Fascinating reason why Emmerdale changed its name to honour the Sugdens

Emmerdale has been home to a series of dramatic storylines in recent weeks including the mystery surrounding Chloe Harris' dad.

However the much-loved ITV soap, which is set in the Yorkshire Dales, has experienced many changes since it first aired in 1972 and the village even had a new name in 1994 to honour the Sugdens.

The soap was originally called Emmerdale Farm, which was based on BBC Radio 4 The Archers, and was broadcast twice a week in the afternoon and centred on the Sugden family and their rural life at their sprawling farmhouse.

Emmerdale Farm was originally meant to be a three-month serial however by 1977 it was awarded a prime time evening slot across most ITV regions.

Following a change of production team in the late 1980s, the soap saw dramatic storylines including Pat Sugden's car crash in 1986 with episodes broadcast throughout the year and with an evening slot across all ITV regions.

Meanwhile with the change in storylines came a tweak to the name and Emmerdale Farm was changed to just Emmerdale in November 1989.

In December 1993, Emmerdale received its highest-ever ratings as 18million viewers tuned in to watch the tragic plane crash unfold.

The episode saw an Eastern European airline, which was travelling to Canada and over Britain, burst into flames as it exploded and crashed into the village of Beckindale.

Following the dramatic scenes in which 250 passengers on board were killed as well as nine villagers, including Mark Hughes, Elizabeth Pollard, Archie Brooks and Leonard Kempinski, producers were able to 'reinvent the soap virtually from scratch'.

In May 1994 the village was renamed Emmerdale from Beckindale in honour of Annie Sugden, who was left in a coma for three months, and the Sugden family, and to stop tourists who associated the area with the horrific plane crash.

It comes after viewers had speculated whether Chloe's father could be Pierce due to the same last names and even questioned whether Declan Macey could also be in the running as her dad.

Taking to Twitter, one person said: "#Emmerdale Damon????"

Another follower commented: "Damon the big time gangsters called Damon #Emmerdale."

While a different fan added: "Did Kerry say his name was Damon? #Emmerdale."

Eagle-eyed Emmerdale fans had already predicted that Chloe's father could be called Damon as they had spotted a cryptic text from the criminal in recent scenes, where they zoomed in to see the name Damon.

Emmerdale continues on weekdays at 7pm on ITV.

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