Sunday, 6 September 2009

Poll: Favourite '80s Introduction...

Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) arrived in 1982... poor Joe (Frazer Hines)!

We all know that soaps evolve, as do their characters. As I've written before, my favourite Emmerdale Farm era for Amos Brearly was the 1980s when the character became gloriously mad. This is the era that contains the Amos many of us fondly remember. Not that he wasn't great before, he most certainly was, but in the '80s... well, he became pure Amos perfection.

As well as established characters evolving as soaps move on, new characters are introduced, and old ones sometimes recast. The interpretation of an established character by a new actor is often very different from the original.

Sometimes non-permanent characters, who flit in and out of episodes, join the permanent line-up.

So, who was your favourite Emmerdale Farm character that was introduced, joined the full-time cast or was recast in the 1980s?

Was it Clive Hornby, stepping into Jack Sugden's shoes? Al Dixon taking on the tradition of a Walter at The Woolpack and creating something highly quirky and memorable? Stan Richards as Seth Armstrong joining the full-time regular cast in the summer of 1980? Richard Thorp as Alan Turner arriving at Home Farm in 1982? Diana Davies as Mrs Bates saving his bacon in 1984? Chris Chittell as Eric Pollard slithering into Hotten Market in 1986? Or that lovely new family, the Tates, heralding a new era in 1989?

Or maybe it was Jean Rogers becoming Dolly Skilbeck in 1980, or one of the Merrick family that "floated your boat"?

Or maybe somebody completely different.

So, take a look at our new poll, and let us know your thoughts!


  1. ORIN6.9.09

    Sally Knyvette. She was beautiful in Blake's Seven, and beautiful in Beckindale.

  2. Pumpkin Slim8.9.09

    I've gone for Peter Schofield, who debuted as Ernie Shuttleworth in 1984. He's an unsung hero, Andy, like your old favourite, Walter. Peter Schofield was a clever actor who worked remarkably well with Ronald Magill. I was convinced that their rivalry went back years, even though Mr Schofield had only just arrived!

  3. Anonymous8.9.09

    I love Emmerdale in all it's eras, but obviously the key introduction towards the end of the 80s has to be the Tates at Home Farm, and the rest is history.

  4. Anonymous8.9.09

    Obviously Stan Richards joining the permanent cast in 1980 and Eric Pollard arriving in 1986 are key moments.

  5. The key introduction of the 1980s was Clive Hornby debuting as Jack Sugden. Initially on a three month contract - LOL!!!

  6. Anonymous8.9.09

    Slightly off topic, but a key introduction was in 1985 - the show becoming an all-year-round fixture for the first time!

  7. Yes, and 1988 - the show being networked on the same day and at the same time for the very first time and being shown throughout the festive season!

  8. Anonymous8.9.09

    Was there one on Christmas Day?

  9. Christmas Day 1988 was on a Sunday - so it's unlikely!

  10. Down With England10.9.09

    I've voted for Jock MacDonald played by Drew Dawson. It was so good to have a Scot in the show. You English were highly honoured!

  11. I voted for Seth Armstrong, coz if he hadn't been made a permanent full timer in 1980 it would of been a tragedy for the program.

  12. Anonymous18.9.09

    I'm torn between Nick Bates and Archie Brooks.

  13. Anonymous22.9.09

    Kathy Bates (and numerous other names since) introduced in 1985 and stayed for 17 years.

  14. Anonymous30.9.09

    Hi Andy, Just to let you I have a facebook group dedicated to the character of Alan Turner and was wondering if it would be OK to post a link on it directly to Alan articles on your blog?

    Bryan Higgins

  15. Please feel free, Bryan.