|Portrayed by||Annelise Manojlovic (2001–2015)|
Rosie Bentham (2016–)
|First appearance||Episode 3076 |
25 December 2001
|Introduced by||Steve Frost|
|Home||Mulberry Cottage / Brook Cottage|
Annelise Manojlovic as Gabby Thomas (2015)
Gabby Thomasis a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale . She made her first appearance on 25 December 2001. She was played by both Annelise Manojlovic from birth in 2001 until 2015. The role was recast in 2016 to Rosie Bentham. Bentham took a break from the series in 2017 and was off-screen between 17 April and 22 September.
Gabby is the daughter of Ashley Thomas (John Middleton) and Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles), the stepdaughter of Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy) and Lawrence White (John Bowe) and half-sister to Arthur Thomas (Alfie Clarke) and Dotty Thomas. Gabby's storylines have included her mother Bernice re-entering her life, dealing with her father and stepmother's break up and them eventually reconciling, learning that Ashley has dementia, her teenage rebellion, her friendship with Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele) and her crush on Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant).
Gabby is born on Christmas Day 2001, with her paternity in doubt. Her mother, Bernice, had an affair with Carlos Diaz (Gary Turner), the chef at The Woolpack where she was landlady, at the time Gabby was conceived. However, a DNA test reveals Ashley to be the father and he forgives Bernice and the family reunite. However, Bernice does not take to motherhood easily, and decides to leave the village and divorces her father Ashley in 2002. Gabby occasionally visits her mother, who later marries a man named Charlie Willis in 2004 and has a second daughter, Dee Dee Willis.
Gabby continues to live with her father Ashley and on 6 November 2005, he marries Laurel Potts (Charlotte Bellamy), who cares for Gabby as if she was her own. On 26 August 2007, Laurel and Ashley have their first child together, Daniel. Although Gabby initially resents Daniel, when he dies of cot death on 21 February 2008, she is very upset. Months later it is discovered that Daniel was not the Thomas' biological son, due to a baby swap in hospital. Their biological son is Arthur Doland (Alfie Clarke). The stress of this causes Gabby to lean more on her grandfather, Rodney Blackstock (Patrick Mower), as Ashley and Laurel briefly separate. In June 2008, a court decides that Arthur should go to his natural parents, and Ashley and Laurel take him home. Gabby finds this difficult, and drops Arthur off in front of the house of Greg (Shaun Prendergast) and Mel Doland (Caroline Strong). Eventually, she is taken to a psychiatrist, who finds out that Gabby was afraid she was switched at birth and would be replaced. She soon bonds with Arthur.
When Sally Spode (Siân Reeves) arrived, Gabby was always sent to her bedroom, so she could not see Laurel. At the end of Sally's scheming Gabby became upset. Laurel left and told Ashley that she wanted their children to join her for Christmas Day which Ashley agreed to, even though he was not invited. In 2010, Laurel's father Douglas Potts (Duncan Preston) returned to Emmerdale and this made Gabby very happy as she and her Doug became very close. She enjoyed spending time with him and made him realize that she loved him, by giving him a painting she did at school, with Laurel, Ashley, Arthur, Sandy and herself in the picture.
Gabby returned with Laurel and Arthur in February after Laurel decided to return from her mother's house to give Ashley a second chance, Gabby was overwhelmed to see Ashley and her grandfather Sandy. When Ashley and Laurel split again Gabby went with Laurel and her little brother Arthur to live with Laurel's new boyfriend Marlon Dingle but saw her father Ashley regularly. When Gabby's mother Bernice returned to the village in October 2012, Laurel was a little put out when Gabby wanted to get to know her mother but did not stand in her way. When Laurel and Ashley officially divorced in 2013 she realised she no longer had any rights to Gabby and allowed her to move in with Ashley. Gabby is asked to be a bridesmaid at Laurel's wedding to Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock).
