What are the secret ingredients to Emmerdale’s success?

Jane: Without a shadow of a doubt, it is the incredible team who work on Emmerdale. From the cast, crew and everyone involved in the making of the soap, it’s a team effort. We are like a family and everyone works so brilliantly together.

What is your proudest Emmerdale storyline?

Jane: My proudest story is any story that gives a voice to a viewer who has been silenced through guilt, shame, or fear – for example, Vinny suffering domestic abuse from his father, Victoria’s rape, and Laurel’s decision to have a termination after the diagnosis that the baby has Down Syndrome. I was massively proud of that story because there are so many women and men who live in shame, guilt, and fear they can’t speak out over what is fundamentally their right to choose. I am also massively proud of our on-screen diversity. The diversity we have brought has been fantastic and necessary to do.

Kate: I am most proud of stories that raise awareness and help people. We have got access into people’s living rooms. Every story is important whether it is a lighter story that gives people a respite from the daily grind or the hard-hitting story like Marlon’s stroke. Working here makes me feel proud.

Laura: I’ve worked on Emmerdale for 20 years and I am going to struggle to pick out one! I echo everything that has been said. I enjoyed producing Charity’s historical abuse and the flashback episode. You take a character like Charity who you feel you know everything about and then you discover something new. Bernice thinking that Liam was a serial killer was a great story too. Only Emmerdale can do a comedy story like that!

The Dingles won ‘best soap family’ at this year’s soap awards. Why do you think they hold such a special place in viewers’ hearts?

Kate: It’s the history of the Dingle family. There are so many of them! For me, the thing that binds them is they have a sense of loyalty for each other. Even though they might do terrible things, you know they are going to bounce back as a strong family unit. Also, despite all the fighting, you know there is a love there and it is why the Al/Cain story is so great. You feel they will come through whatever is thrown at them.

What will the next 50 years bring?

Jane: We don’t know what we’ve got to look forward to at Emmerdale’s 100th birthday but we know it will be cracking. And it had better still be here! We’ve got mortgages to pay for and children to look after!

What story has attracted the most attention?

Jane: Laurel’s termination received the most reaction. It was very negative before the episode aired, but then very positive once it had aired. People heard we were doing it and slammed us for it without having seen the show. We had some death threats thrown at us too. I remember getting one message saying: ‘you are going to hell and so is your child’. But I will not be scared from telling stories. If one person stops having suicidal thoughts, then we have helped them.

Laura: After the episode aired, someone sent me a private message on Instagram and said ‘this happened to me 12 years ago, I have never told anyone and then I walked into my work to find everyone talking about Emmerdale. I admitted for the first time that I had also had a termination’. It gave me goosebumps.

Kate: The Meena story garnered so much reaction. It brought so much love and hate. Regardless of whether you liked Meena or not, you still watched it. Emmerdale is a form of escapism.

Jane: Who Killed Graham? was another story that attracted a lot of attention. We didn’t even know who killed him for quite a while!

Is there a taboo issue you would still like to cover?

Jane: We haven’t covered incest, but we are not doing it. A race story will be told very differently now. It’s important to tell the contemporary version of a story.

Kate: Soaps have covered a lot of different issues and genres and our job is to explore stories in different ways. We want to make stories relevant to now.

Emmerdale turns 50 on Sunday October 16.