the village, along with the return of Pat, Jackie and Sandie Merrick and Dolly Skilbeck's miscarriage. 86 episodes were broadcast this year.


1980 cast

Emmerdale 1980 cast photo

The 1979 ITV Strike ended on 24th October 1979, though Emmerdale Farm did not return until 8th January 1980. When it did, as with Coronation Street and Crossroads when they had returned from the strike, a monologue read by Sheila Mercier as Annie Sugden appeared over the introduction of the first episode. Rather than attempt to fill in the gaps for viewers however, the first six episodes of the programme from Episode 543 through to Episode 548 were set in the summer of 1979 using footage already filmed from before the strike. Episode 549 began with another monologue from Sheila as Annie, this time setting the scene in the present time.

Jack Sugden return 1980

Jack Sugden returns to Beckindale, now played by Clive Hornby.

By the time episodes began to air again, Anne W. Gibbons had taken over as producer. Anne felt that the strength of the programme lay in the serial element and she set about replacing the shorter stories that featured temporary cast members and characters with longer arcs featuring permanent characters. As a result, characters were re-introduced with Stan Richards being promoted to a regular cast member as Seth Armstrong and former characters returning, albeit with new faces. Jack Sugden, Ruth Merrick, Jackie Merrick and Sandie Merrick all came back to Beckindale, now played by Clive Hornby, Helen Weir, Ian Sharrock and Jane Hutcheson respectively. Ruth Merrick had also received a new name as well as a new face - now to be known as Pat Merrick forever more. Interestingly, the first Emmerdale Farm novel penned by James Ferguson in 1977 also saw Ruth's name change to Pat - three years before this was written into the series. When she had last appeared, Ruth had also had a third child - Tommy Merrick, but upon her return as Pat, there was no mention of this second son and he was never referred to again. As Pat's husband, Tom Merrick, also returned to the programme later in the year, now played by Edward Peel, it was left to Hornby, Weir and Peel to build on foundations previously laid by other actors in order to make their recasts realistic. As more permanent characters were introduced, this meant more scenes away from Annie Sugden's kitchen and the Emmerdale farmhouse and, though few and far between at this point, shifting focus onto other characters would go on to play a vital role in the show later in the decade and into the 1990s.

Another character to receive a makeover was Dolly Skilbeck as Jean Rogers took over the role from the Southern-based Katharine Barker who left the programme in order to spend more time with her husband and teenage son. Wanting to make a particular effort to make the transition as smooth as possible, crew members kept Dolly off air until April and hoped that when Rogers appeared on screen, the similarity between the actresses would mean that she would sneak in unnoticed with viewers unable to tell the change in casting. Needless to say, regular viewers did notice and Rogers would later refer to this period of the role as a challenge.

