Emmerdale’s executive producer Jane Hudson is to step down from the role after leading the show for the past five years, ITV has announced.
Hudson has been at the helm of the long-running soap opera for nearly 1,000 episodes and guided the programme through the pandemic and its 50th anniversary.
She will leave the show on September 22 after seeing through the episodes for the show’s annual Super Soap Week.
She said: “I’ve had a wonderful time at Emmerdale and feel very lucky to have spent the last five years working alongside such a hardworking and talented team.
“I’m extremely proud of what we‘ve achieved both on and off screen, especially during the pandemic when we all pulled together to make sure we never went off air.
“As hard as it is to say goodbye to my fictional family of villagers, I can’t wait to have weekends back with my real family.
“But mostly, I can’t wait to be an Emmerdale viewer again and have no idea what’s coming next.”
She led the show through emotional storylines including Marlon Dingle’s stroke and Faith Dingle’s breast cancer.
She also helped the programme resume its filming schedule during the Covid years to keep the show on air.
Hudson was also involved with the initiative in which all the soaps in the UK came together to deliver on-screen climate-change messaging around Cop26.
Huw Kennair-Jones, ITV drama commissioner, said: “Jane’s tenure at Emmerdale has been exceptional.
“As well as consistently delivering brilliant stories brilliantly told, she oversaw Emmerdale being the first soap to resume filming during the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring it kept on air, for which everyone at ITV will be eternally grateful.
“I’d personally like to thank her for everything she’s done for the show over the last five years and wish her all the very best for the future.”
Managing director for continuing drama, John Whiston, added: “We all thank Jane for her unerring dedication to, and passion for, Emmerdale.
“During her time running the show it has gone from strength to strength, pushing the boundaries of continuing drama to another level with powerful storylines, breath-taking stunts and deeply affecting human drama.
“She has also introduced compelling new characters and families, setting the programme up for even more success to come.
“Everyone who loves the show thanks her for what she has brought to Emmerdale over these five last years and for leaving the show in such good stead with inventive and gripping stories on the cards well into 2024.”