1987 was Emmerdale's 16th year. Storylines included the villagers protests against a proposed nuclear dump, Joe Sugden's ill-fated love affair with Ruth Pennington, the return of Marian Wilks with new husband Paolo, Eric Pollard's hate campaign against Sandie Merrick and the collapse of NY Estates. 100 episodes were broadcast this year.


1987 cast

The Sugden family in 1987.

Michael Russell continued as producer for the show.

The year was mainly dominated by the nuclear dump story. Such bold political ground was new for Emmerdale Farm and some quarters of the press criticised the show as being politically biased for airing an anti-nuclear storyline in an election year. Elsewhere, some viewers worried the programme was changing to become more 'topical' and wrote in with their concerns to the production team. The show also began to slowly edge away from storylines revolving around Emmerdale Farm and the Sugdens as more focus was placed on the village of Beckindale and the likes of Home Farm and Hotten Cattle Market.

The only changes in cast this year were the arrival of Julia Chambers as Joe Sugden's new love interest, Ruth Pennington and the brief return of Marian Wilks (now 'Rosetti') with a new actress portraying her - Debbi Blyth.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
11112Tuesday 6th JanuarySteve TraffordDavid Croziern/kn/k
21113Thursday 8th JanuarySteve TraffordDavid Croziern/kn/k
31114Tuesday 13th JanuarySteve TraffordDavid Croziern/kn/k
41115Thursday 15th JanuarySteve TraffordDavid Croziern/kn/k
51116Tuesday 20th JanuarySteve TraffordDavid Croziern/kn/k
61117Thursday 22nd JanuarySteve TraffordDavid Croziern/kn/k
71118Tuesday 27th JanuaryKen BlakesonFiona Cummingn/kn/k
81119Thursday 29th JanuaryKen BlakesonFiona Cummingn/kn/k
91120Tuesday 3rd FebruaryKen BlakesonFiona Cummingn/kn/k
101121Thursday 5th FebruaryKen BlakesonFiona Cummingn/kn/k
111122Tuesday 10th FebruaryKen BlakesonFiona Cummingn/kn/k
121123Thursday 12th FebruaryKen BlakesonFiona Cummingn/kn/k
131124Tuesday 17th FebruaryCharles HodgesAlister Hallumn/kn/k
141125Thursday 19th FebruaryCharles HodgesAlister Hallumn/kn/k
151126Tuesday 24th FebruaryCharles HodgesAlister Hallumn/kn/k
161127Thursday 26th FebruaryCharles HodgesAlister Hallumn/kn/k
171128Tuesday 3rd MarchCharles HodgesAlister Hallumn/kn/k
181129Thursday 5th MarchCharles HodgesAlister Hallumn/kn/k
191130Tuesday 10th MarchJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
201131Thursday 12th MarchJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
211132Tuesday 17th MarchJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
221133Thursday 19th MarchJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
231134Tuesday 24th MarchJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
241135Thursday 26th MarchJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
251136Tuesday 31st MarchJackie NeweyVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
261137Thursday 2nd AprilJackie NeweyVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
271138Tuesday 7th AprilJackie NeweyVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
281139Thursday 9th AprilJackie NeweyVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
291140Tuesday 14th AprilJackie NeweyVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
301141Thursday 16th AprilTim VaughanVivienne Cozensn/kn/k
311142Tuesday 21st AprilTim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
321143Thursday 23rd AprilTim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
331144Tuesday 28th AprilTim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
341145Thursday 30th AprilTim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
351146Tuesday 5th MayTim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
361147Thursday 7th MayTim VaughanMervyn Cummingn/kn/k
371148Tuesday 12th MaySimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
381149Thursday 14th MaySimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
391150Tuesday 19th MaySimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
401151Thursday 21st MaySimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
411152Tuesday 26th MaySimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
421153Thursday 28th MaySimon MastersWilliam Slatern/kn/k
431154Tuesday 2nd JuneMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
441155Thursday 4th JuneMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
451156Tuesday 9th JuneMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
461157Thursday 11th JuneMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
471158Tuesday 16th JuneMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
481159Thursday 18th JuneMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
491160Tuesday 23rd JuneAndrew HoldenDarrol Blaken/kn/k
501161Thursday 25th JuneAndrew HoldenDarrol Blaken/kn/k
511162Tuesday 30th JuneAndrew HoldenDarrol Blaken/kn/k
521163Thursday 2nd JulyAndrew HoldenDarrol Blaken/kn/k
531164Tuesday 7th JulyJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
541165Thursday 9th JulyJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
551166Tuesday 14th JulyJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
561167Thursday 16th JulyJames RobsonDarrol Blaken/kn/k
571168Tuesday 21st JulyKen BlakesonDavid Croziern/kn/k
581169Thursday 23rd JulyKen BlakesonDavid Croziern/kn/k
591170Tuesday 28th JulyKen BlakesonDavid Croziern/kn/k
601171Thursday 30th JulyKen BlakesonDavid Croziern/kn/k
611172Tuesday 4th AugustKen BlakesonDavid Croziern/kn/k
621173Thursday 6th AugustKen BlakesonDavid Croziern/kn/k
631174Tuesday 11th AugustSteve TraffordAlister Hallumn/kn/k
641175Thursday 13th AugustSteve TraffordAlister Hallumn/kn/k
651176Tuesday 18th AugustSteve TraffordAlister Hallumn/kn/k
661177Thursday 20th AugustSteve TraffordAlister Hallumn/kn/k
671178Tuesday 25th AugustSteve TraffordAlister Hallumn/kn/k
681179Thursday 27th AugustSteve TraffordAlister Hallumn/kn/k
691180Tuesday 1st SeptemberCharles HodgesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
701181Thursday 3rd SeptemberCharles HodgesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
711182Tuesday 8th SeptemberCharles HodgesSimon Somersn/kn/k
721183Thursday 10th SeptemberCharles HodgesSimon Somersn/kn/k
731184Tuesday 15th SeptemberCharles HodgesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
741185Thursday 17th SeptemberCharles HodgesRichard Handfordn/kn/k
751186Tuesday 22nd SeptemberPeter DillonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
761187Thursday 24th SeptemberPeter DillonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
771188Tuesday 29th SeptemberPeter DillonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
781189Thursday 1st OctoberPeter DillonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
791190Tuesday 6th OctoberPeter DillonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
801191Thursday 8th OctoberPeter DillonWilliam Slatern/kn/k
811192Tuesday 13th OctoberChris BarlasAlister Hallumn/kn/k
821193Thursday 15th OctoberChris BarlasAlister Hallumn/kn/k
831194Tuesday 20th OctoberChris BarlasAlister Hallumn/kn/k
841195Thursday 22nd OctoberChris BarlasAlister Hallumn/kn/k
851196Tuesday 27th OctoberChris BarlasAlister Hallumn/kn/k
861197Thursday 29th OctoberChris BarlasAlister Hallumn/kn/k
871198Tuesday 3rd NovemberSimon MastersDavid Croziern/kn/k
881199Thursday 5th NovemberSimon MastersDavid Croziern/kn/k
891200Tuesday 10th NovemberSimon MastersDavid Croziern/kn/k
901201Thursday 12th NovemberSimon MastersDavid Croziern/kn/k
911202Tuesday 17th NovemberSimon MastersDavid Croziern/kn/k
921203Thursday 19th NovemberSimon MastersDavid Croziern/kn/k
931204Tuesday 24th NovemberMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
941205Thursday 26th NovemberMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
951206Tuesday 1st DecemberMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
961207Thursday 3rd DecemberMichael RussellBob Hirdn/kn/k
971208Tuesday 8th DecemberJames RobsonBob Hirdn/kn/k
981209Thursday 10th DecemberJames RobsonBob Hirdn/kn/k
991210Tuesday 15th DecemberJames RobsonRichard Holthousen/kn/k
1001211Thursday 17th DecemberJames RobsonRichard Holthousen/kn/k

