For the first time in British television history, the country’s soaps and continuing dramas have joined forces to highlight the issue of climate change and environmental issues.
Casualty, Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Holby City and Hollyoaks have each filmed scenes, or have references, to cover different aspects of climate change and, in a soap first, five of the soaps will also be referencing each other as each drama will also give a nod to another. Viewers will see some of Britain’s best loved characters pop up in another soap as they discuss, or see the moments, that have been debated in another show in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.
The landmark event will see a Hollyoaks character pop up in Walford while villagers of the Chester soap will learn about events at Holby City. A social media video featuring two of Emmerdale’s residents will be shown to Coronation Street characters, whilst one of BBC One’s Doctors will appear on the cobbles of Coronation Street. Casualty will also be discussed in The Woolpack, and a social media clip from Weatherfield will be chatted about in The Queen Vic, as the soaps all come together for a special week.
The drama begins on Monday 1 November, the same week as World Leaders meet to discuss the climate crisis at the COP26 conference.
Following many months of planning and meetings between the respective soaps and continuing drama editorial teams, the scriptwriters on each of the productions each took on the task to feature the other soaps storylines.
Emmerdale’s Executive Producer, Jane Hudson, originally conceived the idea for this unique initiative and has been co-ordinating with her fellow executives.
Jane, on behalf of Emmerdale and ITV Studios, says: “Never before have all five soaps and both continuing dramas come together and united in telling one story. And we certainly haven’t seen characters pop up in other shows before. This is a real treat for our audience, whilst also allowing us to get across a very important message.”
Kate Oates, Head of Continuing Drama, BBC Studios adds: “I’m thrilled that our soaps and serial dramas have all come together to help highlight the issue of climate change amongst our millions of viewers. We’re grateful to the teams that made this happen, and hugely look forward to seeing the talent from our own shows popping up in other iconic programmes.”
Lucy Allan, Executive Producer, Hollyoaks said: “We know how important climate change and environmental issues are to our youthful audience, and to all soap viewers. It has been great to work together on an engaging way to, hopefully, inspire conversations about issues that are so important.”