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I work on Emmerdale – here's how we pulled off the deadly storm and cow stampede | The Sun

EMMERDALE fans have been patiently waiting for the highly-anticipated 50th anniversary episodes to celebrate the longevity of the show.

The specials will kick off with an hour-long episode this Sunday (October 16) which is exactly 50 years to the day that the soap first aired. 

With Kim and Will’s wedding, Amelia's pregnancy and the devastating wind storm, fans have been left in suspense as to who survives, who dies and all the action in between. 

Set designer Duncan Howell has spilled all the details on how preparations for the landmark episode came together and how the team brought the storm and the cow stampede to life. 

Duncan said: "Making it fit within the time frame has been the biggest challenge because we are doing feature film stuff on a soap schedule.

"But it’s been brilliantly done. It’s a great team. We have had massive special effects, big wind machines and tight turnaround times.”

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He went on to add: "Sometimes there were two units filming in different locations so we had to split the special effects crew."

The cow stampede scenes are set to be like no other with Emmerdale bosses teasing that they have never created a stunt like it and that it will be a first in soapland. 

Speaking about the importance of the scenes and the challenges to get it right working with the farms and their animals, Duncan said: "We began with conversations and lots of planning with the farmer. It was really important that this did not cause any harm or stress to these animals.

"The cattle we used all actually live on the farm. For the filming element we created a new cattle pen near to a run which was a fence running down to one of their fields.”

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He went on: "So when they came out of the pen they gathered to go down the run to their field. They know they get fed both in the pen but also in the field.

"We did a rehearsal which was useful as it ensured the producers and everyone was happy with what we were doing and it was recorded to ensure there was no distress or any stress being caused to the animals."

The cows are expected to break free from Moira Barton’s farm during the devastating storm after the barn which houses them becomes damaged in the process. 

Detailing how they managed to get a stellar performance from the cows, Duncan said: "We put their food on the back of a feed hopper and whizzed that down first so the cows had seen their food go.

"So when they came out of their pen they ran as a group to get to the food. It was successful.”

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He further divulged: "Of course there was a bit of trickery as we used a thing which we called ‘cow cam’.

"An amazing company called Animated Extras from Shepperton Studios created a cow’s head that could be puppeteered.

"This will enable the audience to see a cow’s point of view. In the scene it will look as if the cows are running towards the Emmerdale characters as the cows stampede. It worked perfectly."

Emmerdale airs Sunday at 7pm and weeknights at 7:30pm on ITV.

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