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Major hints from Emmerdale’s 40th anniversary which will shape its upcoming birthday

As Emmerdale’s 50th anniversary milestone approaches we’ve taken a step back in time to see what history suggests could happen.

As fans of Emmerdale know, the famous ITV soap will be having a month of major storylines in October to mark the occasion. We already know some major characters will be returning to Emmerdale while a mammoth storm will hit the village turning the lives of many of our soap faves upside down.

There will be an hour-long special programme airing on Sunday, October 16. This will mark 50 years, to the day, since Emmerdale first broadcast.

Read more: Emmerdale's Isobel Steele spills the beans on soap's destructive storm for 50th anniversary

So, we know a few things which are happening but there are sure to be lots of surprises along the way. So, to whet the appetite we've taken a step back in time to Emmerdale’s 40th anniversary back in 2012 to see if that offers any hints.

Back then, the action focused around births, marriages and the killing of soap bad boy Carl King - played by Tom Lister. This all featured in a live episode followed by an informal backstage programme hosted by presenter Stephen Mulhern.

The live episode was watched by 8.8m people with it having a 40 per cent audience share. Although, as one of the spoilers we’ve previously reported, we know we aren’t getting a live episode as part of the 50th anniversary.

Emmerdale boss Jane Hudson told us: “No!” when asked about a live episode during a press event for Emmerdale’s 50th anniversary. A relieved Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle, then interjected: “Thank goodness!”

The coronavirus pandemic played a major impact in hampering any brief thoughts of a live episode. Jane said: “There’s a reason the viewers like the lives and that’s because they are looking for something to go wrong - I think. The problem with live episodes is you are really restricted to the stories you can tell.

“We know one of the things our viewers love is the stunts we pull out of the bag. You can’t do those things in a live. Another big factor is Covid. If we suddenly have people test positive the day of the live, for example, we go ‘Jeff is now not available for that big story’ I’m not sure what we’d do. So, no to a live and please let there never be any lives.”

Like in 2012, it is likely we'll see a birth as part of the upcoming celebrations with character Amelia Spencer pregnant. We also expect Faith Dingle's terminal cancer storyline to conclude with fans set to say goodbye to acting star Sally Dexter.

Blasts from the past will return with characters Diane Sugden, Aaron Dingle and Tracy Shankley all expected to return. While, an outlandish rumour which would link the 40th and 50th anniversary of Emmerdale would be Carl King making a comeback... as a ghost.

We've previously reported actor Tom Lister state: “I was actually (previously) asked to go back as a ghost but there was no way I could do it,” he said on Soap From The Box podcast. “Then in the end they got someone who looked like me from the back and then just pulled out a couple of lines from old audio. I was like ‘What are you doing?’.”

The cast of Emmerdale as they celebrate their 50th Anniversary. (Mark Bruce/ITV)

Tom said he’d love to be reunited on-set with his old co-star Nick Miles who still plays Carl’s brother Jimmy King. “Me and Nick were having a bit of a text conversation back and forth,” said Tom.

“I was saying ‘come on mate, there must be room in Emmerdale at the moment for a zombie storyline?’ I could live in your basement and you could bring me the brains of some of the dead villagers out of the cemetery and I could just live there like some kind of weird Frankenstein monster and we could work together again.”

We'll keep you posted on that and any other rumours we come across.

You can visit our Emmerdale homepage to find the latest gossip about the soap and its stars. There you'll also find our Emmerdale features and news about the show's 50th anniversary plans.

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