1983 was Emmerdale's 12th year. Storylines included Sandie Merrick's pregnancy and Joe Sugden's affair with Barbara Peters and his departure for France. 72 episodes were broadcast this year.


Ian Sharrock and Beverley Callard

Ian Sharrock and Beverley Callard as Jackie Merrick and Angie Richards.

Anne W. Gibbons continued work as producer for the majority of the year, but handed over to Richard Handford from Episode 819 on 4th October. Around the same time, Frazer Hines left the series as Joe Sugden moved to France. Onscreen, Joe's relationship with Barbara Peters also ended and she left the village as Rosie Kerslake departed. Jane Hutcheson took a break as Sandie Merrick for the remainder of the year, leaving in February as Sandie went to stay with Tom Merrick in Aberdeen.

Elsewhere, George Little reappeared as Edward Ruskin, last seen in 1974, for a small storyline in May and, in November, Tony Pitts joined the cast as Archie Brooks, shortly after being turned down for the part of Terry Duckworth in Coronation Street. Beverley Callard passed through the village this year in a supporting role, playing Angie Richards, a love interest for Jackie Merrick.

One tabloid newspaper publicly revealed the previously 'secret' location of Esholt being used for exterior scenes since 1976. A story was printed about residents from the "tiny Yorkshire village of Esholt, near Bradford" being angered over an increase in tourists after coach operators discovered the location of filming. The report went on to say that some tourists had been trespassing on private land in an attempt to catch glimpses of the cast. Yorkshire Television were still under contract not to name the village however and only provided comment to say that they had never done-so, so it was up to members of the public to find out if the newspapers reports were true.

In other goings on, Al Dixon's portrayal of silent Woolpack customer Walter made the tabloids as fans set up a petition for Yorkshire Television to give Walter lines of dialogue. The petition was to no avail however and Walter remained onscreen and silent.

Viewing figures also made the headlines this year as the programme creeped into ITV's Top 10 chart a total of eight times. At one point even rising to number five and prompting a newspaper to declare that the programme was now rivaling Crossroads, though in the long-term that wasn't strictly the case. Cast and crew reportedly believed that should Thames Television grant them a prime time slot, they would seriously start being able to challenge the other serials, but Thames made no change to its schedule.

The programme's summer break once again saw it disappear from schedules for July and August.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
1771Tuesday 11th January Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
2772Thursday 13th January Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
3773Tuesday 18th January Michael RussellMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
4774Thursday 20th January Michael RussellMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
5775Tuesday 25th January Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
6776Thursday 27th January Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
7777Tuesday 1st February Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
8778Thursday 3rd February Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
9779Tuesday 8th February Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
10780Thursday 10th February Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
11781Tuesday 15th February Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
12782Thursday 17th February Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smith12,850,00012
13783Tuesday 22nd February Anthony CouchMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
14784Thursday 24th February Anthony CouchMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
15785Tuesday 1st March Alan DownerMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
16786Thursday 3rd March Alan DownerMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
17787Tuesday 8th March Alan DownerMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
18788Thursday 10th March Alan DownerMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
19789Tuesday 15th March Ken BlakesonChris Bakern/kn/k
20790Thursday 17th March Ken BlakesonChris Bakern/kn/k
21791Tuesday 22nd March Ken BlakesonChris Baker12,950,0009
22792Thursday 24th March Ken BlakesonChris Baker12,000,00011
23793Tuesday 12th April Ken BlakesonChris Bakern/kn/k
24794Thursday 14th April Ken BlakesonChris Bakern/kn/k
25795Tuesday 19th April Neville SiggsRichard Handford11,150,00012
26796Thursday 21st April Neville SiggsRichard Handfordn/kn/k
27797Tuesday 26th April Neville SiggsRichard Handfordn/kn/k
28798Thursday 28th April Neville SiggsRichard Handfordn/kn/k
29799Tuesday 3rd May Neville SiggsRichard Handfordn/kn/k
30800Thursday 5th May Neville SiggsRichard Handfordn/kn/k
31801Tuesday 10th May Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smith11,650,0009
32802Thursday 12th May Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
33803Tuesday 17th May Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smith11,300,0009
34804Thursday 19th May Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smith10,400,00012
35805Tuesday 24th May Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smith10,250,00012
36806Thursday 26th May Kevin LaffanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
37807Tuesday 31st May Kevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
38808Thursday 2nd June Kevin LaffanMike Gibbon9,900,000n/k
39809Tuesday 7th June Tim VaughanMike Gibbon9,750,000n/k
40810Thursday 9th June Tim VaughanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
41811Tuesday 14th June Tim VaughanMike Gibbon10,700,0005
42812Thursday 16th June Tim VaughanMike Gibbon9,650,000n/k
43813Tuesday 13th September Kevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
44814Thursday 15th September Kevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
45815Tuesday 20th September Kevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
46816Thursday 22nd September Kevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
47817Tuesday 27th September Kevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
48818Thursday 29th September Kevin LaffanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
49819Tuesday 4th October Tim VaughanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
50820Thursday 6th October Tim VaughanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
51821Tuesday 11th October Tim VaughanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
52822Thursday 13th October Tim VaughanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
53823Tuesday 18th October Tim VaughanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
54824Thursday 20th October Tim VaughanFrank W. Smithn/kn/k
55825Tuesday 25th October Adrian ReidMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
56826Thursday 27th October Adrian ReidMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
57827Tuesday 1st November Adrian ReidMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
58828Thursday 3rd November Adrian ReidMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
59829Tuesday 8th November Tim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
60830Thursday 10th November Tim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
61831Tuesday 15th November Michael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Stephen Butchern/kn/k
62832Thursday 17th November Michael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Stephen Butchern/kn/k
63833Tuesday 22nd November Michael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Stephen Butchern/kn/k
64834Thursday 24th November Michael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Stephen Butchern/kn/k
65835Tuesday 29th November Michael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Stephen Butchern/kn/k
66836Thursday 1st December Michael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Stephen Butchern/kn/k
67837Tuesday 6th December Michael RussellLovett Bickfordn/kn/k
68838Thursday 8th December Michael RussellLovett Bickfordn/kn/k
69839Tuesday 13th December Michael RussellLovett Bickfordn/kn/k
70840Thursday 15th December Michael RussellLovett Bickfordn/kn/k
71841Tuesday 20th December Michael RussellLovett Bickfordn/kn/k
72842Thursday 22nd December Michael RussellLovett Bickfordn/kn/k

Main Cast

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Matt SkilbeckFrederick PyneFull year728041
1Seth ArmstrongStan RichardsFull year722687
1Pat SugdenHelen WeirFull year722411
4Amos BrearlyRonald MagillFull year718017
4Jackie MerrickIan SharrockFull year712171
6Dolly SkilbeckJean RogersFull year70431 7
6Jack SugdenClive HornbyFull year70384 1
6Henry WilksArthur PentelowFull year708041
9Alan TurnerRichard ThorpFull year69117 14
10Donald HintonHugh ManningFull year67317 11
11Annie SugdenSheila MercierFull year except March61773 12
12Sam PearsonToke TownleyFull year except March57727 13
13Barbara PetersRosie KerslakeUntil October5256 16
14Joe SugdenFrazer HinesUntil October38758 6
15Jock MacDonaldDrew DawsonFebruary to March, October and December1820 -
16Sandie MerrickJane HutchesonUntil February11155 10
17Archie BrooksTony PittsFrom November88 -
18Edward RuskinGeorge LittleMay only3101 -


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Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s
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