Live episode for Emmerdale’s 40th anniversary?

Emmerdale looks set to follow in the footsteps of Coronation Street and EastEnders by broadcasting a live episode.

The rural soap – which started life as Emmerdale Farm – celebrates its 40th anniversary next year, and its bosses hope to emulate the success of EastEnders’ 25th birthday show, which had 20 million viewers, and Coronation Street’s 50th, which was watched by 15 million people.

Emmerdale, known for turbulent families like the Dingles and the Sugdens, has even hired Coronation Street director Tony Prescott to work on the episode.

He told The Sun: “I would love to do more live drama on TV.

“Television as an event is the future. Look at shows like The X Factor – all the biggest grossing shows now are live.”

Those in charge at the programme are keeping quiet about possible plots. A source said: “No storylines have been decided yet.

“Bosses want a big surprise and a big disaster. Corrie pushed the limits with their live stunts last year.”

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