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The Longest Running Soap Operas on British Tv

The world of soaps is a drama-filled one, with characters constantly being caught up in epic love triangles, blackmail scandals, and shocking family secrets. Soap operas are no different; whether set in fictional towns like Brookfield or EastEnders or actual cities like New York or Sydney, these shows feature their fair share of scandalous events. However, some soap operas have managed to stand the test of time better than others. In this article, we look at the longest-running British soap operas on television right now.


EastEnders is one of the most famous British soap operas, having been on air since 1985. EastEnders is set in the fictional London suburb of Walford and focuses on the middle-class Mitchell and Dixon families. The show has seen many famous stars pass through its doors, including Barbara Windsor and Steve McFadden, who played Peggy and Phil Mitchell for almost 30 years.

The current longest-running storyline in EastEnders surrounds the character of Keeley, a woman who has been posing as Phil Mitchell’s long-lost daughter. This storyline has spanned several years, with Keeley initially appearing in 2016. As of 2019, this storyline has yet to conclude.

Coronation Street

Coronation Street was first broadcast in December 1960, making it one the longest-running soap opera. Coronation Street is set in Weatherfield, a fictional town in Northern England. The show follows the residents of Coronation Street, with the focus on two families, the Rovers and the Turners. Coronation Street has been the home to many famous actors and actresses over the years, including William Roache, who has played the role of Ken Barlow since the show’s inception in 1960. Coronation Street is famous for running several “who shot who?” storylines over the years, with characters being shot at various points in the show’s history.


Emmerdale is a long-running soap opera, having first aired in October 1972. Emmerdale is set in the fictional Yorkshire village of the same name and follows the lives of the people who live and work in the village. The village of Emmerdale has been used as a filming location over the years, with the most famous house in the village being the Oakwell, which was used as the home of the Sugden family, headed by the long-running character of Alan Turner. Emmerdale is famous for its long-running story arcs, which often span several years at a time. One of the most famous storylines in Emmerdale is known as “Who Killed Rebecca?”, where Rebecca Hewitt was found dead in a ravine.


Hollyoaks is a British soap opera that has been on air since October 1995. Hollyoaks is set in the fictional town of Chester and focuses on a gang of teenagers and their families. Hollyoaks is the only soap opera on this list that isn’t set in a city, instead, the show takes place in the rural village of Chester. Hollyoaks is probably best known for its high rate of cast changes, with producers often hiring and firing new actors every few months. As a result, many of the show’s long-running characters have come and gone over the years, with only a handful of actors remaining on the show since the ‘90s. Hollyoaks is also famous for running several long-running storylines, including the “Fake Pete” storyline, which ran for over a decade.

Last of the Summer Wine

Last of the Summer Wine is a long-running sitcom that started in 1973. The show focuses on three old men, known as the “Granville Boys” who live together in a small Yorkshire village. The show is famous for its long-running and continuous storyline, with the show having aired for over 40 years without any significant hiatus. Last of the Summer Wine is famous for having one of the most long-running casts in British TV show history. The show has maintained the same three main actors since its inception, with two of those actors, Bill Withers and Alan Sizer, playing the same characters throughout the entirety of the show’s run.

Loose Women: The Producers

Loose Women: The Producers is a British comedy that has been airing since 2009. Loose Women: The Producers is a satirical comedy that focuses on a fictional TV show called The Morning After, which is a thinly veiled parody of the daytime chat show Loose Women. Loose Women. The Producers is a long-running sitcom that follows the lives of the fictional Loose Women team. The show is famous for its satirical take on British TV and the personalities that appear on daytime TV shows. Loose Women, The Producers is famous for its ability to bring together big-name guest stars and characters, with famous faces such as Victoria Wood, Dolly Parton, and Stephen Fry making appearances in the show over the years.

Royle Family: Mum’s The Word!

The Royle Family is a long-running sitcom that was first aired in 2000. The show is famous for its long-running continuous storyline, which follows the lives of the Royle family and their hilarious misadventures. Royle Family is set in the fictional town of Royle and stars Ralf Little and Tracy Ann-Ford as the heads of the Royle family. The show is famous for its continuous storyline that follows the Royle family from 2000 up to the present day, with the storyline still going today.