Of course, for many actors a regular role in a long-running soap is a dream (and for some, given current standards of a lot of the plots, it's also a nightmare), but back in the 1980s it was a funny old life working on Emmerdale Farm or Coronation Street or whatever. Today, much soap drama depends on the out of the ordinary, the bizarre, the downright absurd, but back in the 1980s the majority of soap action centred on people nattering about, and doing, everyday things.
And that must have been exceedingly difficult to convey with a load of technical paraphernalia all around, plus being watched and directed by a load of people the actors had to pretend didn't exist.
Here's Jean Rogers (Dolly Skilbeck since 1980), Sheila Mercier (Annie Sugden since episode one), Toke Townley (Grandad Sam Pearson since episode one) and Frederick Pyne and Frazer Hines (Matt Skilbeck and Joe Sugden - both original cast members) standing around in the rain at a Beckindale event in 1983, with little Sam Skilbeck (born 1982) out of vision, apparently asleep in his pram.
Annie's plastic headscarf (14p from Woolies - a snip!) is such an important style detail in setting the tone.
Just how "everyday" and of their time the cast looks, and the fact that they are conversing in character, apparently oblivious of the onlookers and the sound boom hovering above, is something I find fascinating.
Skill, or what?