The major UK soaps have joined forces to highlight climate change in a TV first.
EastEnders, Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Hollyoaks, Casualty, Doctors and Holby City have filmed scenes highlighting environmental issues ahead of the Cop26 climate summit.
Five of the soaps will refer to each other, with characters making cameo appearances in rival series, and episodes featuring “nods” to scenes elsewhere, prompting debate among characters.
The drama begins on Monday November 1, the same week as world leaders are due to meet at the UN Cop26 talks in Glasgow.
The landmark event will see a Hollyoaks character appear in Walford, while villagers in the Chester soap will learn about events at Holby City.
A social media video featuring two of Emmerdale’s residents will be shown to Coronation Street characters, while one of the stars of BBC One’s Doctors will appear on the cobbles in Weatherfield.
Casualty will also be discussed in The Woolpack pub in Emmerdale, and a social media clip from Coronation Street will be chatted about in EastEnders’ Queen Vic.
Originally conceived by Emmerdale executive producer Jane Hudson, the crossover is the result of months of planning and meetings between the respective soaps.
Each scriptwriting team took on the challenge of featuring the other shows in their own storylines.
Hudson, on behalf of Emmerdale and ITV Studios, said:
“Never before have all five soaps and both continuing dramas come together and united in telling one story.
“And we certainly haven’t seen characters pop up in other shows before.
“This is a real treat for our audience, whilst also allowing us to get across a very important message.”
Kate Oates, head of continuing drama at BBC Studios, said:
“I’m thrilled that our soaps and serial dramas have all come together to help highlight the issue of climate change amongst our millions of viewers.
“We’re grateful to the teams that made this happen, and hugely look forward to seeing the talent from our own shows popping up in other iconic programmes.”
Hollyoaks executive producer Lucy Allan said:
“We know how important climate change and environmental issues are to our youthful audience, and to all soap viewers.
“It has been great to work together on an engaging way to, hopefully, inspire conversations about issues that are so important.”
More details of the content within each soap will follow.