Real Emmerdale controversies – race row, £30k bill and ‘alarming’ Covid cases

Emmerdale is known for its fair share of onscreen drama.

The ITV soap will celebrate its 40th anniversary later this year, with a number of dramatic storylines set to reach their crescendos.

While there have been many upsets and scandals onscreen, incidences of real life drama have also been known to brew up in the Dales.

From a recent race row which led one actor to allegedly quit and another two actors to be temporarily suspended, to a £30,000 restoration payment and an 'alarming' Covid-testing scandal, Daily Star investigates the biggest real life scandals to emerge from Emmerdale across its 40-year history.

Race row

Earlier this year, Ellis Chapman actor Aaron Anthony left Emmerdale after three years amid an alleged incidence of racism on-set.

The actor's final scenes aired in February.

It was reported that Aaron had quit the soap after an investigation was launched into claims two of his co-stars had mimicked 'the accent of a mixed-raced actress' while filming a big on-location stunt.

In December, a source told the Sun: "Aaron has been very vocal in his opinions about the allegations and about the way in which the enquiries have been handled by the bosses.

"He now feels his position on the show is untenable."

The actors investigated for the claims were Isabel Hodgins and Matthew Wolfenden.

After a three-month absence from filming, in which the investigation concluded the alleged remarks had been "misheard" and no formal action would be taken against them, the duo returned to Emmerdale in January.

Their characters Victoria Sugden and David Metcalfe have since featured in a number of big storylines, including a recent engagement fail.

£30k stunt fine

In 2012, Emmerdale fan favourite John Barton (James Thornton) was memorably killed off in a gut-wrenching car crash.

The scene was filmed at the famous Cow and Calf rock formation on Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire and following complaints from locals that the Emmerdale crew had left the area covered in mud and tyre tracks, producers were left to fork out £30,000 in restorative payments.

Per The Sun, Emmerdale producers paid £21,000 to repair a damaged track and £5,000 to lay a new footpath.

The soap also reportedly paid a £2,000 donation to the Friends of Ilkley Moor as a 'sign of goodwill'.

'Alarming' Covid cases

in July 2021, Emmerdale and its rival ITV soap Coronation Street were embroiled in an "alarming" coronavirus controversy.

As the Delta variant spread around the country, both soaps were reported to have experienced an substantial rise in cast and crew members testing positive.

The situation was said to have caused havoc with the soap's filming schedules.

Mail Online reported at the time that it was later deemed so alarming that an email was reportedly circulated by ITV in the North boss John Whiston at the time, pleading with staff to stick to Covid safety precautions.

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