Stars' excitement as ITV's Emmerdale changes time slots for first time since 1970s

The soap will move slots for the first time in decades next week Credit: ITV

Emmerdale stars are hoping a new time slot will give loyal viewers more time to get settled down to watch the iconic Yorkshire soap.

From Monday, 7 March, the programme, which is in its 50th year, is moving half an hour later to a new primetime slot in the ITV weekday schedule of 7.30pm.

It comes as ITV News launches a new hour-long programme – featuring the latest national and international stories – from 6.30-7.30pm Monday to Friday.

Ash Palmisciano, who plays Matty Barton, said: "Judging from my mum – she's chuffed to bits because it's going to give her time to get time to get home, get the dinner cooked, ready in time to watch at 7.30.

"Since the 70s it's been seven o'clock so it's a huge change but it's going to be a good one. I think it's going to give people more time to sit down and watch it."

And with the new time, will come a new look for one of Emmerdale's most iconic locations, The Wool Pack.

Filming is already underway on the new set.

Paige Sandhu who plays Meena in Emmerdale Credit: ITV

Tony Audenshaw, who plays Bob Hope, said: " It is exciting. It looks brilliant in there. We've really enjoyed filming in there, we've got some great stories and it's wonderful to be back in the pub."

This October marks the 50th anniversary of Emmerdale and plans are already underway to mark the occasion.

In 2012 a special hour-long live episode of the soap was broadcast to mark forty years since the first episode in 1972.

Tony said: "Fifty years is a massive anniversary. The fortieth, when we did the live episode, obviously that was a very special thing to be involved with. And fifty years, it is quite something isn't it? I don't know what their plans are yet."

Ash said: "It's all getting exciting, I do know there's lots of exciting stuff happening for the big 50. It's going to be great and it's really special to be part of such an iconic TV show."