Soap operas are as much a staple of the British diet as fish and chips, so astrology couldn't resist the temptation:
Each soap has its own personality, which is why most soap fans would agree that they have a favourite. It goes without saying that this is all down to their first transmission dates, i.e. when they were born.
A British Soap is Born
Let’s take a look at what astrology tells us about the UK’s five biggest soaps.
9th December 1960
The doyen of British kitchen sink drama is Sagittarius, the astrological joker in the pack, with cuddly Cancer Ascendant, the sign of the home and history. Hence its reputation for humour, homely familiarity, and the sense of history being made on the night the very first episode was aired.
Cancer is also the sign that represents the feminine, and Coronation Street set the gold standard for fearless, blousy female characters down the years, like Elsie Tanner and Bet Lynch. This is also the sign of emotion, and reaching out to the wider public when it occupies such a pivotal part of the chart.
Another reason for those cobbles not wearing down is Saturn. This is the planet of hard work and longevity, and it’s in exactly the right place to encourage a sense of industry in all the people who work on the show. Jolly Jupiter tones down the seriousness of this planet, which further accounts for this soap’s levity.
The sun and Mercury live in the most creative part of the chart, and this would explain the quality of the writing over the years, coupled with the energy of Mars beaming down its positive, upbeat energy and keeping people enthused.
Interestingly, the Ascendant, moon and Venus are all at a critical and powerful angle in the chart, meaning that, together with three planets in Capricorn, the programme could keep running and running for many years to come.
Money talks of course, and not only does the moon in Leo give it a theatrical sense, but it’s also in the astrological house of finances, so no wonder this has been such a big money-spinner for ITV over the years.
Venus in the chart shows that there’s a lot of affection out there for Coronation Street, and that even when it loses its way occasionally, redemption is never very far away.
19th February 1985
EastEnders is Pisces through and through. There’s even a big watery theme in the opening titles, plus a lot of drinking, addiction and heightened emotion – all (negative) traits of the sign of the fishes admittedly, but that’s what makes good drama.
The very first episode kicked off with a death, and that set the tone for a soap that wasn’t afraid to tackle gritty realism head-on, which isn’t Pisces’ usual stock-in-trade. This is the sign of escapism, so we have dive down into the rest of the chart for some more clues as to why this is the case.
Virgo is on the Ascendant, the opposite sign to Pisces, and this brings the show right down to earth, plus Virgo is the sign of the nitty-gritty.
The part of the chart that rules soap operas is where Saturn sits in the EastEnders chart, making things heavy at times. Neptune, Pluto and the Moon make for strong and imaginatively drawn female characters, and like many soaps, the female characters are more prominent than the males.
This is one soap that has pushed the boundaries of issue-led drama over the years and Uranus, the planet of upset, is right down at the bottom of the chart, so nothing remains stable for very long in Albert Square. And it never will.
The passion planets, Venus and Mars, are together in fiery Aries, which is perhaps why everyone appears to be shouting all the time. There’s also a feeling of a slog about this chart, and a heavy influence from Pluto keeping all the other planets in line.
EastEnders is about to go through a profound change involving Saturn that will set the programme up for its next cycle, which is perhaps why the BBC is building a brand new super-duper exterior set.
16th October 1972
Emmerdale started life as a gentle Libran story of farming folk before going through a Sandy from Grease transformation. The word ‘Farm’ was ditched, and it reinvented itself as a sexy Scorpio soap called Emmerdale on the 14th November 1989.
Scorpio is the sign of transformation and sex, and it was sexed up, and went from strength to strength with a series of dramatic and daring plots, like a plane crashing on the village, fires, explosions and general devastation on a grand scale.
Scorpio is a sign that isn’t afraid to court controversy, and with more than one planet in this sign it’s easy to see why it was dubbed the Dallas of the Dales.
Like its ITV stable mate, Coronation Street, it has Cancer rising, and this is a steamy combination when paired with Scorpio, but it’s still got something of the homely, the familiar, about it too.
Emmerdale also has a Gemini natal moon, so this is a soap that likes to chop and change, and can be fickle in terms of its storylines. Jupiter on its ascendant brings it luck and expansion and this is also a soap that seems to have snowballed in popularity.
Emmerdale also has four planets in earthy Capricorn so it hasn’t completely lost touch with its agricultural roots. It may soon undergo a big transformation with Pluto now in such a critical part of the chart.
23rd October 1995
The sun was in glamorous Libra when Hollyoaks first hit our screens, and it did sparkle next to what else was on offer at the time. The young gun of the group has the sign of youth, Gemini Ascendant, together with Venus in Scorpio, which would explain its occasional forays into Hollyoaks Later and its steamier storylines.
Pluto and Mars cause this show a lot of angst and fuel its more explosive plots, plus the Moon and the Sun squabbling with Uranus and Neptune further fuel the drama.
This is an unpredictable soap, and there’s often no telling where the storylines will go or what will happen to the characters.
Like many soaps there’s a lot happening in the sixth house, the house of work, and so putting this show together will be a slog for everyone involved.
The Sun and the Moon together make Hollyoaks more balanced in terms of male and female characters, and the chart also suggests that it’s the least family-oriented of all the soaps.
1st January 1951
Although there was a regional pilot that pre-dates this one, this was the first national episode of The Archers as we know it today. And it’s fitting that the world’s longest-running soap opera is a Capricorn, the sign of old age, durability, quality and hard work.
It also has its Moon in gentle Libra, which when combined with the Capricorn Sun, kind of suits the conservative nature of the show.
It’s also had its second Saturn return, which means that it is now almost untouchable and could conceivably go on and on and on, or until the cows come home.
With Leo rising and powerful Pluto in the first house, it has a regal and noble air, and the third house - that rules radio - contains three planets, including Neptune, plus Saturn and the Moon, so this is a soap that really has the power to fuel and capture the imagination of its listeners.
However, this is also a soap that is prone to sudden changes and surprise storylines, and one that the public feels it has ownership of, so any new go-ahead producers should beware of making any sweeping changes.