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Wednesday, October 21, 1998 Published at 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK


Entertainment

Emmerdale ratings go with a bang

The Woolpack goes up in flames - and Emmerdale's ratings soar

ITV chiefs are celebrating after a one-hour special of rural soap Emmerdale which featured the Woolpack pub exploding drew record ratings.

Unofficial overnight figures show Tuesday night's programme was watched by nearly 12.5m people, with those who recorded the episode pushing the figure well above 13m.

Viewers saw the pub go up in flames after a box of fireworks was ignited by a candle following an after-hours drinking session.

Viewers also saw Steve Marchant try to suffocate Kathy Glover, in an attempt to cover up his crimes and stop her testifying against him.

'Culmination of great storyline'


[ image: Steve (Paul Opacic) tries to silence Kathy (Malandra Burrows)]
Steve (Paul Opacic) tries to silence Kathy (Malandra Burrows)
A show spokesman said: "It was a terrific watch last night, full of drama and tension, the culmination of a great ongoing storyline.

"These figures are quite outstanding for the slot and we're delighted."

The episode saw the soap move further and further away from its origins in the 1970s as a peaceful daytime drama about the running of a farm.

Raunchy storylines and younger characters have been introduced and the show is now a regular ratings winner for ITV.

But the Woolpack explosion has a long way to go to beat the show's all-time record rating - 14.7m for the show's plane crash in 1993, which wiped out a number of older characters and marked the programme's change of direction.



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