The programme once again took a summer break lasting from mid-July until September.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
1543Tuesday 8th JanuaryKevin LaffanPhilip Draycottn/kn/k
2544Thursday 10th JanuaryKevin LaffanPhilip Draycottn/kn/k
3545Tuesday 15th JanuaryKevin LaffanPhilip Draycottn/kn/k
4546Thursday 17th JanuaryKevin LaffanPhilip Draycottn/kn/k
5547Tuesday 22nd JanuaryKevin LaffanPhilip Draycottn/kn/k
6548Thursday 24th JanuaryKevin LaffanPhilip Draycottn/kn/k
7549Tuesday 29th JanuaryMichael RussellNorman Stewartn/kn/k
8550Thursday 31st JanuaryMichael RussellNorman Stewartn/kn/k
9551Tuesday 5th FebruaryMichael RussellNorman Stewartn/kn/k
10552Thursday 7th FebruaryMichael RussellNorman Stewartn/kn/k
11553Tuesday 12th FebruaryMichael RussellNorman Stewartn/kn/k
12554Thursday 14th FebruaryMichael RussellNorman Stewartn/kn/k
13555Tuesday 19th FebruaryAndy BakerPeter Sykesn/kn/k
14556Thursday 21st FebruaryAndy BakerPeter Sykesn/kn/k
15557Tuesday 26th FebruaryAndy BakerPeter Sykesn/kn/k
16558Thursday 28th FebruaryAndy BakerPeter Sykesn/kn/k
17559Tuesday 4th MarchAndy BakerPeter Sykesn/kn/k
18560Thursday 6th MarchAndy BakerPeter Sykesn/kn/k
19561Monday 10th MarchKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
20562Thursday 13th MarchKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
21563Tuesday 18th MarchKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
22564Thursday 20th MarchKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
23565Tuesday 25th MarchKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
24566Thursday 27th MarchKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
25567Tuesday 1st AprilAlan JanesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
26568Thursday 3rd AprilAlan JanesRichard Handford12,700,00020
27569Tuesday 8th AprilAlan JanesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
28570Thursday 10th AprilAlan JanesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
29571Tuesday 15th AprilAlan JanesRichard Handford12,250,00015
30572Thursday 17th AprilAlan JanesRichard Handford12,250,00017
31573Tuesday 22nd AprilNeville SiggsLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
32574Thursday 24th AprilNeville SiggsLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
33575Tuesday 29th AprilNeville SiggsLen Lurcuck11,550,00016
34576Thursday 1st MayNeville SiggsLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
35577Tuesday 6th MayNeville SiggsLen Lurcuck12,550,00012
36578Thursday 8th MayNeville SiggsLen Lurcuck11,250,00016
37579Tuesday 13th MayMichael RussellMike Gibbon9,800,00020
38580Thursday 15th MayMichael RussellMike Gibbonn/kn/k
39581Tuesday 20th MayMichael RussellMike Gibbon11,150,00014
40582Thursday 22nd MayMichael RussellMike Gibbon10,600,00018
41583Tuesday 27th MayMichael RussellMike Gibbonn/kn/k
42584Thursday 29th MayMichael RussellMike Gibbonn/kn/k
43585Tuesday 3rd JuneDouglas WatkinsonFrank W. Smith10,300,00017
44586Thursday 5th JuneDouglas WatkinsonFrank W. Smith10,700,00012
45587Tuesday 10th JuneDouglas WatkinsonFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
46588Thursday 19th JuneDouglas WatkinsonFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
47589Tuesday 24th JuneDouglas WatkinsonFrank W. Smith10,350,00018
48590Thursday 26th JuneDouglas WatkinsonFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
49591Tuesday 1st JulyKevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
50592Thursday 3rd JulyKevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
51593Tuesday 8th JulyKevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
52594Thursday 10th JulyKevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
53595Tuesday 15th JulyKevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
54596Thursday 17th JulyKevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
55597Tuesday 2nd SeptemberKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
56598Thursday 4th SeptemberKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
57599Tuesday 9th SeptemberKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
58600Thursday 11th SeptemberKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
59601Tuesday 16th SeptemberKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
60602Thursday 18th SeptemberKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
61603Tuesday 23rd SeptemberNeville SiggsFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
62604Thursday 25th SeptemberNeville SiggsFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
63605Tuesday 30th SeptemberNeville SiggsFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
64606Thursday 2nd OctoberNeville SiggsFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
65607Tuesday 7th OctoberNeville SiggsFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
66608Thursday 9th OctoberNeville SiggsFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
67609Tuesday 14th OctoberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
68610Thursday 16th OctoberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
69611Tuesday 21st OctoberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
70612Thursday 23rd OctoberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
71613Tuesday 28th OctoberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
72614Thursday 30th OctoberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
73615Tuesday 4th NovemberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
74616Thursday 6th NovemberAlan JanesPaddy Russelln/kn/k
75617Tuesday 11th NovemberKevin LaffanLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
76618Thursday 13th NovemberKevin LaffanLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
77619Tuesday 18th NovemberKevin LaffanLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
78620Thursday 20th NovemberKevin LaffanLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
79621Tuesday 25th NovemberKevin LaffanLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
80622Thursday 27th NovemberKevin LaffanLen Lurcuckn/kn/k
81623Tuesday 2nd DecemberMichael RussellDarrol Blaken/kn/k
82624Thursday 4th DecemberMichael RussellDarrol Blaken/kn/k
83625Tuesday 9th DecemberMichael RussellDarrol Blaken/kn/k
84626Thursday 11th DecemberMichael RussellDarrol Blaken/kn/k
85627Tuesday 16th DecemberMichael RussellDarrol Blaken/kn/k
86628Thursday 18th DecemberMichael RussellDarrol Blaken/kn/k

Main CastEdit

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Amos BrearlyRonald MagillFull year865981
1Henry WilksArthur PentelowFull year865981
3Matt SkilbeckFrederick PyneFull year835965
4Sam PearsonToke TownleyFull year775606
5Annie SugdenSheila MercierFull year except June766001
6Jack SugdenClive HornbyFrom February74178 -
7Joe SugdenFrazer HinesUntil March, from July58585 4
7Dolly SkilbeckJean RogersFrom April58227 7
9Judy WestropJane CussonsUntil July5054 11
9Richard AnsteyCarl RiggJanuary to April, from September5050 -
11Seth ArmstrongStan RichardsApril to May, from July3964 10
12Donald HintonHugh ManningFull year except July29149 9
13Pat MerrickHelen WeirFrom July2739 -
14Jackie MerrickIan SharrockFrom September1718 -
14Sandie MerrickJane HutchesonFrom September1718 -
16Maurice WestropEdward DentithJanuary, April to May1654 8
17Tom MerrickEdward PeelDecember only612 -


to be added

Who lives whereEdit

to be added

Awards and NominationsEdit

to be added

Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.