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New Emmerdale titles

Current Emmerdale title sequence, introduced in 2011

Emmerdale was created by Kevin Laffan and has been produced by Yorkshire Television (now known as ITV Studios) and broadcast by ITV in the United Kingdom since its first episode on 16th October 1972.

Emmerdale has been filmed at their Yorkshire Studios since its inception. It has since been shown in all regions of ITV almost throughout its existence.

It was originally conceived and broadcast as a daytime programme in an afternoon slot, becoming an early evening programme in 1978 in most ITV regions, but excluding London and Anglia, both of which followed in the mid-1980s. Until Christmas 1988, Emmerdale took seasonal breaks; since then it has been broadcast year-round.

This article is about the production history of the programme. The main Emmerdale article gives more general information about the programme.


The basic premise of Emmerdale Farm was very similar to the BBC radio soap opera The Archers – focusing on a family, a farm and characters in a nearby village.

The farmyard filming techniques of Emmerdale Farm were originally modelled on the revolutionary soap-opera The Riordans, made by RTÉ, Ireland's broadcaster, from the mid-1960s to the end of the 1970s. The Riordans broke new ground for soap operas by being filmed largely out of doors (on a farm owned in the storyline by Tom and Mary Riordan) rather than the usual practice of British and American soap operas, of shooting almost completely in studios (where 'outdoor' scenes were sometimes filmed indoors). The Riordans pioneered farmyard location shooting with real farm animals and actors driving tractors. In the 1960s and 1970s, outdoor filming of television programmes using OBUs (Outdoor Broadcast Units) was in its infancy due to the far higher costs involved and the reliance on things like the weather that were out of the control of the programme makers.

The success of The Riordans showed that a soap opera could be filmed largely out of doors. Yorkshire Television sent people to The Riordans set in County Meath, Ireland to see the making of the programme at first hand.


The 1970s kicked off 1972 when the funeral of Jacob Sugden took place. After so many years away from the village writing is own book Jack Sugden, the son of Annie, came back to the farm to find out that his dad had left him the farm in the Will. In the late 70s the farm was run along with Annie, Sam, Joe, Matt and Peggy. Jim killed Sharon after strangling her down at the old mill house but Ian Trash the tramp was put in the frame so when he tried escaping from the police out of one of the mill windows he fell, breaking his back and neck bone and killing himself. Jack planed a funeral for him but only him and Trash's daughter turned up to the serivice. We saw the first Emmerdale wedding when Joe married a con woman for her money so he could buy extra houses to sell on to make money for the farm but when all plans went a head Jackie Merrick went off the lines and burnt down the row of houses so Joe's plan was over. We also saw the first birth in the village when Peggy gave birth to twins to Matt and called them Sally and Samuel.


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