1985 was Emmerdale's 14th year. Storylines included Alan Turner running down and hospitalising Jackie Merrick, an armed robbery on a security van, a crop spraying incident which lead to the poisoning of twelve toddlers and the arrival of Kathy and Nick Bates. 93 episodes were broadcast this year.


Emmerdale Farm Celebration Edition

A special 1,000 episodes Emmerdale Farm souvenir.

Richard Handford continued his run of producer for a second complete year.

Following the arrival of Caroline Bates the previous February, the decision was made to introduce her two children, Kathy and Nick Bates. Both would go on to remain with the programme for a considerable amount of time. Stephen Marchant was cast as Alan Turner's son, Terence. Terence would go on to have a brief relationship with Sandie Merrick before departing Beckindale. The character would return again over twenty years later, played by a different actor.

With the arrival of new BBC soap EastEnders in February, ITV made more of an effort to push Emmerdale Farm. As a result, the programme's typical summer break was shortened, remaining off air for just under a month in August - the shortest period of time since 1977. Emmerdale Farm found itself often competing with EastEnders in the 7.00pm slot in many regions of the country and consistently found itself beating the London-based soap in the direct head-to-heads. By August, the BBC moved EastEnders to the 7.30pm slot in order to avoid the competition. Following the summer break in September, all ITV regions began showing the same episode on the same day.

To prove its worth in the prime time slot, the decision was taken to increase the programme's pace and begin bigger and more topical stories. Series creator Kevin Laffan was reportedly increasingly unhappy with some of the changes, apparently objecting to the increase of sex, violence and gore within the show and was also concerned that the character of Annie Sugden was softening. In August, Laffan stepped down from the programme and made very little input thereafter. Despite his objections to the increase in sex in the show however, Jack Sugden's affair with Karen Moore seemed to prove a hit with those who tuned in, as viewing figures reached their highest in the show's run thus far. Press also began to change their opinions as reports from the likes of the Sunday People claimed that "infidelity and intrigue have transformed the once-sleepy story of Yorkshire folk into the Dynasty of the Dales".

November saw Emmerdale Farm celebrate its 1,000th episode. The event was marked with a Variety Club lunch held at the Queen's Hotel in Leeds on 7th November. HRH Princess Michael of Kent infamously attended the event, failed to recognise any of the cast and revealed she didn't actually watch the show. Onscreen, the event was covered in a tribute special - Emmerdale Farm Celebrates, hosted by Richard Whiteley.

