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27.12.11

Rare Emmerdale Farm '80s Radio Shows Unearthed!

Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) reflects on life at Emmerdale Farm in the 1980s.

I've just been transported back to 1983 to spend some time with the late, much-loved Emmerdale Farm/Emmerdale actor Clive Hornby. Clive played the legendary Jack Sugden, making his debut on 19 February 1980, and was in the show until shortly before his death in 2008.

During that time, the show was transformed, rocketing out of the (by comparison) sleepy 1980s and into the 1990s and early 21st Century, keeping pace with the other English soaps via a thoroughly modern flavour, geared to the evolving tastes of soap fans across the country.

Through all the drama and comedy, there was Clive Hornby as Jack Sugden, providing a lovely thread of continuity back to the old days - as Elizabeth Estensen said in tribute to the character "Always the farmer".

It was an idea of Carl Gresham AKA "The Gresh", a DJ on Pennine Radio in 1983, to make use of his contacts with the stars of Emmerdale Farm and invite six of them into the studio over a period of about two months - to each present an hour of their favourite music. The Gresh put on his producer's hat for the shows, it being his plan not to interview the stars but simply to let them talk, choose their favourite tunes, and then play the music. Judging by the Clive Hornby hour I have just listened to, it made for marvellous radio.

But it's a long way back to 1983, times and technology have changed dramatically, and The Gresh, faced with the old Ampex ten inch tapes he had kept of the shows (he's a self confessed hoarder!) faced some discouragement from those that thought the tapes would be useless now - they would have degenerated, gone "crumply".

The Gresh persevered, and passed the tapes to his archive producer, Dave Perrett, and, after much work, the interviews were transferred to CD and sound as though they were recorded yesterday!

The Clive Hornby show was originally broadcast on Thursday, 10th November, 1983.

It's a lovely listen, an unexpectedly unearthed piece of Emmerdale history - and makes a tremendous tribute to Clive - who tells us a bit about his youth in the 1960s, the decade from which most of his favourite records originate. There's also a chance to hear the Dennisons - the pop group which featured Clive as drummer - and Clive also relates the story of how he became one of the first people ever to hear a certain classic 1960s hit, comes up with a song which captures the complexities of being seventeen years old, and slips in a request for another Emmerdale Farm cast member.

Throughout the hour, Clive comes across as being a thoroughly down to earth and likeable man who would have made a great companion for an evening's chat in the Woolpack Inn, Beckindale - or anywhere else.

If you'd like to hear Clive's musical choice, the show is available on a CD, available from:

PO Box 3. Bradford. West
Yorkshire. BD1 4QN

The cost is £5.00 - including postage - and we think it's an absolute bargain. Please make cheques payable to Carl Gresham. We don't usually go in for advertising or selling things at '80s Actual, but this CD is, in our opinion, absolutely priceless!

Clive (far left) with his fellow cast members - the folks at Emmerdale Farm - summer 1984.


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