Carl King killed off on Emmerdale's 40th birthday

 

Soap fans were treated to high drama as Emmerdale celebrated its 40th birthday with a live episode in which Carl King (Tom Lister) was battered to death with a brick.

The bad boy of the Dales suffered a blow to the head at the hands of his love rival Cameron Murray (Dominic Power) - but a death was not the only big event to happen in last night's hour-long episode.

The live show was a display of some of the soap world's traditionally favourite occasions and was completed with two weddings and two births.

Avid viewers watched as Chas Dingle's (Lucy Pargeter) wedded bliss to Dan Spencer (Liam Fox) lasted no more than the first 30 minutes, while Katie Sugden (Sammy Winward) enjoyed a marquee reception with new husband Declan Macey (Jason Merrells).

Elsewhere, Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) gave birth to the baby boy she hopes will save her daughter Sarah's life after she developed leukaemia.

Joining Debbie in her labour pains was Gennie Walker (Sian Reese-Williams) who gave birth to a baby girl on the floor at Chas and Dan's wedding reception.

With the emotions of weddings and babies running high, the episode culminated in the shocking death of Carl which show bosses say will have have "major, far-reaching repercussions".

Fans of the soap were left to speculate about the death, which was kept secret until last night.

Viewers feared Carl may meet his demise but other characters fans thought faced playing out their final scenes live included vet Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt), old favourite Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) and shrewd businessman Declan Macey.

The ITV soap has followed in the footsteps of Coronation Street and EastEnders as each celebrated their 50th and 25th birthdays respectively with live episodes.

Tony Prescott, the episode's director, has already been in charge of two live episodes for Coronation Street, and believes one thing a live episode needs is "waves of good luck".

Speaking before the live episode, he said: "There is so much out of my control with a live episode.

"At Corrie, 50% of it was set in studio so we were in controllable conditions, whereas with Emmerdale, the majority of the action is set outside.

"What we basically have for the 40th birthday episode is a magnificent play, set on the world's biggest stage, in the middle of the Yorkshire wilderness.

"You can just imagine the problems that could be unleashed."

In an attempt to make the live episode's births and weddings go as smoothly as possible, there were four newborn babies and seven wedding dresses on set, while 27 cameras captured the drama as it unfolded.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas carried Lady Edith over the flames in her bedroom in Downton Abbey series five

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, seated next to a picture of his missing wife Amy, played by Rosamund Pike

film
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene

Friends 20th anniversary
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham

books
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey

There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world