1981 was Emmerdale's 10th year. Storylines included Pat Merrick's divorce from Tom Merrick and her growing relationship with Jack Sugden, a break-in at Emmerdale Farm with the burgular accidentally fatally running over sheepdog Snip, Amos Brearly being sacked from the Hotten Courier and setting up rival newspaper the Beckindale Bugle and Richard Anstey's affair with his boss' wife, Virginia Lattimore. 68 episodes were broadcast this year.
ProductionEdit
Anne W. Gibbons continued as producer for her second year onscreen. Her only notable addition to the cast this year was Drew Dawson as NY Estates workman Jock MacDonald who, while only appearing in two episodes this year, would go on to appear consistently through the remainder of the decade.
A dispute at Yorkshire Television called a halt to filming in October as seventy electrician staff went on strike, in response to four workers being suspended. The strike lasted from the 1st October through to the 29th. The programme only had enough episodes banked to air until Episode 696 which aired on 5th November and, as a result, was pulled from the schedule a month early, with repeats going out in the afternoon to keep the show in the public eye. Shooting began for the next block once the dispute was resolved but these would not be seen on screen until January 1982, beginning with Episode 703. As a result of the strike, Episode 697 to Episode 702 never made it to the screen and though Lance Parkin's 30 Years of Emmerdale book notes that the episodes were "made but never transmitted", there is no evidence to suggest that when production resumed these episodes were filmed.
In November 1981, Stan Richards (as Stan & The Gang) released a single on 7" vinyl titled 'Grandad's Motto'. The song was based on a Yorkshireman's advice to his son and captured the essence of Seth Armstrong's character ("See all, hear all, say nowt. Eat all, sup all, pay nowt!"). The track was written by Geoff Ashford and released on the Spy 80 label.
The programme once again took a summer break, this time remaining off air over July and August.
EpisodesEdit
# | Ep. No. | Date | Writer | Director | Viewing Figures | Chart Position |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
1 | 629 | Tuesday 6th January | Douglas Watkinson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
2 | 630 | Thursday 8th January | Douglas Watkinson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
3 | 631 | Tuesday 13th January | Douglas Watkinson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
4 | 632 | Thursday 15th January | Douglas Watkinson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
5 | 633 | Tuesday 20th January | Douglas Watkinson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
6 | 634 | Thursday 22nd January | Douglas Watkinson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
7 | 635 | Tuesday 27th January | Chris Barlas | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
8 | 636 | Thursday 29th January | Chris Barlas | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
9 | 637 | Tuesday 3rd February | Chris Barlas | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
10 | 638 | Thursday 5th February | Chris Barlas | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
11 | 639 | Tuesday 10th February | Chris Barlas | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
12 | 640 | Thursday 12th February | Chris Barlas | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
13 | 641 | Tuesday 17th February | Ken Blakeson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
14 | 642 | Thursday 19th February | Ken Blakeson | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
15 | 643 | Tuesday 24th February | Alan James | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
16 | 644 | Thursday 26th February | Alan James | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
17 | 645 | Tuesday 3rd March | Alan James | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
18 | 646 | Thursday 5th March | Alan James | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
19 | 647 | Tuesday 10th March | Alan James | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
20 | 648 | Thursday 12th March | Alan James | Richard Handford | n/k | n/k |
21 | 649 | Tuesday 17th March | Kevin Laffan | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
22 | 650 | Thursday 19th March | Kevin Laffan | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
23 | 651 | Tuesday 24th March | Kevin Laffan | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
24 | 652 | Thursday 26th March | Kevin Laffan | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
25 | 653 | Tuesday 31st March | Kevin Laffan | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
26 | 654 | Thursday 2nd April | Kevin Laffan | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
27 | 655 | Tuesday 7th April | Michael Russell | Philip Draycott | n/k | n/k |
28 | 656 | Thursday 9th April | Michael Russell | Philip Draycott | n/k | n/k |
29 | 657 | Tuesday 14th April | Michael Russell | Philip Draycott | n/k | n/k |
