Tuesday, 18 March 2008

1980: Dolly Mixture

I found this newspaper article tucked away inside an old Emmerdale Farm magazine. I don't know which newspaper it originally came from, but there is a date written on the article - March 18, 1980:

Dolly Mixture

By Jim Greenfield

It will be a case of Hello Dolly and Goodbye Dolly for fans of TV's "Emmerdale Farm" when one of its leading characters returns "from convalescence" next month.

For Katharine Barker, known to millions for the last three years as Dolly Skilbeck, will be replaced by amazing lookalike actress Jean Rogers.

The "twin" substitute is a remarkable piece of casting by Yorkshire TV which exploits an uncanny similarity between the actresses.

"Katharine's contract came to an end and she let us know well in advance that she did not want to continue in 'Emmerdale'," said a spokesman.

"We have been extraordinarily fortunate in finding an actress who can take over the role of Dolly so advantageously."

Katharine is leaving to spend more time with her husband and teenage son. The serial imposes considerable demands on Southern-based actors and they spend at least four days a week in Leeds during the production season.

The plot had Dolly expecting a baby, developing complications and going into hospital. Viewers feared the worst, but her life was not in peril.

Her TV husband, Matt, has already lost one wife, Peggy, and had his twin children killed in an accident.

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