With Emmerdale set to celebrate its 50th anniversary later this week, tonight's National Television Awards sprung a surprise birthday greeting on the cast and crew of the soap from none other than King Charles III.
The video message, which was recorded when the Kings was Prince of Wales, before his ascension to the throne, saw His Majesty congratulate the team behind the programme on their half a century, as well as their work around sustainability both on and off screen.
He noted the soap's ability to entertain as well as to inform, and reminisced about the show’s original name, Emmerdale Farm. He also mentioned the Sugden family, the importance of the show’s depiction of rural life, the value of the countryside, and the programme’s fans all over the world, before giving a final "Happy anniversary" message.
The show will air its anniversary episode on Sunday 16th October 2022, exactly 50 years after the long-running soap aired its first ever episode.
The executive producer of the NTAs, Kim Turberville, said: "We were delighted to be able to surprise the Emmerdale team with such an important message. Fifty years of iconic television out of the North is a huge achievement and rightly deserves to be celebrated in the best way possible.
"It is with great thanks to His Royal Highness for delivering this message to pop the icing on their birthday cake ahead of their very special weekend."
The NTAs 2022 ceremony is taking place tonight (Thursday 13th October) at the OVO Wembley Arena in London. The event is being hosted by Joel Dommett and is being broadcast live on ITV and ITV Hub since 8pm.
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You can follow along with all the developments from tonight on our NTAs live blog.
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