Gemma Atkinson: Emmerdale producer has given the soap ‘a new lease of life’

Emmerdale actress Gemma Atkinson has said outgoing executive producer Kate Oates has breathed new life into the ITV soap and will be missed when she moves to Coronation Street.

Gemma, who plays Carly Hope in the show, paid tribute to Oates at the Inside Soap Awards where Emmerdale picked up a total of eight awards.

“I think she’s brought the show back to life. She’s given it a new lease of life and a kick up the bum, to be honest,” said Gemma.

It was announced last month that Oates, who was formerly a producer on The Archers and has been at the helm of Emmerdale since 2013, would be leaving the post next year to become executive producer of Coronation Street.

“She’s widened the audience and brought in new characters and new stories and new ideas and she’s very open to our ideas,” added Gemma.

“She’s very caring to the cast and the scriptwriters, but I wish her well and I’m glad she’s still at ITV. She’s still in the family!”

Meanwhile Charley Webb, who plays Debbie Dingle in Emmerdale, added that Oates had been “so amazing” and that Coronation Street were “really lucky to get her”.

Moira Dingle actress Natalie J Robb also said that the cast were “really sad” about Oates’ departure.

“It’s a good team at the moment and she’s made it what it is now,” explained Natalie. “We’re getting the awards so that tells a story in itself. And it will be sad and we’ll miss her but she has to move on.”

Most Read in Showbiz