In January 2016, Gabby and Arthur both learn that Ashley has dementia. In her mum's salon, Gabby discovers a sex tape of Kerry Wyatt (Laura Norton) and Dan Spencer (Liam Fox) and she shares it online. Bernice discovers Gabby was responsible and Gabby is forced to clean at the salon. When Bernice refuses to let Gabby get her eyebrows done, Gabby draws them on with permanent maker and Bernice doesn't allow her to go on the skiing trip. When alcohol is found, Ashley suspects it belongs to Laurel, but Doug finds out it was Gabby's. Gabby is forced to confess to Ashley, who flies off the handle at her. Gabby develops feeling for friend Jacob Gallagher (Joe-Warren Plant) and goes on a date with him. When Jacob gives Gabby a magazine she wants for free, Laurel and Ashley take it back to the shop as she wasn't allowed it. Jacob tells David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) that Gabby and Lachlan broke into Eric's house and took his ring. David confronts Gabby and Lachlan's family, insisting on phoning the police and unhappy with Lawrence White's (John Bowe) suggestion to pay for the damage. Ashley finds out about what Gabby and Lachlan did and he tells Bernice that he wants Gabby to live with him full-time. Later, Lawrence admits to Ashley that he wants to be a good father to Gabby, but feels it isn't his place to discipline her and later, they both inform Bernice of the plan for Lawrence to adopt Gabby when his dementia worsens. Gabby and Lachlan later apologise to Eric in front of their family and after, when Gabby complains about being embarrassed and that Lawrence can't tell her what to do as he isn't her father, Ashley tells Gabby that Lawrence is much of a parent to her as him and Bernice. At Laurel's hen do, Gabby learns that Laurel is pregnant. Gabby acts as a bridesmaid at Ashley and Laurel's wedding. Gabby wants to go to a gig that Lachlan is going to, but Ashley and Bernice won't allow her. Lachlan suggests to Gabby that she makes out Ashley gave her permission and forgot. Gabby and Lachlan convince Ashley he gave permission, which is overheard by Jacob. Ashley later tells Gabby about the plan for Lawrence to adopt her, but Gabby doesn't take it well. Jacob tells Ashley what Gabby and Lachlan did when he fears his dementia is worsening. Gabby decides herself not to go to the gig and when she goes to tell her dad, Ashley and Laurel are furious with her. When Gabby feels that Ashley hasn't forgiven her, she gets drunk with Jacob after he tells her that David may have cancer and Gabby later returns home drunk. Gabby overhears Laurel and Ashley discuss discipline methods, with Laurel suggesting boundaries and Ashley suggests talking to her. Gabby also tells Eric that David has cancer. Gabby apologises to Ashley and they make up. Gabby goes shopping with Liv for her schoolwear. Gabby falls out with Liv when Liv's half-brother, Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller), believes Liv has a crush on Jacob and lets it slip to Gabby. Gabby insults Liv and her parents. Liv and Gabby make up and Liv confides in Gabby about the horrible messages she is receiving online. Liv and Gabby decide to arrange a party at Gordon's house, which he left to Liv and they are collected by Bernice and Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter).
Jacob steals vodka from David's shop and Gabby and Jacob drink it at Gabby's house when Laurel and Ashley are out. Gabby and Jacob think about having sex, but Laurel arrives home and catches them in a compromising position with a condom and she forcefully throws Jacob out. Laurel tells Ashley about Gabby and Jacob, who then discuss the situation with Bernice, David and Leyla. Gabby and Jacob arrive and they defend themselves with that they haven't slept together and Gabby is unhappy that her parent's have banned her from seeing Jacob and she shows everyone the bruises on Jacob caused by Laurel. Gabby is annoyed with Bernice when she left following her and Lawrence separating and she and Lachlan meet and talk about their family situation. Gabby is furious with Lachlan when he kisses her and in the cafe, Gabby doesn't want to listen to Lachlan and Lawrence embarrasses him. Gabby tells Liv what happened and that she wants the life she had living at Home Farm. She asks Bernice and Rodney for the money to go to Pony Club and she later notices Sandy's wallet, containing a large amount of money. Gabby finds April Windsor's (Amelia Flanagan) locket and returns it to her. Gabby and Liv break into Victoria Barton's (Isabel Hodgins) house and take her clothes. When she returns, Gabby manages to escape, but Victoria is left shaken. Ashley and Laurel find out Gabby was responsible by her injured face and torn jumper and that she took Sandy's pension. Gabby fails to apologise and Ashley reports her to the police. Gabby accuses Ashley and Laurel of assaulting her. Douglas witnesses Gabby falling out with Liv and attempts to talk to her. He gets Gabby and Ashley to meet at the church, but Gabby and Ashley upset each other by Gabby wishing her dad would die and Ashley wishing she was never born. Gabby admits to Ashley that she is scared that he will die and they make up and Gabby apologises to her family. Laurel later gives birth to Gabby's half-sister, Dotty Thomas.