In December, The Woolpack lost one of its best customers as Walter, portrayed by Al Dixon, made his final appearance prior to Dixon's death in 1986.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
1919Tuesday 8th JanuaryAndrew HoldenDavid Crozier15,750,0008
2920Thursday 10th JanuaryAndrew HoldenDavid Croziern/kn/k
3921Tuesday 15th JanuaryAndrew HoldenMervyn Cumming16,000,000n/k
4922Thursday 17th JanuaryAndrew HoldenMervyn Cumming15,900,000n/k
5923Tuesday 22nd JanuaryAndrew HoldenMervyn Cumming15,350,00011
6924Thursday 24th JanuaryAndrew HoldenMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
7925Tuesday 29th JanuaryHugh MillerRichard Handfordn/kn/k
8926Thursday 31st JanuaryHugh MillerRichard Handford14,550,00012
9927Tuesday 5th FebruaryHugh MillerRichard Handford14,800,00010
10928Thursday 7th FebruaryHugh MillerRichard Handfordn/kn/k
11929Tuesday 12th FebruaryHugh MillerRichard Handford14,850,00012
12930Thursday 14th FebruaryHugh MillerRichard Handfordn/kn/k
13931Tuesday 19th FebruaryAndrew HoldenRichard Handfordn/kn/k
14932Thursday 21st FebruaryAndrew HoldenRichard Handfordn/kn/k
15933Tuesday 26th FebruarySteve TraffordChris Lovettn/kn/k
16934Thursday 28th FebruarySteve TraffordChris Lovettn/kn/k
17935Tuesday 5th MarchSteve TraffordChris Lovettn/kn/k
18936Thursday 7th MarchSteve TraffordChris Lovettn/kn/k
19937Tuesday 12th MarchSteve TraffordChris Lovett13,800,00014
20938Thursday 14th MarchSteve TraffordChris Lovett13,850,00013
21939Tuesday 19th MarchSimon MastersWilliam Slater13,800,00015
22940Thursday 21st MarchSimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
23941Tuesday 26th MarchSimon MastersWilliam Slater14,550,0005
24942Thursday 28th MarchSimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
25943Tuesday 2nd AprilSimon MastersWilliam Slater13,550,0009
26944Thursday 4th AprilSimon MastersWilliam Slater13,800,0008
27945Tuesday 9th AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett13,500,000n/k
28946Thursday 11th AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett13,150,000n/k
29947Tuesday 16th AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett13,400,0006
30948Thursday 18th AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett13,100,0008
31949Tuesday 23rd AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett13,350,0005
32950Thursday 25th AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett12,850,0009
33951Tuesday 30th AprilTim VaughanChris Lovett13,700,0006
34952Thursday 2nd MayTim VaughanChris Lovett13,350,0009
35953Tuesday 7th MayEric WendellTony Virgo12,850,0007
36954Thursday 9th MayEric WendellTony Virgon/kn/k
37955Tuesday 14th MayEric WendellTony Virgo14,150,000n/k
38956Thursday 16th MayEric WendellTony Virgo12,450,000n/k
39957Tuesday 21st MayEric WendellTony Virgo13,450,0004
40958Thursday 23rd MayEric WendellTony Virgo12,350,0008
41959Tuesday 28th MayDouglas WatkinsonWilliam Slater11,400,00010
42960Thursday 30th MayDouglas WatkinsonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
43961Tuesday 4th JuneDouglas WatkinsonWilliam Slater11,800,00012
44962Thursday 6th JuneDouglas WatkinsonWilliam Slater12,050,0009
45963Tuesday 11th JuneDouglas WatkinsonWilliam Slater13,050,0004
46964Thursday 13th JuneDouglas WatkinsonWilliam Slater12,300,0009
47965Tuesday 18th JuneJohn Mash
Eric Wendell
William Slater11,500,00014
48966Thursday 20th JuneJohn Mash
Eric Wendell
William Slater11,700,00010
49967Tuesday 25th JuneTim VaughanFiona Cummingn/kn/k
50968Thursday 27th JuneTim VaughanFiona Cummingn/kn/k
51969Tuesday 2nd JulyTim VaughanFiona Cumming10,500,00010
52970Thursday 4th JulyTim VaughanFiona Cumming10,400,00011
53971Tuesday 9th JulyTim VaughanFiona Cumming11,650,0008
54972Thursday 11th JulyTim VaughanFiona Cumming11,550,0009
55973Tuesday 16th JulyEric WendallVivienne Cozens12,100,0007
56974Thursday 18th JulyEric WendallVivienne Cozens11,850,0008
57975Tuesday 23rd JulyEric WendallVivienne Cozens11,900,0006
58976Thursday 25th JulyEric WendallVivienne Cozens11,200,00010
59977Tuesday 30th JulyAndrew HoldenDavid Crozier11,850,0008
60978Thursday 1st AugustAndrew HoldenDavid Crozier11,500,00013
61979Tuesday 6th AugustAndrew HoldenDavid Crozier12,100,0009
62980Tuesday 3rd SeptemberMichael RussellRichard Handfordn/kn/k
63981Thursday 5th SeptemberMichael RussellRichard Handfordn/kn/k
64982Tuesday 10th SeptemberMichael RussellWilliam Slatern/kn/k
65983Thursday 12th SeptemberMichael RussellWilliam Slatern/kn/k
66984Tuesday 17th SeptemberMichael RussellWilliam Slatern/kn/k
67985Thursday 19th SeptemberMichael RussellWilliam Slatern/kn/k
68986Tuesday 24th SeptemberMichael RussellWilliam Slatern/kn/k
69987Thursday 26th SeptemberMichael RussellWilliam Slatern/kn/k
70988Tuesday 1st OctoberMichael RobartesFiona Cummingn/kn/k
71989Thursday 3rd OctoberMichael RobartesFiona Cummingn/kn/k
72990Tuesday 8th OctoberMichael RobartesFiona Cummingn/kn/k
73991Thursday 10th OctoberMichael RobartesFiona Cummingn/kn/k
74992Tuesday 15th OctoberMichael RobartesFiona Cummingn/kn/k
75993Thursday 17th OctoberMichael RobartesFiona Cummingn/kn/k
76994Tuesday 22nd OctoberTim VaughanCarol Wilksn/kn/k
77995Thursday 24th OctoberTim VaughanCarol Wilksn/kn/k
78996Tuesday 29th OctoberTim VaughanCarol Wilks12,200,00014
79997Thursday 31st OctoberTim VaughanCarol Wilksn/kn/k
80998Tuesday 5th NovemberTim VaughanCarol Wilksn/kn/k
81999Thursday 7th NovemberTim VaughanCarol Wilksn/kn/k
821000Tuesday 12th NovemberMichael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Vivienne Cozens12,600,00018
831001Thursday 14th NovemberMichael Russell
Tim Vaughan
Vivienne Cozensn/kn/k
841002Tuesday 19th NovemberSimon MastersVivienne Cozens12,850,000n/k
851003Thursday 21st NovemberSimon MastersVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
861004Tuesday 26th NovemberSimon MastersVivienne Cozens12,250,000n/k
871005Thursday 28th NovemberSimon MastersVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
881006Tuesday 3rd DecemberMichael RussellGerald Blaken/kn/k
891007Thursday 5th DecemberMichael RussellGerald Blaken/kn/k
901008Tuesday 10th DecemberMichael RussellGerald Blake12,500,000n/k
911009Thursday 12th DecemberMichael RussellGerald Blaken/kn/k
921010Tuesday 17th DecemberMichael RussellGerald Blaken/kn/k
931011Thursday 19th DecemberMichael RussellGerald Blaken/kn/k

