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Emmerdale’s International Women’s Day celebration

Emmerdale’s International Women’s Day celebration 


Tonight’s Emmerdale focuses upon female characters in a special episode celebrating International Women’s Day and the talents of women in the television industry.


The episode, which airs on Friday 8 March, has been written, produced, directed and recorded by a female led crew. 


On a daily basis Emmerdale has three crews filming scenes across four episodes. For this special episode a female led team were brought together so they could all work together on this project.


The episode will follow almost all of the Emmerdale female characters as they pursue their own individual stories across the generations.


Speaking about the significant episode Executive Producer, Jane Hudson commented.


“I believe soaps are leading the way with gender equality on set.  This is a great opportunity for Emmerdale to show the female talent we have both in front and behind the camera.”


In addition Producer Kate Brooks, commented:


“Our international women’s day episode is not only a celebration of women in the broadest sense of the word, but also a showcase for the female talent we have in the television industry. We wanted the episode to be character driven and story led, exploring all aspects of what it’s like to be a women in 2019.”


Director, Sarah Kendell, echoed her thoughts:


“I was honoured to direct this episode. Loved the atmosphere/script/team and I really enjoyed undertaking a bespoke episode. There are so many jobs in tv and it was lovely to highlight them and show the sky’s the limit when it come to key roles. We have regular trainees coming up through the Assistant Director ‘AD department’ and many of them once in the show, transfer either into permanent roles or get jobs in different departments.”


Producer Laura Shaw explained:


“I feel incredibly honoured to work alongside such a strong, inspiring and determined team of people at Emmerdale, and making this special episode gave us the opportunity to reflect on how far we've come in the workplace in the last few decades. Some of the people still working on the team today helped pave the way so women like me could pursue the career they wanted and this episode celebrates that and everything we have achieved at Emmerdale.”


First Assistant Director, Val Lawson, said:


“I was really excited to hear we would be producing an “all female” programme.


I started working in television nearly 46 years ago and production jobs for females were extremely limited. Certain departments would not even entertain the idea of women. I felt very honoured to be working with so many talented ladies and appreciated being included on this episode.”


And the actors were delighted with the initiative for the same reasons:


Commented Emma Atkins, who plays Charity Dingle:


“Charity is on a mission in this episode, and although I can’t give anything away about her scenes, they will have a significant impact going forward. I really enjoyed filming these scenes as they were beautifully written and I was honoured to play a role in this episode.  We work with a fabulous team, day in and day out, on Emmerdale so it was interesting they pooled all the female crew and cast into one team.”


Charlotte Bellamy who plays Laurel Thomas concurred:


“We have a fantastic and inclusive team at Emmerdale and this episode hopefully will be a great opportunity for us to showcase some of the positions available behind the scenes to both men and women within the television industry. We have a fantastic cast on the show, but it was lovely to have an episode that concentrated only on the female characters.”


Whilst Natalie J. Robb, who plays Moira Dingle, praised how the episode focuses on what women can achieve with their careers:


“I think it’s a great opportunity to show woman who have an interest in this industry and other industries what the opportunities and roles are.  Showcasing what we can achieve, where in the past it may have been a lot more difficult to access these positions.”


Meanwhile, Lucy Pargeter, who plays Chas Dingle, relished the opportunity to work alongside other female actors:


“The episode essentially deals with female stories across different ages from little April upwards. My character Chas bonds with Laurel over some news she has, they are not two characters who normally make time for each other so it was lovely working with Charlotte.”


Liz Estensen, who plays Diane Sugden, felt similarly:


“In a TV programme such as Emmerdale with a large core cast, many of the characters never meet. Rhona and Diane’s paths, for example, have never really crossed. The episode that broadcasts on the 8 March to celebrate International Women’s Day sees the two characters meet, for the first time I worked with Zoe Henry and what a pleasure that was, it remains my most enduring memory of the episode.”