Saturday, 15 November 2008

Sheila Mercier (Annie Sugden) Set For Brief Return To Emmerdale...

1980s memories - left: Matt Skilbeck (Frederick Pyne), Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) and Dolly Skilbeck (Jean Rogers) discuss farming matters. Right: Annie Sugden (Sheila Mercier) and Dolly Skilbeck take time out for a cuppa. Sheila Mercier and Frederick Pyne had been with Emmerdale Farm since the beginning. Jean Rogers and Clive Hornby debuted as Dolly and Jack in 1980.

A good friend of The Beckindale Bugle has been in touch to tell us that Sheila Mercier, who played matriarch Annie Sugden in the show from 1972-1996, is to return to the series for three episodes. She will be filming just before Christmas and the episodes will be screened around February 2009. This is tremendous news. Will any of our other favourites, like Matt and Dolly Skilbeck, be joining her, we wonder?

November 1989 - filming at Lindley Farm, the real life location for Emmerdale Farm from 1972-1993: in this scene, Annie greets Jack on his return from Italy. Mr Wilks (Arthur Pentelow) looks on. This screen capture is from the final episode of Emmerdale Farm. The next episode saw the show becoming simply Emmerdale.

19 comments:

  1. Anonymous15.11.08

    Emmerdale is a shadow of it's former self, February 2009 is of course the date for Jack Sugden's funeral (or so I hear), Annie will now have to bury her eldest child and due to poor writing, Annie has outlived all three of her children.

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  2. Anonymous16.11.08

    It's perfectly possible. I'm just glad Sheila may be returning.

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  3. Anonymous17.11.08

    No way is Emmerdale a shadow of it's former self, it's the same show which began in 1972, only now it's set in 2008. The 80s were very different to the 70s and likewise the 90s different to the 80s and so on... It's called evolution, like life itself.

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  4. Anonymous17.11.08

    "due to poor writing, Annie has outlived all three of her children" - Annie's daughter Peggy was killed off in 1973, Joe was killed off in 1995, both happened a long time ago, and the show is still on air. Please elaborate on how Annie outliving all 3 of her children is due to bad writing?

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  5. Chris P19.11.08

    I hope it's true. But you've goofed. It's Annie Brearly that will return, not Sugden. She hasn't been Annie Sugden since the early 1990's.

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  6. You are absolutely correct, although I used "Annie Sugden" in the post title on purpose as it is the name most people seem to associate with the character.

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  7. Anonymous19.11.08

    Sorry, I obviously chose the wrong words. What I meant was that the decisions the producers, writers etc. made, led to this situation where Annie has outlived all of her children (granted the exception of Jack's death) but in particular, Joe's death which was unnecessary. I know this is a soap opera and these thing happen on occasion, but it is supposed to reflect real life still, which brings me onto the idea of Emmerdale not being a shadow of its former self. Evolution was mentioned, you're right the show has evolved but not in a good way, now there are explosions, house collapses, killings etc. and this is what is bad as well as there being too many characters. Kevin Laffan (Creator of Emmerdale Farm; writer and series consultant) disliked Emmerdale for what it had become "sex, sin and sensationalism" because Emmerdale was based on the idea of families which can take you so far, but sex only takes a short way.

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  8. The comment on Kevin Laffan is interesting, but Mr Laffan was not unhappy about explosions, house collapses, etc. They came later. He argued repeatedly with the producers about graphic scenes depicting sex and violence - including those involving Amos, Wilks and Sam Pearson being held at gun point in 1978, and adultery in a hotel room with Jack and Karen in 1984. He grew increasingly unhappy over a period of some years.

    It was in August 1985, with a murder storyline in the pipeline (Harry Mowlam) that Kevin Laffan finally stopped writing for the show and called it "sex, sin and sensationalism".

    I disagreed. For me, it was late 20th Century life.

    But I still feel that Kevin Laffan was one of the most fascinating writers I've ever known - and certainly no prude. He wrote fascinating scenes based on infidility and hypocrisy (involving NY Estates) in the early 1980s and his knowledge of human nature seemed, in my humble opinion, truly to be admired.

    As for Peggy being killed off, well, Emmerdale Farm was always a soap and the Kevin Laffan era, even early on, was not lacking in death, murder, and intrigue.

    The death of Joe was a silly mistake on the part of the writers in my opinion, but Peggy died when the show was still a fledgling, and the production team were trying to secure audiences. In the manner of all soap operas.

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  9. Squirrel k19.11.08

    I much preferred the days of Annie, Joe, Matt and Dolly. As Kevin Laffan disliked graphic violence, he would be desperately upset by the show now. Although the other soaps are just the same. Sheila's return will be a reminder of a gentler time. And I hope Matt (Frederick Pyne) and Dolly (Jean Rogers) can join her. They were a lovely couple in the 80's.

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  10. Anonymous21.11.08

    I too loved the gentler pace of the show when it was Emmerdale Farm. It was a terrific programme then. I'm looking forward to seeing Sheila on-screen again.

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  11. Whenever anybody criticises modern Emmerdale on-line the same little person crops up to INSIST it's great, wonderful, just what it was like in the '70s/'80s.

    It's like we're not allowed free speech.

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  12. Some people love Emmerdale in all its eras.

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  13. Anonymous21.11.08

    I don't see why people bother criticising the show anyway - it's not like the current producer is going to change or scrap a storyline just to please around 80 people.

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  14. That's true - and if it pleases a few million blood thirsty idiots who thrive on the evils of modern day Emmerdale, that's fine, isn't it?

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  15. Of course, modern day Emmerdale and Emmerdale Farm/early Emmerdale are simply NOT the same programme.

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  16. Thanks for all these interesting comments - but I think we're getting a little off-topic here!

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  17. I heard that an announcement on who will be returning for Jack's eps in Feb will be made on the 1st December...

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  18. Personally, I hope Matt and Dolly will be included. After all, Matt was an original character and Jean Rogers debuted as Dolly in 1980, the same year that Clive first appeared as Jack.

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  19. There used to some great writing on Emmadale Farm was great up until late 90s when it all started to go down for me, Emmadale is now just become like any other soap opara as with Coranation Street & Eastenders the story seems tobe draged on too long the same story every year it seems those who leave the show they're usally killed off these days which is sign that the writers today can't think what else to do plus the show is on five days a week I think soaps should go back to twice a week maybe the standard of writting may improve

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