Emmerdale is the soap that everyone is talking about right now (they should probably thank Meena for that), and we have another hectic year ahead of us as we approach the show’s 50th anniversary in October.
Jane Hudson and Laura Shaw, the show’s producers, recently met with the media to deliver an intriguing preview of what’s to come.
Meena will get her comeuppance
Everyone is wondering if serial killer Meena Jutla would ever be brought to justice for her heinous acts.
While this week’s episodes show Meena’s story reach a dramatic climax as she attempts to murder Manpreet and Vinny, it appears that the saga has a long way to go.
“Judgement Day for Meena is approaching,” Hudson taunted. You’ll have to wait and see if she gets away with murder or not. There are still some surprises in store, some of which you won’t see coming, but I think we can all agree that Meena can do pretty much everything.
“Judgemental Day for Meena won’t play out quite as you expect and it will have a lasting effect on quite a few of our villagers. I think within the next few months Meena will get what’s coming to her.”
The Jamie Tate story will be revisited
Jamie Tate left the program last year, but in a final twist, he rose from the dead after outwitting his cunning mother Kim.
While there is no news on whether Jamie will return, the mystery of his survival will be explored this year.
“Up at Home Farm, we know Jamie Tate is still alive, so clearly that information is still to come out – and what will Kim do once she knows?” Shaw revealed.
“We know Kim is a tough cookie, but we also know Jamie is her Achilles heel, so we should expect major fireworks if she ever discovers how badly he has deceived her.”
Vanessa and Charity could reunite
‘Vanity’ producers aren’t ruling out a reunion now that Vanessa is back in the village.
Vanessa’s homecoming will strain Charity’s budding connection with Mackenzie, and there will be more surprises in store when Ryan learns some surprising news.
“Vanessa is back, and obviously that is going to put the cat among the pigeons for Mack and Charity,” Shaw said. Will Charity and Vanessa reunite in 2022, or will Vanessa go in a different direction? I believe it is time for everyone to pick if they are on Team ‘Vanity’ or Team ‘Mackity.’
“Charity will also be impacted by some terrible news surrounding Ryan, which will result in some intense emotional scenes between mother and son.” This is likely to have an impact on Charity’s connection.”
Jai’s return to the dark side will cause trouble
After the HOP receives a hefty fine for the failed survival adventure challenge, Jai will be left to clean up the pieces.
Next week, Jai resorts to desperate means by submitting a bogus loan application in Laurel’s name, kicking off a story that puts their relationship in jeopardy.
“There will be a difficult road ahead for Jai and Laurel,” Shaw said. Jai’s eagerness to solve his financial problems ramps up, and he’ll go to any length to cover the money he owes for the HOP fine — will his relationship with Laurel be jeopardized?
“We know how Jai can struggle when he’s on the back foot and not winning at life – so will this send him spiralling back to his old ways and will we see a darker Jai emerge from all this?”
Leyla starts to struggle
Leyla has been faithfully supporting Liam on his path of mourning for Leanna for months, but the focus of the tale appears to be shifting now that we’ve entered a new year.
“Leyla has a tremendous storyline coming up in 2022,” Shaw explained. We’ve seen her be a big help to Liam following the death of his daughter Leanna, but is everything as it seems?
“Is Leyla really coping as well as she seems to on the surface, or is there a bit more going on there that we’ll uncover?
It’s a big year for the Dingles
A dramatic year has been planned for the Dingle family, who continue to be at the core of the program, with their trials and tribulations having rippling consequences for the larger community.
“There is a lot going on for the Dingles as we approach into 2022,” Shaw said. Two of our most beloved Dingles are about to face major life-altering events that will have far-reaching consequences for the entire community. The consequences of this will be felt for the rest of 2022 and into 2023.
“We’ll see drama, joy, pleasure, laughing, anguish, suffering, loss, and despair slam this family in the coming months.” They will be tugged in a variety of directions and will be at the center of our most important tales this year.”
The 50th anniversary will be a month-long celebration
Emmerdale turns 50 this year, and the festivities will take place throughout the month of October.
Hudson elaborated: “To commemorate our 50th anniversary, we’ll be having a golden month of celebrations. There will be mind-blowing stunts, heartbreaks, secrets, and falsehoods revealed. It’ll be the gift that keeps on giving, and the celebration that no one wants to end.
“Our 2022 will be spent constructing our narratives for the 50th golden month of celebrations. We need to make 2018 the most successful year we’ve ever had. We’ve already got some exciting things planned, including a wedding in the summer!
“There are some major events that will put couples’ and parents’ strength to the test, so there is a lot on the horizon.
“We’re not sure if we’ll see any familiar faces return. I believe there is a lot coming up – the main focus is to commemorate Emmerdale’s 50th anniversary.
“Our focus at the moment is to really build those stories so when we get to our golden month of celebration, we’ve got secrets that the viewers are desperate to be revealed.
“We’ll do something epic. There will be an epic stunt because we’re well-known for that. But at the heart of it, the best loved characters in our show are really going to be tested in some big emotional stories.
“It’s really key to us that whatever happens in the 50th, the fallout is huge. This will continue and take us into 2023.”
Shaw added: “We’re determined that we’ll keep our audience on their toes for the whole of 2022. Obviously we want October to be epic and it absolutely will be, but we won’t be resting on our laurels until then.
“Some of what we’ve got planned for the first half of this year will undoubtedly go down in Emmerdale history as some of our finest moments.”
Another special episode is on the way
Emmerdale has been more daring in its format experimentation in recent years, and this trend will continue in 2022 with a special episode.
Shaw was ecstatic: “We’re not afraid to venture outside of our comfort zone and deliver stories in a different way. We have a very special episode coming up, and we’re ready to begin filming it right now.
