Soaps announce crossover event to highlight climate change
James R | On 13, Oct 2021
In what is possibly the most ambitious crossover event in British TV history, Casualty, Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Holby City and Hollyoaks are joining forces to raise awareness of climate change.
For the first time, the country’s soaps and continuing dramas have joined forces to highlight the issue of climate change and environmental issues. Casualty, Coronation Street, Doctors, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Holby City and Hollyoaks have each filmed scenes, or have references, to cover different aspects of climate change and, in a soap first, five of the soaps will also be referencing each other. Viewers will see some of Britain’s best loved soap opera characters pop up in rival programmes as they discuss, or see the moments, that have been debated in another show in a bid to highlight the urgency of the climate crisis.
The week-long crossover begins on Monday 1st November, the same week as world leaders meet to discuss the climate crisis at the COP26 conference. It will see a Hollyoaks character pop up in Walford while villagers of the Chester soap will learn about events at Holby City. A social media video featuring two of Emmerdale’s residents will be shown to Coronation Street characters, while one of BBC One’s Doctors will appear on the cobbles of Coronation Street. Casualty will also be discussed in The Woolpack, and a social media clip from Weatherfield will be chatted about in The Queen Vic.
Following many months of planning and meetings between the respective soaps and continuing drama editorial teams, the scriptwriters on each of the productions each took on the task to feature the other soaps’ storylines. Emmerdale’s Executive Producer, Jane Hudson, originally conceived the idea and has been co-ordinating with her fellow executives.
Jane, on behalf of Emmerdale and ITV Studios, says: “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, whilealso allowing us to get across a very important message.”
Kate Oates, Head of Continuing Drama, BBC Studios adds: “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.”
Lucy Allan, Executive Producer, Hollyoaks said: “We know how important climate change and environmental issues are to our youthful audience, and to all soap viewers. It has been great to work together on an engaging way to, hopefully, inspire conversations about issues that are so important.”