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Exclusive: 'Emmerdale' turns 40 - soap stars pay tribute

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Emmerdale is 40 years old today, but for the cast and crew there is little time to celebrate just yet as they plough ahead with the final hours of rehearsal and preparation for Wednesday evening's hour-long live episode.

First broadcast on October 16, 1972, the ITV1 show has transmitted 6,369 episodes to date and established itself as one of the UK's most popular programmes.

New Emmerdale title screen logo

© ITV

Emmerdale

Emmerdale 40th Anniversary logo

© ITV


> 'Emmerdale's 40th anniversary - full coverage

While we usually hear of rivalry between the soaps, cast members from Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Hollyoaks and Neighbours have recently sent Digital Spy some exclusive messages of support for the Emmerdale team as the serial turns 40 and prepares for one of its biggest challenges.

What do other soap stars have to say about Emmerdale's big birthday and live episode? Read on to find out!



Jackie Woodburne as Susan Kennedy
Jackie Woodburne (Susan Kennedy, Neighbours): "Congratulations to all the cast and crew at Emmerdale. 40 years is an amazing milestone and something to be very proud of, and something Neighbours can aspire to reach."

Stefan Dennis (Paul Robinson, Neighbours): "We are mere young bucks in our 28th year compared to you guys! Congratulations on your 40th anniversary and may you all be doing it for another 40."

Tameka Empson (Kim Fox, EastEnders): "Emmerdale actors, take a deep breath in, hold for four seconds, breathe out and just let it flow! If you mess up in the live episode, we won't know - just let it flow. Be strong if you get it wrong, but before you're wrong, just try and get it right! But if you can't, be wrong and strong - that's what I'd say! Good luck!"

Cheryl Brady - played by Bronagh Waugh
Bronagh Waugh (Cheryl Brady, Hollyoaks): "All of the people I know at Emmerdale are so wonderful. I think the beautiful thing about the cast on Emmerdale is that they're very humble and they don't take themselves too seriously. They're very down-to-earth actors, and what's apparent to me is that they're a real team. As they're such a lovely team together, I think that's what will get them through the live episode."

Jorgie Porter (Theresa McQueen, Hollyoaks): "I absolutely love Emmerdale, especially as it got quite sexy! There was a point where everybody got a bit fit, and I love what they do with the farm and countryside setting. All of these crazy things happen to hot people in the country!"

Jessica Fox (Nancy Osborne, Hollyoaks): "Congratulations to the cast and crew for the show's 40th birthday. My advice for the live episode is try not to swear! Everything else will probably be fine!"

Claire Cooper plays Jacqui McQueen
Claire Cooper (Jacqui Ashworth, Hollyoaks): "The best of luck to Emmerdale's cast and crew for their live ep! They're a fantastic cast, who I know will give stunning performances. This is where TV and stage cross roads! Rock it guys, can't wait to see it."

Matthew Chambers (Daniel Granger, Doctors): "What I'd say to the Emmerdale cast is keep on trucking! I think it's amazing that the programme has been going for 40 years - that's quite something. They've got to be doing something right, haven't they?"

Charlie Clemmow (Imogen Hollins, Doctors): "I'm definitely going to see the live episode - I can't wait. I think it's terrifying and the cast are all very, very brave! I know a couple of people in Emmerdale and I don't envy them in the slightest when it comes to the live episode, but I think it's such a brilliant decision. I think it will really show how wonderful they are at their jobs."

Charlie Condou as Marcus Dent in Coronation Street

Charlie Condou as Marcus Dent

Charlie Condou (Marcus Dent, Coronation Street): "I missed the live episode that we did here at Corrie, but I've done a lot of theatre and I know it's terrifying. It's not as simple as turning up for a normal day of work, as live drama is a whole different kettle of fish. I wish them all the luck in the world and I'm glad that I'm not doing it!"

Alan Halsall (Tyrone Dobbs, Coronation Street): "I've done two live episodes now and I absolutely loved them, so my advice to the Emmerdale cast would be to try and enjoy it! It might be ten years before they get to do it again. For me it was a challenge and everyone loves a challenge - that's what we're in the job for. They've got a great crew behind them at Emmerdale and the director Tony Prescott is absolutely amazing - he's done both of our Coronation Street live episodes. They're in safe hands so I hope they enjoy it!"

Craig Charles (Lloyd Mullaney, Coronation Street): "Everyone's going to be watching the live episode - it's a major TV event. I love watching the live episodes, but I've got to be honest, you do watch just to see people mess up! I think the most disappointing thing about the Corrie live episode was that nobody made a mistake - it was so spot on. Good luck to the cast and crew."

Emmett Scanlan as Brendan Brady
Emmett Scanlan (Brendan Brady, Hollyoaks): "Emmerdale need to stand up and take a much deserved bow. I'll be sitting down watching the live episode, and with the cast they've got and the production behind them that have made it one of the country's most loved programmes, you just know they're gonna smash it. Much love and respect to them all."

Nick Pickard (Tony Hutchinson, Hollyoaks): "Happy anniversary to everyone over at Emmerdale and best of luck for your live episode (don't forget your lines!)"

Danielle Henry (Mandy Marquez, Doctors, also played Latisha Daggert on Emmerdale): "Happy 40th birthday Emmerdale! I have many fond memories of my days on the farm. Here's to another 40!"

Nicole Barber-Lane (Myra McQueen, Hollyoaks. In real life married to Emmerdale's Liam Fox, who plays Dan): "Happy 40th, good luck with the live ep - we'll be watching. Do me proud Liam and I've got my eye on Chas - he's already got one wife!"

Emmerdale Live airs on Wednesday (October 17) from 7pm on ITV1. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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