EMMERDALE will celebrate Pride at the end of this month.
In the episode, viewers will see the village church and LGBTQ+ communities join forces for a day of celebration.
The former Rydal Penrhos pupil said: “I’m an all round soap fan, Emmerdale, Corrie the lot. I don’t get the time to watch the soaps as much as I used to but I’m definitely a fan and I’ve got some very jealous friends due to the fact I am here today.
“Mandy Dingle is my favourite soap character; she is just an absolute style icon. I want to be Mandy Dingle when I’m older.”
“It’s not only an honour to be here it’s amazing to be making history by being in Emmerdale’s first Pride event making sure the LGBTQ+ community have a voice in soaps.
“There are already LGBTQ+ characters in soaps but bringing Pride into the people’s living rooms that may not normally attend one is brilliant.”
Speaking about Emmerdale’s first Pride, Emile John, who plays Ethan Anderson, said: “It was a true privilege to be involved in Emmerdale’s first Pride, an event that celebrates the love and unity between all people, irrespective of what it may look like. This episode will land directly in the hearts and minds of Emmerdale’s viewers and it’s a true honour knowing that I played a part in reinforcing and recognising that, which universally binds us. The desire to love and be loved unconditionally.”
“Soaps have a huge responsibility in reflecting our culture, societal norms and attitudes back to us on a mass scale. Of course not everything you see in soap should be taken literally but I’d argue that characters In soap closely parallel ordinary working people’s lives like no other.
“If there are opportunities in which we can raise social justice issues in order to positively progress our communities I not only think it’s important for us to do so, but as creators I believe it’s our duty.”
Anna Nightingale, who plays Andrea Tate, said: “I was absolutely thrilled to be involved in Emmerdale’s first ever Pride episode. After such a time of restrictions and change in both real life and being on-set it was a breath of fresh air. When I got the script I was so excited to see Andrea was involved. “
“When we arrived on set that day, to see the incredible work the art department had done was quite emotional. The cast and crew have done an amazing job this last year of pulling together and doing the best job anyone could within the restrictions we’ve all faced. To see the colours and celebration of life was a beautiful thing. Carefully selected supporting artists were brought in, there was a buzz and it was just fabulous to be around people again.”
Kevin Mathurin, who play’s Ethan’s father and vicar Charles Anderson, said on the day of the shoot, the village hall looked “unrecognisable”.
He added: ” Everyone was vibing, fancy costumes, a bit of ‘twerking’ and of course The Vivienne who was so lovely to meet.
“It’s important to be inclusive. A huge thumbs up to the writers for taking the risks on darker plots and controversial storylines, so why not lighten the mood and include a day as wonderful as Pride? All people should be celebrated. And as a fictional village we represent everyone. That’s living in the now.
“There is a great message throughout this episode. It shows how much the whole Emmerdale team supports moving with the times. I’m grateful to be a part of it.”
Ash Palmisciano, who plays Matty Barton, commented that he hopes “we continue to see more positive inclusion on television.”
“It’s amazing and extremely powerful seeing all walks of life celebrate pride not just the LGBTQ+ characters,” he said.
“Also it’s really exciting that as the world improves after COVID we will be able to film bigger scenes and celebrations with more characters like we did with Pride. It’s a fantastic episode. I can’t wait for our audience to see it.”
And as part of the celebrations, The Vivienne will also be taking over the Emmerdale Instagram account.
Airs on Wednesday, June 30 at 7pm on ITV.