1979 was Emmerdale's 8th year. Storylines included the rape of Wendy Hotson, Joe Sugden's accidental shooting of Phil Fletcher during an argument, the arrival of new estate manager Maurice Westrop, along with his daughter Judy, a depressive alcoholic. 53 episodes were broadcast this year.


1979 cast

1979 cast

The strike at Yorkshire Television came to an end on 3rd January 1979 at 5.45pm. With new episodes of the programme due to air from 16th January, ITV quickly hurried the remaining three episodes leftover from 1978 into the schedule, beginning with Episode 490 that very evening. The remaining two episodes were broadcast the following week.

Early on in the year, it was announced that Anne W. Gibbons would be taking over from Michael Glynn as producer. Anne would be the programme's first female producer. She took over the position in June, but due to the 1979 ITV Strike, her work wasn't seen on screen until January 1980. The last episode to be shown before the strike was Episode 542 which was also the last episode aired before the programme's summer break.

The popularity of the show continued to increase as more and more episodes broke into the AGB ratings charts. This year, 33 episodes out of the 53 broadcast made the top twenty chart.


# Ep.
Date Writer Director Viewing
1490Wednesday 3rd JanuaryMalcolm LynchNick Grayn/kn/k
2491Tuesday 9th JanuaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blaken/kn/k
3492Thursday 11th JanuaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blaken/kn/k
4493Tuesday 16th JanuaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blaken/kn/k
5494Thursday 18th JanuaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blaken/kn/k
6495Tuesday 23rd JanuaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blake14,750,00017
7496Thursday 25th JanuaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blaken/kn/k
8497Tuesday 30th JanuaryKevin LaffanPaddy Russell14,300,00012
9498Thursday 1st FebruaryNeville SiggsDarrol Blaken/kn/k
10499Tuesday 6th FebruaryKevin LaffanPaddy Russelln/kn/k
11500Thursday 8th FebruaryKevin LaffanPaddy Russell14,000,00020
12501Tuesday 13th FebruaryKevin LaffanPaddy Russell14,550,00020
13502Thursday 15th FebruaryKevin LaffanPaddy Russell14,800,00016
14503Tuesday 20th FebruaryDouglas WatkinsonRichard Handford14,550,00012
15504Thursday 22nd FebruaryDouglas WatkinsonRichard Handford14,250,00016
16505Tuesday 27th FebruaryDouglas WatkinsonRichard Handford13,850,00017
17506Thursday 1st MarchDouglas WatkinsonRichard Handford13,800,00018
18507Tuesday 6th MarchDouglas WatkinsonRichard Handfordn/kn/k
19508Thursday 8th MarchDouglas WatkinsonRichard Handfordn/kn/k
20509Tuesday 13th MarchWilliam HumbleMichael E. Briantn/kn/k
21510Thursday 15th MarchWilliam HumbleMichael E. Briantn/kn/k
22511Tuesday 20th MarchWilliam HumbleMichael E. Briant13,850,00019
23512Thursday 22nd MarchWilliam HumbleMichael E. Briantn/kn/k
24513Tuesday 27th MarchWilliam HumbleMichael E. Briantn/kn/k
25514Thursday 29th MarchWilliam HumbleMichael E. Briantn/kn/k
26515Tuesday 3rd AprilKevin LaffanMike Gibbon13,650,00016
27516Thursday 5th AprilKevin LaffanMike Gibbon13,550,00018
28517Tuesday 10th AprilKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
29518Thursday 12th AprilKevin LaffanMike Gibbonn/kn/k
30519Tuesday 17th AprilKevin LaffanMike Gibbon12,550,00018
31520Thursday 19th AprilKevin LaffanMike Gibbon12,900,00014
32521Tuesday 24th AprilChris BarlasPeter Smith12,650,00017
33522Thursday 26th AprilChris BarlasPeter Smith12,750,00015
34523Tuesday 1st MayChris BarlasPeter Smith13,050,00010
35524Thursday 3rd MayChris BarlasPeter Smith12,400,00016
36525Tuesday 8th MayChris BarlasPeter Smith12,500,00018
37526Thursday 10th MayChris BarlasPeter Smith13,150,00013
38527Tuesday 15th MayAndy BakerRichard Handford11,000,00015
39528Thursday 17th MayAndy BakerRichard Handford11,850,0009
40529Tuesday 22nd MayAndy BakerRichard Handford12,450,0008
41530Thursday 24th MayAndy BakerRichard Handford12,250,00010
42531Tuesday 29th MayAndy BakerRichard Handford11,100,00012
43532Thursday 31st MayAndy BakerRichard Handford11,050,00013
44533Tuesday 5th JuneMichael RussellMike Gibbon11,150,00017
45534Thursday 7th JuneMichael RussellMike Gibbon11,750,00013
46535Tuesday 12th JuneNeville SiggsMike Gibbonn/kn/k
47536Thursday 14th JuneNeville SiggsMike Gibbon11,800,00010
48537Tuesday 19th JuneNeville SiggsMike Gibbon9,650,00020
49538Thursday 21st JuneNeville SiggsMike Gibbon10,500,00016
50539Tuesday 26th JuneKevin LaffanRichard Handford10,100,00016
51540Thursday 28th JuneKevin LaffanRichard Handford11,050,00013
52541Tuesday 3rd JulyKevin LaffanRichard Handfordn/kn/k
53542Thursday 5th JulyKevin LaffanRichard Handfordn/kn/k

Main CastEdit

Ranking Character Played by Duration Number of Episodes Running total Previous year's ranking
1Annie SugdenSheila MercierFull year535241
1Amos BrearlyRonald MagillFull year535121
1Henry WilksArthur PentelowFull year535121
4Joe SugdenFrazer HinesFull year525277
5Matt SkilbeckFrederick PyneFull year475131
6Sam PearsonToke TownleyFull year414836
7Dolly SkilbeckKatharine BarkerUntil February, April to July39169 1
8Maurice WestropEdward DentithFrom January3838 -
9Donald HintonHugh ManningUntil February, from April35120 8
10Seth ArmstrongStan RichardsMay only825 9
11Judy WestropJane CussonsFrom June44 -


to be added

Who lives whereEdit

to be added

Awards and NominationsEdit

to be added

Emmerdale Farm in the 1970s