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Emmerdale’s Viv Hope star on ‘big gamble’ that changed the soap ‘Was a risk’

Deena Payne, who plays EMMERDALE’S Viv Hope, discussed the history of the program and how it has evolved over time on the Distinct Nostalgia podcast.

Prior to her character’s death in a fire in 2011, the 67-year-old actress spent nearly two decades portraying the iconic busybody role. The soap’s initial focus was on a single family living in the Yorkshire dales and their daily lives on a farm, but as the audience grew, the show had to expand with more dramatic plotlines.

The podcast host discussed the infamous plane crash that occurred on the program back in 1993 and signaled the end of Beckindale with Deena.

He explained to the audience that four main characters were killed off because some cast members who had been in the soap for a while weren’t happy with the plot.

He was right, Deena said, adding that it came down to contract extensions.

She explained to the host that when reading scripts involving significant crashes, you are aware that your character’s journey could be coming to a lethal conclusion.

He continued, “It was a risk for Yorkshire TV to do the crash because, despite being extremely popular, it probably wasn’t getting as many viewers as they would have liked.

It was a significant change, so wasn’t that a bit of a gamble for them?

“I think it was a very big gamble,” Deena retorted.

As much as they pushed it out one way, I believe comedy also pushed it out the other way.

The actress went on to discuss how the soap opera’s popularity increased as more humor was introduced into its scenes.

“It started to be very funny, there was a lot of comedy, not the usual comedy, but it was funny,” she remarked.

They had a nice balance and could handle the traumas because they could smile as well. In my opinion, that was one of the gifts Emmerdale gave you.

The Beckindale Air Disaster, a fictional plane crash that occurred on the show, resulted in 18 million viewers, a record for the soap opera.

The actress described a time during the interview when a stunt on the set went horribly wrong.

She stated: “We [the fictional characters Kim Tate and Vic Windsor] were right in front of a really large bale of hay that was about to catch fire.

They used small gas pipes with holes in them to allow the flames to liquify around the hay.

We were instructed to pour buckets of water all over the straw bales as this was beginning.

“I actually saw flames coming from the top of the straw, right at the top, before they said “action.

Deena continued, “I yelled, ‘It’s caught fire!'” They were all on fire, and everything was consumed by flames.

“We had to cut and wait two weeks for them to stack it again! That was amazing as well.”

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