30 | 658 | Thursday 16th April | Michael Russell | Philip Draycott | n/k | n/k |
31 | 659 | Tuesday 21st April | Michael Russell | Philip Draycott | n/k | n/k |
32 | 660 | Thursday 23rd April | Michael Russell | Philip Draycott | n/k | n/k |
33 | 661 | Tuesday 28th April | Freda Kelsall | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
34 | 662 | Thursday 30th April | Freda Kelsall | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
35 | 663 | Tuesday 5th May | Freda Kelsall | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
36 | 664 | Thursday 7th May | Freda Kelsall | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
37 | 665 | Tuesday 12th May | Freda Kelsall | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
38 | 666 | Thursday 14th May | Freda Kelsall | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
39 | 667 | Tuesday 19th May | Tim Vaughan | John Michael Phillips | n/k | n/k |
40 | 668 | Thursday 21st May | Tim Vaughan | John Michael Phillips | n/k | n/k |
41 | 669 | Tuesday 26th May | Alan Downer | John Michael Phillips | n/k | n/k |
42 | 670 | Thursday 28th May | Alan Downer | John Michael Phillips | n/k | n/k |
43 | 671 | Tuesday 2nd June | Alan Downer | John Michael Phillips | n/k | n/k |
44 | 672 | Thursday 4th June | Alan Downer | John Michael Phillips | n/k | n/k |
45 | 673 | Tuesday 9th June | Peter Whitbread | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
46 | 674 | Thursday 11th June | Peter Whitbread | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
47 | 675 | Tuesday 16th June | Peter Whitbread | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
48 | 676 | Thursday 18th June | Peter Whitbread | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
49 | 677 | Tuesday 23rd June | Peter Whitbread | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
50 | 678 | Thursday 25th June | Peter Whitbread | Darrol Blake | n/k | n/k |
51 | 679 | Tuesday 8th September | Kevin Laffan | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
52 | 680 | Thursday 10th September | Kevin Laffan | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
53 | 681 | Tuesday 15th September | Kevin Laffan | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
54 | 682 | Thursday 17th September | Kevin Laffan | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
55 | 683 | Tuesday 22nd September | Kevin Laffan | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
56 | 684 | Thursday 24th September | Kevin Laffan | Len Lurcock | n/k | n/k |
57 | 685 | Tuesday 29th September | Freda Kelsall | Mike Gibbon | n/k | n/k |
58 | 686 | Thursday 1st October | Freda Kelsall | Mike Gibbon | n/k | n/k |
59 | 687 | Tuesday 6th October | Freda Kelsall | Mike Gibbon | n/k | n/k |
60 | 688 | Thursday 8th October | Freda Kelsall | Mike Gibbon | n/k | n/k |
61 | 689 | Tuesday 13th October | Freda Kelsall | Mike Gibbon | n/k | n/k |
62 | 690 | Thursday 15th October | Freda Kelsall | Mike Gibbon | n/k | n/k |
63 | 691 | Tuesday 20th October | Tim Vaughan | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
64 | 692 | Thursday 22nd October | Tim Vaughan | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
65 | 693 | Tuesday 27th October | Tim Vaughan | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
66 | 694 | Thursday 29th October | Tim Vaughan | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
67 | 695 | Tuesday 3rd November | Tim Vaughan | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
68 | 696 | Thursday 5th November | Tim Vaughan | Mervyn Cumming | n/k | n/k |
Main CastEdit
Ranking | Character | Played by | Duration | Number of Episodes | Running total | Previous year's ranking |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
1 | Henry Wilks | Arthur Pentelow | Full year | 68 | 666 | 1 |
1 | Matt Skilbeck | Frederick Pyne | Full year | 68 | 664 | 3 |
1 | Joe Sugden | Frazer Hines | Full year | 68 | 653 | 7 |
1 | Dolly Skilbeck | Jean Rogers | Full year | 68 | 295 | 7 |
1 | Jack Sugden | Clive Hornby | Full year | 68 | 246 | 6 |
6 | Amos Brearly | Ronald Magill | Full year | 66 | 664 | 1 |
6 | Seth Armstrong | Stan Richards | Full year | 66 | 130 | 11 |
8 | Richard Anstey | Carl Rigg | Full year | 62 | 112 | 9 |
8 | Pat Merrick | Helen Weir | Full year | 62 | 101 | 13 |
10 | Sandie Merrick | Jane Hutcheson | Full year | 61 | 79 | 14 |
11 | Jackie Merrick | Ian Sharrock | Full year | 60 | 78 | 14 |
12 | Annie Sugden | Sheila Mercier | Full year except February | 54 | 654 | 5 |
12 | Sam Pearson | Toke Townley | Full year except March | 54 | 614 | 4 |
14 | Donald Hinton | Hugh Manning | Until February, April to September | 40 | 189 | 12 |
15 | Tom Merrick | Edward Peel | January to April | 12 | 24 | 17 |
16 | Jock MacDonald | Drew Dawson | November only | 2 | 2 | - |
StorylinesEdit
to be added
Who lives whereEdit
to be added
Awards and NominationsEdit
to be added
Emmerdale in the 1980s |
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← 1980 • 1981 • 1982 • 1983 • 1984 • 1985 • 1986 • 1987 • 1988 • 1989 → |