It’s ‘Ey Up for Hip Op

Morpeth based band Hip Operation
Morpeth based band Hip Operation

A MORPETH band played to an audience of more than ten million last night as it took part in the biggest TV soap event of the year.

Hip Operation, which was founded by Steve Dolder from Stobhill, was asked to perform in the live 40th anniversary episode of Emmerdale in the midst of two weddings, two births and a death in the popular programme.

And the band so impressed producers that it was also booked to play the after-show party for cast members past and present and their guests.

Mr Dolder said: “It was extremely well-rehearsed. The actors and extras have been working on it for a few weeks so by the time we arrived for the dress rehearsal they knew exactly what they were doing.

“It was a mammoth task. This was the first time such a thing had been done on location. Eastenders and Coronation Street have done live episodes before, but they were in the confines of the studio whereas this was done on location.

“We were up against the weather and the elements, but it went really well. There was an awful lot of hard work put into it.”

The band, which was formed ten years ago, was called up for the programme after a producer had seen its work.

Members are certainly no strangers to stardom, having played for Alan Shearer, Ant and Dec, Coronation Street and even the Jordanian royal family.

And earlier this year, the group won the Best Wedding Entertainment Award at the Wedding Industry Awards in London.

So far this year, the group has played 220 gigs in the UK and Europe.

Mr Dolder said: “As individuals we have been professionals for 25 to 30 years and we have been involved in lots of things so the Emmerdale performance was just another part of our continuing career, but we were more than happy to do it.

“It’s not every day you play to ten million people.”