As a television drama it's beginnings were humble, for it was first shown at lunchtimes and signalled the dawn of daytime television. But Emmerdale has gone on to prove one of Yorkshire Television's great success stories and is now Britain's second longest running drama serial. Richard Whiteley plays tribute to this north country saga, aided by some clips from the archives, and the memories of some of the actors that played a major part in establishing the show's huge popularity. Foremost among them are Sheila Mercier and Frazer Hines, along with fellow cast stalwarts Stan Richards and Malandra Burrows. As Richard also remarks, in the 1990s some of the folksy charm of the rural farming lifestyle has given way to no-holds-barred storylines on often controversial and difficult social issues. New cast members Matthew Vaughan and Nicola Strong contribute their views on the now broader appeal of the drama.

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