Soaps to make UK TV history with first crossover episodes to highlight climate change

In a TV first, the UK’s biggest soaps and continuing dramas are set to feature crossover storylines to highlight the issue of climate change.

Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks are joining forces for the first time, along with Doctors, Casualty, and Holby City, to take part in the landmark media event.

TV bosses say they are excited to bring the drama to millions of viewers to highlight the “issues that are so important” in the same week that world leaders meet to discuss climate change at the COP26 conference.

All seven shows taking part have filmed scenes or will have references to climate change, and fans will see some characters making cameo appearances in rival programmes. There will also be “nods” and references to other shows.

Producers say it has taken many months of meetings and planning to bring the storylines together.

Emmerdale’s executive producer Jane Hudson, who came up with the idea, said: “Never before have all five soaps and both continuing dramas come together and united in telling one story. And we certainly haven’t seen characters pop up in other shows before.

“This is a real treat for our audience, whilst also allowing us to get across a very important message.”

More on Coronation Street

Kate Oates, head of continuing drama for BBC Studios, added: “I’m thrilled that our soaps and serial dramas have all come together to help highlight the issue of climate change amongst our millions of viewers.

“We’re grateful to the teams that made this happen, and hugely look forward to seeing the talent from our own shows popping up in other iconic programmes.”

What will you see in your favourite soaps?

Details on which characters will be taking part and how the issue of climate change is being weaved into the storylines have yet to be revealed, but here’s what we know so far is happening in each programme:

• EastEnders is set to welcome a Hollyoaks character and will also show punters at the Queen Vic chatting about a social media clip from Coronation Street.

• Villagers in Hollyoaks will hear about events happening in Holby City.

• Coronation Street characters will view a social media video by two of Emmerdale’s residents, and a Doctors character will also appear on the famous Weatherfield cobbles.

• In Emmerdale, familiar faces at The Woolpack will discuss something happening in Casualty.

Hollyoaks executive producer Lucy Allan said the issue of climate change is important to the show’s younger audience.

“It has been great to work together on an engaging way to, hopefully, inspire conversations about issues that are so important,” she said.

Further details about the storylines will follow, producers said.

The drama begins on Monday 1 November.

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