The new documentary series Emmerdale 1918 uncovers the incredible untold stories of real Yorkshire men and women from the unique perspective of past and present cast members of one of Britain’s favourite soaps.
Marking 100 years since the end of the First World War, a host of Emmerdale’s most famous faces – old and new – are about to leave the set behind and step back into the past to celebrate the lives of unsung local heroes who drove the war effort in the new series Emmerdale 1918.
Emmerdale favourites Charlotte Bellamy (Laurel Thomas), John Middleton (Ashley Thomas), Bhasker Patel (Rishi Sharma), Mark Charnock (Marlon Dingle), Natalie J Robb (Moira Dingle), and Zoe Henry (Rhona Goskirk) will all follow different stories.From Woolpack chef to the real wartime cook, village vicar to the battlefield priest, telly farmer to the real country land girl and Emmerdale vet to the real frontline vet.
In the first of six 30 minute episode, airing on Thursday 20th September at 8.30pm, Mark Charnock, who plays much loved Emmerdale chef Marlon Dingle, looks back on the story of a real First World War chef called Frederick Brocklehurst, who lived in the original Emmerdale village.
“Frederick joined up, was thrust into the frontline, and ended up being a cook – even though he wasn’t trained,” Mark tells Inside Soap. “What I liked about Fred is that there was a certain Dingle-ness about him – he didn’t always follow the rules. He smuggled a camera behind enemy lines when soldiers weren’t meant to do that, so he didn’t naturally bow to authority.”
Mark, who has little real life experience of cooking, suddenly finds himself behind the lines and preparing meals for hungry troops, as he uncovers the twists and turns of a cheeky chef who left behind a remarkable legacy. Mark starts to feel the heat as he prepares a special pudding for the finale event in First World War cooking conditions. Can he keep it together and honour this Yorkshire hero?
To get a real sense of what faced Fred, Mark visited replica trenches and spent time at an army barracks in Lincolnshire cooking for the troops. “I didn’t know I was going to the bricks that day,” explains Mark. “But it was one of those life experiences I will never forget, because I was in a place that I would never normally see, meeting people I’d never normally meet – it was genuinely exciting and nerve-wracking. They’re used to good cooking, and instead they had this lanky idiot making them bad puddings. They were very kind to me though.”
Inspired by amazing stories of gallantry, sacrifice and heartbreak from villages in rural Yorkshire, including the actual village that Emmerdale was based on, they’ll honour these hidden heroes when the cast come together to host their very own Emmerdale Armistice celebration.