Emmerdale's storylines are all sensationalist, it's a shame reveals star Chris Chittell | The Sun

EMMERDALE star Chris Chittell has criticised the soap's 'sensationalist' storylines.

Chris, 74, has played Eric Pollard in Emmerdale since 1986 and is the soap's longest serving cast member in its history.

As the show gears up for a dramatic week to mark its 50th anniversary, Chris has spoken about how it has changed over the years, and what concerns him the most.

Speaking to the Soap From The Box podcast, Eric said: "The biggest change is the topic of storylines, they're all sensationalist, which is a shame.

"We have to look at life and be able to reflect it to do our jobs. And life as we see it now, hells bells, you daren't cough, walk in the street because there's a death. But life is not like that."

He continued: "I saw a wonderful episode of Coronation Street with Sarah Lancashire and Julie Goodyear in the pub.

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"They'd closed up for the night and it was just magical. It was perfect. That's what's missing."

Despite Chris' concerns, Emmerdale is still going strong in the eyes of many viewers, so much so they voted it best Serial Drama at Thursday's National Television Awards.

However, he isn't the only actor associated with the soap to raise concerns for its future.

John Middleton, who played the Rev Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale until 2017, also spoke on the podcast about the fine balance show bosses had to strike between big stunt scenes and strong character arcs.

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Citing Channel 4 soap Brookside, which was axed in 2003, he said: "You have to be very careful, and I think it's the big mistake that Brookside went down, they went for stunt after stunt after stunt.

"Eventually, you're audience is tuning in to watch a stunt, and then that's it, then they go away."

Over the years, Emmerdale has seen a helicopter crash, a maze blaze, a plane crash and the 50th anniversary will feature another storm which triggers a cow stampede.

He continued: "You're aiming for a young, but very fickle audience, you've done your stunt and then they go off and what something else.

"What you need is a loyalty to the characters because that's what brings you in and actually develops your understanding of drama and what it's about."

The Soap From The Box podcast is available here.

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