A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to the Emmerdale Studio Experience in Leeds. I don’t really watch Emmerdale, but I’m really interested in Television, having studied it for my BA degree, and gone onto a Masters in Screenwriting. I love seeing how a show comes together and to go behind the scenes on a soap is a great opportunity. My Mum has always been a fan of Emmerdale so I’m familiar with the show and characters and was looking forward to checking out behind the scenes at the old studio.
“The Emmerdale Studio Experience is at the former ITV studios at Burley Road, Leeds…With full scale set reconstructions, preserved props and costumes to the secrets behind stunts and special effects; this is your chance to step into the exciting world of telly” – Emmerdale Studio Experience
This post will contain spoilers, but I’ve left some out to give you an idea without ruining it. Although you can see a lot from this post, it is definitely worth seeing with your own eyes, and having a tour. For those who don’t want to read any further: Even as a non-Emmerdale fan, I had a great time, found the tour really interesting and fun, and would highly recommend a visit from anyone who likes television, and especially for fans. It would make a great gift!
The first thing I realised is how friendly the staff are. They couldn’t do enough for us, were super helpful throughout and very understanding of me being my usual disaster self (late, no SD card in camera and having to go back round – urgh!).
For the first part of the tour we were shown the writers room, with storyboards on the walls and scene plans. As a wannabe screenwriter, I found this really interesting. The schedule they have to work to is so impressive and I don’t know how they manage to pack so much in and get it all done!
We then got to see some of the costumes. The tablets in front of the pieces shown are used for consistency, so a snap is taken of an outfit and used in the next day’s filming. It’s not something you really think about, but even nail polish must be the same.
Walking through from one room to the next, we came across some of the props that have been used in the show. One thing I never realised was that they use fake food on television, as real food would go bad under bright lights for hours of filming. It seems obvious now, but even the special occasion cakes aren’t real.
As this studio is no longer used, everything in it is a recreation, including the Dingle’s home. The set was perfectly replicated with studio cameras placed to show how the set would usually work. If you look at how many tiny items are in the set, it’s amazing that they could keep the look of the room consistent.
We also got to try the lighting for the salon. A lot goes into it, but I did a good job of correctly setting it up. I found it funny that people who walk upstairs on set have to hang around at the top. We also got shown the editing suite, where you can try your hands at getting the right shot.
The village for Emmerdale has been replicated in miniature form for outdoor shots. It came up to waist height (probably leg for a normal height person!) and the details were incredible.
We also got shown the special effects and how they’re created, but I’ve decided to leave those as a surprise for anybody who visits.
We ended the tour with a drink and some food in The Woolpack, of course! I don’t have any pictures from there, but it was great sitting in there and we even got a try behind the bar.
On the way out, we passed through David’s Shop, and were given an Emmerdale tote bag with pen and fudge, plus a photo of us behind the bar.
I would definitely suggest the Emmerdale Studio Experience for a trip in Yorkshire. It lasts about an hour and a half, and at £21 each for adults, it’s definitely worth it. Fans and non-fans alike can enjoy the experience. I had amazing time and found it really interesting. Every member of staff was knowledgeable and passionate too. I would definitely go again and hope to take my Mum one day as I think for a fan it will be an incredible experience.
You can visit the website here.
I’d like to thank everyone involved in inviting me, and all of the staff for being so accommodating.
Have you ever been behind the scenes on a television show or film? What was your favourite part?
Which show would you like to see behind the scenes?