Fans accuse Britain's TV soaps of 'lecturing' on climate change

Preachenders: Fans accuse Britain’s favourite TV soaps of ‘lecturing’ on climate change during episodes filmed to coincide with COP26

Britain’s favourite soaps have been accused by fans of preaching about climate change during episodes filmed to coincide with COP26.

Coronation Street, Emmerdale, EastEnders and Hollyoaks have all featured storylines on the environment in episodes screened since November 1 in an effort to highlight issues being discussed at the conference in Glasgow.

But viewers were left bemused by the woke references used, begging writers of the shows to stop preaching and offer some light relief.

The Coronation Street specials featured Maria Windass, played by actress Samia Longchambon, launching a campaign to stop a bypass being built on the recreation ground where her asthmatic son Liam plays football.

The Coronation Street specials featured Maria Windass (pictured), played by actress Samia Longchambon, launching a campaign to stop a bypass being built on the recreation ground where her asthmatic son Liam plays football

The Coronation Street specials featured Maria Windass (pictured), played by actress Samia Longchambon, launching a campaign to stop a bypass being built on the recreation ground where her asthmatic son Liam plays football

Following an argument with character Sally Metcalfe, Windass films a video in which she rants about pollution. Later, there is a demonstration at the council headquarters where protesters chant: ‘Air pollution, it’s not a lie, please don’t let our children die!’

There is also a discussion about becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

Over in Yorkshire, Emmerdale promoted growing your own food with Dr Liam Cavanagh, played by Jonny McPherson, who uses his community garden to encourage others in the fictional village to do the same.

In the BBC soap EastEnders, the focus was on cutting meat consumption with schoolgirl Bailey Baker standing outside Albert Square’s Walford East Underground station, raising a petition for meat-free Mondays.

She says: ‘Global livestock production makes a huge amount of greenhouse gases. They need to be reduced to save the planet.

‘It causes deforestation and pollution. Don’t you care that there are floods and droughts?’

Later Bailey tells residents: ‘We need to cut down the amount of meat we eat to help save the planet before it’s too late. The damage that has been done already is criminal. If we all stop eating meat for one day a week we can all help slow down climate change.’

On Hollyoaks, Cindy Cunningham launches a clothing stall called Sweater Thunberg in a nod to teenage activist Greta Thunberg.

In the BBC soap EastEnders, the focus was on cutting meat consumption with schoolgirl Bailey Baker (pictured) standing outside Albert Square’s Walford East Underground station, raising a petition for meat-free Mondays

In the BBC soap EastEnders, the focus was on cutting meat consumption with schoolgirl Bailey Baker (pictured) standing outside Albert Square’s Walford East Underground station, raising a petition for meat-free Mondays

Despite the Emmerdale initiative, led by executive producer Jane Hudson to raise awareness for millions of viewers, fans were cross about the political stance.

One said: ‘The heavy-handed way the soaps are dealing with climate change is tiresome. We know it’s important but the soaps serve as light relief from real life.’

Another wrote on Twitter: ‘We are not idiots, we know about climate change. Stop preaching at your viewers.

‘Sick of the sound of climate change today so thought let’s watch a bit of Emmerdale. And here we are having another soap lecture.’

However, other Emmerdale fans were quick to criticise it for letting Leyla Harding, played by Roxy Shahidi, use a plastic cup while raising climate change concerns.








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