Coronation Street,  EastEnders,  Emmerdale

12 soap opera facts that you might not know


Here are some soapy facts that you may not be aware of.

  1. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, a soap opera is “a series of television or radio programmes about the lives and problems of a particular group of characters. The series continues over a long period and is broadcast (several times) every week.”
  2. The Archers, which first broadcast on Radio 4 in 1950, is the world’s longest running soap opera.
  3. Ian Beale is EastEnders longest-serving cast member.
  4. Soap manufacturers used to sponsor US radio dramas in the 1930’s. That’s where the term ‘soap opera’ comes from.
  5. Emmerdale is the UK’s second-longest running television soap. It first aired on 16 October, 1972.
  6. EastEnders creators Julia Smith and Tony Holland were both born in East London. They decided to merge the names of their hometowns of Walthamstow and Stratford to create place name Walford.
  7. Ken Barlow has lived on Coronation Street for longer than any other character.
  8. Characters in EastEnders are much more likely to die that characters in Coronation Street.
  9. Emmerdale used to be called Beckindale, but it changed its name to Emmerdale (after the farm) following a plane crash in 1994.
  10. Coronation Street is the longest-running television soap opera it first aired on 9 December 1960.
  11. Eric Pollard is Emmerdale’s longest serving character.
  12. Coronation Street has been sold to 135 countries.


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