2021 is going to be a year the residents of Emmerdale never forget, that’s for sure.
With the third national lockdown having commenced, fans are no doubt wondering what that means for their favourite serial dramas, but you can be rest assured that Emmerdale isn’t going anywhere.
‘Emmerdale is opening up while everything else is closing down,’ Executive Producer Jane Hudson told Metro.co.uk, ‘We’re here to entertain our fans and viewers, we haven’t locked down our imaginations over the next 12 months.’
‘We returned in May and our strict procedures are safe – we have social distancing and masks. Everyone is glad to be on set so we will continue. It is so crucial that people have something familiar and it’s escapism.
‘Something you can rely to be there. Soaps are invaluable – all of them. We’re all there making sure viewers have that place to escape to for a night. We are shooting, that will continue, touch wood!’
The next 12 months are set to be eventful for the ITV soap, as there will be drama aplenty, with a little bit of death and disaster thrown in the mix – not to mention a huge return.
‘We have a very much loved character coming back to the village,’ Jane revealed, ‘They are fantastic, light up the screen, the actor is shooting already, we are massively excited. That’s coming up very soon!’
‘We have births, wedding, funerals, relationships starting and ending. It’s a massive year – we have loads coming up. We will keep drip feeding across the year. We are still shooting – we stood down in March as they were no safety procedures in place.
‘We have two new characters – Charles and Ethan. They don’t come quietly, they come in with a bang that keeps on exploding – lots coming up, some things they don’t even know about. There’s lots going on.’
Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) relationship with gambler Paul Ashdale (Reece Dinsdale) has been a huge slow-burn Emmerdale story over the past couple of months, and it appears as if it will reach a huge turning point in the coming episodes.
Producer Laura Shaw teased: ‘We’ve made no secret that Mandy/Vinny/Paul will feature heavily and Paul’s appalling behaviour gets worse and worse. He goes to extreme measures.
‘As he becomes better at hiding it, Mandy falls in love more and a proposal follows – a big old Dingle wedding is planned. But will it get them their happily ever after? It’s going in a really big direction, it’s our most ambitious work since Covid hit, it will be epic and rewarding.
‘Ultimately this story will end in tragedy for a character but for who?’
Mandy and Paul won’t be the only couple in the village to experience tragedy either, as Nicola and Jimmy King (Nicola Wheeler and Nick Miles) are left in shock when Carl goes missing.
‘[Jimmy and Nicola] will be watched by someone and Carl goes missing but who has taken him? There are massive betrayals of trust and lives are changed forever. It starts small but it is the biggest test to their marriage.‘
Producer Sophie Roper also teased some interesting developments for Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh), Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter), Jamie Tate (Alexander Lincoln) and Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham).
She said: ‘Tracy and Nate’s due date approaches as we head to the birth. As they adapt to being new parents it will be a real test, pushing them to the limit and Tracy will take the lion’s share.
‘It will also put a spotlight on Nate and Cain. Will they finally bury the hatchet? There’s some really emotional stuff.
‘The pitter patter of tiny feet isn’t just for Tracy – we have another new arrival as Jamie learns that he is going to be a father for a second time after a night with Gabby.
‘As Kim discovers a new heir to the throne, a fight for power will ensue. Gabby will find herself at the centre – will she succumb to the temptations and manipulation at Home Farm?’
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