I’ve been to hundreds of press launches during my career as a journalist, but have never seen anything quite like it. A sofa full of hardened hacks, reduced to blubbering heaps dabbing their eyes with serviettes, faux fur throws…anything they could lay their hands on.
For a moment, it felt like a bereavement counselling support group, but the person we were mourning, wasn’t real. He/she is one of the Emmerdale characters who cops it during what they are dubbing ‘Super Soap Week.’ It’s next week, and I would urge you to cancel all plans and watch the drama as it unfolds – not on catch-up as you’re bound to read spoilers somewhere or other.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about Emmerdale’s success. They’ve won a clutch of awards and are no longer the ‘underdog.’ In my eyes, they never were. The show has always been good, it’s just taken this long for people to catch on.
What can I tell you about super soap week? Well not a lot – it’s more than my job’s worth. I can reveal that there is a stunt or two, it looks incredible as it’s been shot on the sort of big, expensive cameras they use on films (that’s about as technical as I get) and Emma Barton wanders around in a wedding dress that screams 1980s and is so puffy, I swear I heard it rustle.
Also, one of your favourite characters will DIE.
You can read a bit about what went on behind the scenes in this week’s TVTimes magazine as I was lucky enough to be invited along to Longcross studios in Surrey where some of the action was shot.
There, I sampled some of the best location catering I have ever tasted and witnessed stunts that are the stuff of nightmares. There were some expert stunt men and women on set who appeared unfazed by everything they were asked to do. As for me, my heart was still racing a day later.
So, clear the diary, stock up on snacks and tissues, and make sure you opt for waterproof mascara. And do check in with me after the episodes have aired and I’ll tell you a bit about how they did it.