Friday, 8 May 2009

Anne W Gibbons - Taking Emmerdale Farm In To The '80s...

This photograph was captioned: Producer Anne Gibbons discusses a point in the script with Henry and Amos. "Henry and Amos" were, of course, in reality, Arthur Pentelow and Ronald Magill.

From The Hotten Courier, YTV Emmerdale Farm promotional material, September, 1980:


By Our Television Correspondent

On completion of her first full year as Producer of 'Emmerdale Farm', Anne Gibbons looks forward to her second with a great deal of enthusiasm and excitement. As she told me...

"Considerable work and effort goes into a twice weekly series like 'Emmerdale Farm'. It's worth pointing out that that for this new season, which begins transmission in September, production started in June, and pre-production work began as far as back as last December. When a draft of the proposed shape of the new series was drawn up, I had meetings with the creator Kevin Laffan, Executive Producer Michael Glynn, Script Editor Michael Russell and the scriptwriters who are to be involved in writing the 44 episodes.

In March, the first writer submitted his proposed storyline for the first six episodes, and the new season was underway and had automatically slipped into gear.

The first production team joined at the beginning of June, as the first six scripts were finalised and broken down into shooting order. Locations were found, sets built, props bought and hired, costumes purchased, and graphics ordered. Schedules, call sheets, camera scripts and detailed instructions poured from the 'Emmerdale' office.

We held casting sessions in both Leeds and London to find the right guest artists to be contracted for new roles.

Suddenly, we were moving faster down the production highway.

Production team number one went 'on the road' in June - just as the second team moved in to prepare for the next six episodes.

We were gathering speed and the revs were up.

The third production team is now underway; and with three teams at various stages of production with a total of 18 episodes, and a further 18 scripts discussed, commissioned and in the pipe-line, we are cruising along in top gear.

An extension to the hours in a day, or even days in the week would be very welcome - overdrive perhaps!"

Bugle Note:

Anne W Gibbons produced Emmerdale Farm from 1979 to 1983, spanning the show's tenth anniversary in October 1982. It was Ms Gibbons' task to take Emmerdale Farm well and truly into the 1980s - and all of us here at The Bugle think she did a grand job!


  1. Anonymous11.5.09

    Bryan Higgins: Have you or would you do an article about the Stuart Doughty era, that was a real turning point in the show and his time on the show was my all-time favourite.

  2. If you write "Doughty" in the "SEARCH BLOG" box at the top of the blog page, and click on it, you will see the material we have on Stuart Doughty, Bryan.

    I'm very interested in your views on Mr Doughty, but I can only write about his tenure in the late 1980s as this blog spans Jan 1980 to Dec 1989.

  3. Anonymous11.5.09

    Bryan Higgins: I would like to see some screencaps from that Denis Rigg episode I sent you some time ago. It was a great episode with excellent performances by all.

  4. The Denis Rigg 1989 episode you sent is not complete, Bryan. I would like to have written a full review of it, but I'm afraid that's not possible.