I’d rather we didn’t clash with EastEnders in the schedules, says Emmerdale boss Kate Oates

"It's not our choice and my preference would be that we not go head to head"

Emmerdale series producer Kate Oates has revealed that she dislikes the scheduling tactic of having her series  clash with BBC1 soap EastEnders.

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“It’s not our choice and my preference would be that we not go head to head,” she admitted. “I like the fact that we don’t normally clash, so that everyone can enjoy ever soap if they want.”

This Thursday sees the last 15 minutes of an hour-long Emmerdale on ITV (start time 6.45pm) run into the 30th anniversary episode of EastEnders (start time 7.30pm) in which the killer of Lucy Beale is set to be finally unmasked.

“I am quite excited about their live week,” Oates said, commenting on the birthday episodes of EastEnders.”It’s going to be a big event and I’m looking forward to it. Although we have got a great episode on the Thursday. It’s Katie’s funeral, Andy’s having a very hard time and Aaron is pushed to the brink. Is he going to confess everything?”

When asked how she feels on the occasions when Emmerdale and EastEnders do overlap, Oates commented: “Whenever we clash, I have a ‘fingers crossed’ moment that we come off all right. And I know that Dominic [EastEnders’s executive producer Dominic Treadwell-Collins] feels the same. Luckily, he’s great and we can be quite jovial about it. There are so many ways to catch up now, but it is still a shame when it happens.”

Oates also joked that it would make for “a fantastic soap crossover” if Emmerdale killer Robert Sugden actually turned out to be the murderer of Lucy Beale.

On the last occasion that an hour-long Emmerdale had a head start on EastEnders (Tuesday 20 January), the ITV soap came out on top in the overnight ratings with 6.14m (28.4 per cent share), compared with 5.56m (24.3 per cent share) for the Walford-set drama. During the half-hour timeslot when the two soaps clashed, Emmerdale had 5.95m and a 26 per cent share.

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