Wednesday 13 November 2019

Emmerdale star Anthony Quinlan's trousers split amid helicopter crash scene

A helicopter will crash into the Emmerdale village hall where Debbie and Pete are holding their wedding reception (ITV/PA)
A helicopter will crash into the Emmerdale village hall where Debbie and Pete are holding their wedding reception (ITV/PA)
Anthony Quinlan plays Pete Barton in Emmerdale

Emmerdale star Anthony Quinlan has revealed the most memorable part of the soap's dramatic helicopter crash storyline for him was his trousers splitting open in front of the rest of the cast and crew.

Pete Barton and Debbie Dingle's wedding day is set to end in disaster when a helicopter the groom has booked to surprise his bride crashes into the roof of the wedding venue, injuring many of the guests and killing off at least one major cast member.

Quinlan, who plays Pete, revealed: " My pants split! Rescuing Debbie (Charley Webb) from the rubble, I bent down and my fat arse split my pants, it was quite revealing! Quite a bit more was revealed than maybe should have been. That was quite memorable."

The crash is caused when Chrissie Sugden (Louise Marwood) sets fire to her husband Robert's car in a row over his affair, causing a gas canister to explode, just as the helicopter passes overhead.

Producer of the ITV soap Kate Oates admitted they carefully considered the storyline in light of the 2013 Glasgow helicopter crash, when a police helicopter crashed into the Clutha Vaults pub in Scotland, killing 10 people, but decided the events were sufficiently different.

She said: "I think editorially, whenever you're looking at any potential disaster scenario you have to consider it very carefully.

"We were really, really careful to make it clear what the cause of the accident is. It's set up over a scrapyard, over a marital dispute, where a gas canister explodes and it's a chain of events.

"It was something that we considered because obviously our intention is always to entertain people, to give them a good story, to thrill them, to upset them in certain kinds of ways sometimes, but it would never be our intention to mimic something like that. So we kept it very deliberately far apart. It's not something we were concerned about because we made the decision very carefully."

And she also conceded many Emmerdale fans will compare the dramatic plot device to the soap's famous plane crash in 1993, which saw an aeroplane crash into the village, killing off four major characters and attracting a record-breaking 18 million viewers.

Oates said: "I think it's the nature of soap viewers now to compare it not just to the plane crash of '93, but with the tram crash in Corrie and the siege for us. It's apples and oranges really, because they're very different stories.

"Any comparison is welcome because that was an iconic moment of Emmerdale history and that's great.

"But this is very different, the show is so different and it's evolved. I'm sure people will compare, but they're very different and hopefully when people watch the episodes, they'll forget about other soap disasters and just become involved with the story. That's all I want."

At least one person will die as a result of the helicopter crash, and their identity is being kept a secret.

But Oates insisted she had no qualms about killing off a much-loved character.

She said: "There's a saying about 'Kill your darlings', if you lose characters that no one cares about, it's kind of a waste."

The dramatic scenes will play out every night from Monday August 3 at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode on Thursday at 8pm.

PA Media

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