Emmerdale tops ITV's 50th birthday ratings
Thursday's hour-long special episode of Emmerdale topped the UK's TV charts on ITV's 50th anniversary.
16:38 24 September 2005
Thursday's hour-long episode of Emmerdale topped the UK's TV charts on ITV's 50th anniversary.
8.3 million people watched ITV's rural soap while a live episode of the Bill got 7.9 million viewers - the closest a rival channel came was BBC One's EastEnders, with 6.6 million.
ITV's Emmerdale special saw Zoe Tate, played by Leah Bracknell, walk free from court, an armed siege, and an explosion at Home Farm.
Sadie King, played by Patsy Kensit, had finally convinced Zoe to sign over the deeds to the property at a bargain price - but when the King family arrived to view their house purchase the farm burst into flames.
Over in the Bill viewers watched Sun Hill police officers being held at gunpoint.
But ITV did not enjoy a clean sweep in the ratings charts, as BBC One spy drama Spooks got 6.2 million viewers, beating ITV's rival offering for the same timeslot, the documentary series 49 Up, by 1.3 million.
ITV became the UK's first commercial channel on September 22nd 1955.