Dales boss aims for another huge year

Published Tuesday, 21 January 2014
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Emmerdale producer Kate Oates has told This Morning she is expecting another huge year for the soap, following a 'high paced' 2013.

Dales boss aims for another huge year
Emmerdale producer Kate Oates. (© Ken McKay)

Kate took over from Corrie's current series producer Stuart Blackburn last year and said her team have definitely hit "a few high points" in recent months.

With Cameron's siege, Gennie's death, the fire at Home Farm and Amy's dramatic exit, there hasn't been a quiet moment in the village and Kate said they don't plan to slow down at any point.

She told Phillip and Holly: "The pacing of the stories is something that is paramount when you are doing this kind of job but there is obviously a huge team there.

"When I took over last year I wanted to make sure the stories were paced and there were those big 'talked about' moments, so hopefully we have hit a few high points last year.

"I was really fortunate because I had been the story editor with Emmerdale when (Coronation Street producer) Stuart Blackburn was running things, so I knew the show really, really well.

"I already knew some of the stories that were in the mix, I knew the characters really well and I knew how I wanted to take things."

I just want 2014 to be huge for us, I want to keep those paced stories, and I want to keep all those characters that everybody loves right at the forefront.

Kate Oates, Emmerdale producer

Kate gave a few hints as to what viewers can expect in the upcoming months, including the return of some old faces.

"Leyla has already come back and we have Donna (Windsor) coming back so she will be ruffling Marlon's feathers.

"And there might be another face or two later in the year."

But one storyline that is set to be huge for the soap focuses on HIV, after Val Pollard was recently visited by a man she had a one night stand with in Portugal while she was "on a break" from husband Eric.

Kate explained: "It's one I'm really proud of, because it's about HIV...in a straight, middle-aged, white, married woman which is not a story any soaps have tackled yet.

"For a lot of soap fans, the last time they came across HIV in a big soap was in EastEnders with Mark Fowler and that was very much of it time.

"But things have changed so dramatically and I suppose I just wanted to tell a story that informed people properly and made people realise that actually their preconceptions of what HIV is today really, probably, aren't right.

"I think what is interesting is that Val shares the stigmas that I want to bust through really, she's a woman of a certain generation.

"She buries her head in the sand and she is not talking to the man who really loves her, Eric, about how they might get through this."

Emmerdale airs on UTV weekdays from 7pm.

© UTV News
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