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  • 1972
  • Drama
  • Soap
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'Emmerdale" has been broadcast on ITV since October 1972. It was known as 'Emmerdale Farm' until 1989. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale is the name of the village in a fictional West Yorkshire setting (it was known as Beckindale until 1994). It started out as a daytime programme and moved to an early evening slot in most ITV regions in 1978. The original premise centred on a farm and the Sugden family who lived on and ran it. As time went on, the show's focus moved to characters in a nearby village. Location shooting originally occurred in the village of Armcliff, Littondale, in the Yorkshire Dales. Since 1998, a purpose-built set on the Harewood estate in Leeds has been used. Viewing figures were modest for many years until a plane crash storyline in 1993 brought the programme into the public eye and it has remained one of the most-watched programmes on British TV ever since. The soap is well known for disasters and dramatic stunts. Dave Glover died in a fire in 1996, Graham Clark threw Rachel Hughes off a cliff in 1999, the church was burnt down by schizophrenic Zoe Tate in 2002, a large storm in 2004 left parts of the village in ruins, and Ashley Thomas accidently ran over Sally Spode in 2010. Since July 2009, six weekly episodes have been broadcast in an early evening slot.

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