Main CastEdit

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Matt SkilbeckFrederick PyneFull year939731
1Amos BrearlyRonald MagillFull year939698
1Annie SugdenSheila MercierFull year939421
1Dolly SkilbeckJean RogersFull year936001
1Jack SugdenClive HornbyFull year935531
1Seth ArmstrongStan RichardsFull year93431 10
1Pat SugdenHelen WeirFull year93410 1
1Jackie MerrickIan SharrockFull year93386 1
1Sandie MerrickJane HutchesonFull year93280 16
10Alan TurnerRichard ThorpFull year91284 1
10Samuel SkilbeckBenjamin WhiteheadFull year91133 14
12Caroline BatesDiana DaviesFull year89152 12
13Henry WilksArthur PentelowFull year87963 9
14Donald HintonHugh ManningFull year57437 12
15Terence TurnerStephen MarchantApril to December5555 N/A
16Bill MiddletonJohnny CaesarJanuary to July and October4765 19
16Sita SharmaMamta KashFrom May4747 N/A
18Archie BrooksTony PittsFebruary to May, July to August, October and December4389 15
19Jock MacDonaldDrew DawsonApril to August3175 17
20Karen MooreAnnie HulleyFebruary to August2448 17
21Tom MerrickJack CarrFebruary to April1161 20
22Kathy BatesMalandra BurrowsFrom November88 N/A
23Joe SugdenFrazer HinesJanuary only6768 21
24Nick BatesCy ChadwickFrom November44 N/A


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Who lives whereEdit

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Awards and NominationsEdit

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Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s
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