Main CastEdit

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Dolly SkilbeckJean RogersFull year987981
2Jack SugdenClive HornbyFull year977486
3Matt SkilbeckFrederick PyneFull year9611686
3Joe SugdenFrazer HinesFull year9693814
3Alan TurnerRichard ThorpFull year964796
6Caroline BatesDiana DaviesFull year953466
7Jackie MerrickIan SharrockFull year925771
8Amos BrearlyRonald MagillFull year9111601
8Henry WilksArthur PentelowFull year9111541
8Seth ArmstrongStan RichardsFull year916216
11Sandie MerrickJane HutchesonFull year9046711
11Kathy BatesMalandra BurrowsFull year9019012
13Annie SugdenSheila MercierFull year except August8411261
14Archie BrooksTony PittsFull year8318623
15Phil PearcePeter AlexanderFull year7812118
16Nick BatesCy ChadwickFull year7010220
17Samuel SkilbeckBenjamin WhiteheadFull year except September6328313
18Robert SugdenRichard SmithFrom March5671 -
19Jock MacDonaldDrew DawsonFull year except October5416719
20Ruth PenningtonJulia ChambersFrom June4949 -
21Eric PollardChristopher ChittellJanuary, March to April, June to July, October onwards496622
22Donald HintonHugh ManningMarch to August and from November45537 16
23Bill MiddletonJohnny CaesarJanuary, March to April, June to September and from November40127 21
24Marian RosettiDebbi BlytheJune and July only1151 -




  • Graham Lodsworth is sent back to the army.
  • Jackie Merrick falls down a mine shaft. He is rescued and is not badly hurt.


  • The whole of Beckindale has a new battle on its hands. The villagers face an uncertain future as the government plan to build a nuclear dump on Pencross Fell.


  • Eric Pollard's misdemeanours are uncovered and he is sacked as auctioneer from Hotten Cattle Market. He blames Sandie Merrick for getting him sacked and starts a hat campaign against her.
  • The villagers arrange meetings to discuss the nuclear dump proposals. They will not give up without a fight. A councillor, Mr. Bailey visits the village and says the nuclear dump will not affect the village. The villagers argue and put "No Nukes Here" signs all over Bailey's car.
  • Eric holds Sandie hostage at Mill Cottage and threatens her with a poker. He gives her a sob story and she drives him home.






  • Nasty cowman Mr Bracknell terrorises Ruth Pennington, saying she put him out of business. Joe defends her and Bracknell punches him in the face.
  • After 6 months of endless campaigns and riots opposing the proposed nuclear dump, the government in London says that the plans for the dump are being abandoned, and they are pulling out of Beckindale. The whole village celebrates and they all spend the night drinking in The Woolpack. Amos is more worried about the fact that some customers bought their own beer instead of buying it on the pub premises but Henry says they can overlook it for a celebration. Jack and Henry visit the now quiet Pencross Fell.




Who lives whereEdit

to be added

Awards and NominationsEdit

to be added

Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s
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