Emmerdale stars and crew members have spoken of their joy at working on a female-only episode of the soap, which airs on International Women’s Day.
The show has an all-women cast and was written, produced, directed and recorded by a female-led crew.
The 30-minute programme will follow almost all of the soap’s female characters, young and old, as they pursue their own individual stories.
Actress Emma Atkins, who plays Charity Dingle, said her character is “on a mission” in the episode, and that her scenes “will have a significant impact going forward”.
She added: “I really enjoyed filming these scenes as they were beautifully written and I was honoured to play a role in this episode.
“We work with a fabulous team, day in and day out, on Emmerdale so it was interesting they pooled all the female crew and cast into one team.”
Lucy Pargeter, who plays Chas Dingle, said she relished the opportunity to work with other female actors.
She said: “The episode essentially deals with female stories across different ages from little April upwards.
“My character Chas bonds with Laurel over some news she has; they are not two characters who normally make time for each other, so it was lovely working with Charlotte.”
Laurel Thomas actress Charlotte Bellamy praised the “fantastic and inclusive” Emmerdale team.
“This episode hopefully will be a great opportunity for us to showcase some of the positions available behind the scenes to both men and women within the television industry,” she said.
“We have a fantastic cast on the show, but it was lovely to have an episode that concentrated only on the female characters.”
The first assistant director on the episode, Val Lawson, said she was excited to learn they would be producing an all-female edition.
She said: “I started working in television nearly 46 years ago and production jobs for females were extremely limited.
“Certain departments would not even entertain the idea of women. I felt very honoured to be working with so many talented ladies and appreciated being included on this episode.”
Emmerdale’s executive producer, Jane Hudson, said: “I believe soaps are leading the way with gender equality on set.
“This is a great opportunity for Emmerdale to show the female talent we have both in front and behind the camera.”
Producer Kate Brooks said the International Women’s Day episode is not just a celebration of women “in the broadest sense of the word, but also a showcase for the female talent we have in the television industry”.
She added: “We wanted the episode to be character-driven and story-led, exploring all aspects of what it’s like to be a woman in 2019.”
Producer Laura Shaw said she felt “incredibly honoured to work alongside such a strong, inspiring and determined team of people at Emmerdale, and making this special episode gave us the opportunity to reflect on how far we’ve come in the workplace in the last few decades.
“Some of the people still working on the team today helped pave the way so women like me could pursue the career they wanted and this episode celebrates that and everything we have achieved at Emmerdale.”
Emmerdale airs at 7pm on ITV.