“This episode is going to set off one of our greatest stories for this year, but in a different way.
“It’s something we’ve not done before and it’ll enable the audience to see the story from a whole different perspective to usual. I don’t think I can say much more than that without giving it away.”
Al and Cain’s feud will take centre stage in a special week
Tensions between Al and Cain have been boiling in recent days, laying the stage for a tremendous week of drama later this year.
Shaw stated: “I can also confirm that one of our major special weeks is scheduled for later this year, which will include the conclusion of some of our biggest stories as well as the beginning of others.
“And fingers crossed, COVID permitting, one of our famed antics will be included as well.”
Hudson continued, ” “In our special week, I believe we can tease that Cain and Al’s feud is far from ended. Something will occur that will force the two to reconsider their love.
“So there’s definitely going to be an explosive Cain/Al moment in our special week. I think the audience are really enjoying these two men constantly at war.”
The Woolpack will rise from the ashes
Since the Christmas Day explosion, the Woolpack has been facing an uncertain future, with Chas willing to give up her beloved enterprise. Fortunately, there is yet hope.
“Things might get a little worse for Chas and Paddy before they get better,” Shaw teased. But, from the ashes of Christmas Day, a gleaming new Woolpack will emerge this year, and the battle for possession of it will undoubtedly rage.
“Who’s going to be victoriously holding their keys at the end of it, though? Who’s going to have their name over the door? You’re going to have to watch to find out.”
Three weddings are planned for 2022
Three weddings have been planned for this year, but fans of the serial will have to tune in to find out if all of the couples make it down the aisle successfully.
“We’ve already touched on one wedding that might happen in the summer,” Shaw said.
“Aside from that, we’ve already seen Billy and Dawn become engaged on screen, and I don’t believe I’m giving too much away if I say their wedding is set to take place this year.”
“It falls on Valentine’s Day, the most romantic day of the year, so they won’t have to wait long for their wedding.” Will everything go according to plan, though? Is it going to be a happily-ever-after for these two, or are they in for a disaster? I believe it will most likely be the latter.
“We’ve also got another wedding coming up, a third one. That’s a bit more of an unexpected twist and I think that’s going to shock quite a few of our villagers and ruffle a few feathers.”
A baby will arrive this year
Before the end of the year, one character will hear the patter of small feet, but the show’s creators aren’t revealing any additional information at this time.
Hudson stated, ” “Before the end of the year, a new baby will arrive in Emmerdale.
“Because there are so many female characters on the show, I don’t think that’s giving anything away, but there will be a new arrival before the end of the year.
“There’s probably going to be a birth in the anniversary month perhaps! Babies in soaps are either born on programme celebrations or Christmas so there’s going to be one of those happening.”
Pierce’s son is arriving
Darcy Grey has joined the Emmerdale cast in the role of Marcus Dean, Rhona’s ex-husband Pierce Harris’ son.
Marcus will make his first appearance on screen in February, bringing back horrific memories for Rhona as she is forced to confront her traumatic past with evil for the second time. Pierce.
Hudson clarified: “We have no idea who Marcus is when we first meet him, but we soon learn that he is Pierce’s son. Pierce has written to Rhona, begging her to help him locate his son, whom she was unaware about.
“Pierce hasn’t seen Marcus since he was a child since he was abusive to his mother. Rhona makes the mistake of not telling Marlon about this young man who shows up on her doorstep.
“Vanessa feels irritated by Marcus’ presence. We’ll have to wait and see if Marcus is a relic of the past or the polar opposite of Pierce.
“I’ll add that he’ll be dating one of our locals, so keep an eye on things as a new romance develops.
“There will also be someone else new in Rhona’s life appearing but I’m not telling you that one! Rhona’s going to be having two new characters appearing in her life.”
Moira will face a huge decision
Moira has been less seen on TV since her reunion with Cain, but she’ll be pivotal in a major narrative this year.
“I don’t believe Moira fans should be concerned at all,” Shaw said, “since we have a lot planned for her this year.” She’s going to be the person to lean on for more than one of her family members.
“We’re going to see her face one of the most difficult decisions of her life when she’s asked to keep an enormous secret, and she’ll have a lot of trouble with it.”
“On the other side of the fence, we’re going to see something Moira believed she’d dealt with in the past come back to bother her in a huge way.”
“The ramifications of that are going to affect quite a few people. Again we’re going to see her really tested as to how she deals with that difficult situation.”
There’s more to come from the younger cast
In the last year or two, Emmerdale has been displaying the younger actors more frequently, assisting in the development of the next generation. In 2022, their stories will continue to be a major focus.
Hudson stated, ” “I believe it is critical for the show’s success that we have stories for everyone. What sets soaps apart from other dramas is our audience, which ranges from teenagers to the elderly. We’ve got a lot of people to please.
“Noah, Amelia, Samson, Archie, Cathy, and Sarah will be much more prominent in the stories this year because they deal with issues that impact their generation and we get to see how they deal with them.
“It’s really important that we keep our youngsters coming through because they are our next generation.”
It’s not all doom and gloom
While there’ll be plenty of drama this year, show bosses have also committed to strike the perfect balance with some lighter moments tossed in too.
“Our ability to balance extremely hard-hitting and nasty drama with lighter, more humorous stories is one of the things that makes Emmerdale so great,” Shaw remarked. As we approach the 50th, we’ll be showing a lot of that and reminding our fans why they love our program so much.
“We’ve got some exciting things coming up in the salon, including the addition of a new and unexpected member of staff.”
“We’ve got more from Cain and Liam, who are currently one of my favorite couples on the program. I could sit and watch them all day.
“When you have fantastic comedic actors like Marlon and Paddy, Jimmy, Nicola, and Bernice, you can’t help but laugh, can you?”
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