Laurel discovers Gabby has been bunking off school to see Ashley at the day care centre and Gabby and Laurel talk to each other. Gabby and Liv steal alcohol from the village hall. Gabby and Liv skip school and a drunk Gabby streaks across the cricket pavilion field with Liv filming and sending the video. Gabby collapses at home and is taken to hospital with suspected alcohol poisoning, but is later sent home. Gabby is bullied online because of the video. Laurel tells Gabby and Arthur that they are looking at full time care for Ashley following a stroke he has, which upsets Gabby, but she decides to make Christmas special for Ashley. Gabby looks after Ashley on her own and she fails to realise that Ashley needed to use the toilet. Ashley's carer, Will, tells Gabby that Ashley is getting worse and Gabby promises to tell Laurel, however Gabby lies and tells Laurel that Ashley had a good day. When Will is ill, Gabby is forced to look after Ashley and Dotty, and Laurel is angry with Laurel when Ashley is found alone after Gabby had to change Dotty, but they make up. Laurel decides to move Ashley into full time care, upsetting Gabby and Arthur. Gabby accompanies Laurel to take Ashley to his care home and Laurel reassures Gabby she can still live with her as she still sees her as her daughter. Gabby is hurt when she visits Ashley with Laurel and Arthur and sees Ashley with a woman he has developed a bond with, but Laurel reassures her. Gabby and Liv skip school with two of their schoolmates, Josh (Conner Chapman) and Jamie (Jake Heyward) and Gabby has sex with Josh. Laurel slaps Gabby when she finds out Gabby and Josh had sex in her and Ashley's bed. Bernice finds out about Gabby having sex from Liv, and confronts her and Laurel. Gabby reveals that she is being bullied online over it and Laurel defends her actions. Laurel takes her and Arthur out of school on compassionate leave. Ashley is diagnosed with pneumonia when he coughs up blood and Laurel is told that Ashley is not responding to treatment and that the family should start saying goodbye, which she tells Gabby and Arthur. Laurel brings Ashley home for his final days. Gabby stays with Bernice, struggling to come to terms with that Ashley is going to die, and with Bernice's support, Gabby goes to see Ashley. Gabby tells Ashley how much she loves him. Gabby wants to say goodbye to Ashley, but he passes away before she can. Gabby blames Bernice for her not being able to say a final goodbye to Ashley, but Diane encourages Gabby to make up with Bernice. Bernice plans to visit Dee Dee and Gabby and Bernice talk to Laurel about Gabby going too. Gabby explains she needs to get away and Laurel gives her blessing. Arthur overhears Laurel and Douglas talk about Gabby going away. Arthur is upset with Gabby and thinks Dee Dee will take his place, but Gabby reassures him that won't happen. Bernice returns from Australia and tells the family that Gabby has decided to stay in Australia with Charlie and Dee Dee and tried to tell Laurel.
Before Gabby is due to return home from Australia, Laurel is upset that Gabby wants to live with Bernice when she is back and confides in Gabby's aunt, Nicola King (Nicola Wheeler), that she feels as if she is losing Gabby. Gabby returns home with Bernice and she questions Bernice's rudeness towards Emma Barton (Gillian Kearney) when she welcomes Gabby home. At her welcome party, Laurel gives Gabby a family heirloom and Bernice and Laurel make excuses to why Gabby cannot watch videos of Ashley, which were destroyed by Emma. Bernice tells Gabby the reason there was an atmosphere with Emma is because Ashley witnessed Emma on the bridge during a car crash and Arthur watched a video with Ashley confronting Emma, which she destroyed. Gabby warns Emma to stay away from her family and comforts Laurel. Emma blames Laurel for leaving a prayer card of Ashley's on James Barton's (Bill Ward) grave, but it was Gabby. Gabby spooks Emma in the church by pretending she is God, but Emma finds Gabby's necklace and Gabby breaks into Emma's house to retrieve it. Gabby also finds the memory card and she and Arthur try it out, surprised that it works after being damaged and Gabby witnesses Emma and Ashley's video. Gabby and Arthur play the footage of Emma and Ashley in the church and when Emma catches Gabby, they physically fight and Gabby pushes Emma onto a stone. When Emma Barton is found dead by a viaduct, she is believed to have been murdered and Emma's son, Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan), suspects Gabby and Pete attempts to talk to Gabby. After Gabby is snappy towards Arthur and Bernice is informed of her truancy, Bernice finds Gabby drinking alcohol and Pete watches on as Bernice reprimands Gabby. Upon her return, Frank Clayton (Michael Praed) lets slip to Laurel that Gabby bought roses, assuming they were for her. After Pete witnesses the discussion, he confronts Gabby in front of her family about roses found at the viaduct with an apology note. Gabby denies murdering Emma, but left the roses for the way she treated Emma and Gabby overhears Bernice and Laurel questioning the possibility of Gabby being capable of murder. Gabby is picked up by the police when she attempts to hitchhike and with Bernice present, she is questioned about Emma's murder and she hands in the memory card with the video of Ashley and Emma.
Dee Dee (Mia Gibson-Reed) arrives unannounced in Emmerdale and reunites with Bernice, Gabby and Diane. Bernice and Gabby admit to Diane they exaggerated their life to make it seem glamorous to Dee Dee. Bernice buys Gabby and Dee Dee gifts, but when Bernice comes clean about not being rich, Dee Dee decides to return to Australia. Gabby is not happy when Bernice starts a relationship with Daz Spencer (Mark Jordon) and she blackmails alcohol out of him. On Valentine's Day, Liv arranges to meet Jacob at the pavilion on Gabby's behalf and Liv tells Gabby that she is asexual, but kisses Gabby to ensure she is not lesbian. Gabby is infuriated with Liv when she witnesses Jacob and Liv hugging and on her 16th birthday, Gabby gives Liv a henna tattoo and at her party, it is revealed the tattoo says skank. Gabby angrily tells everyone that Liv stole Jacob off her and kissed her. Liv refuses to forgive Gabby, but make up after a fight. For a party, Gabby gets Liv to steal vodka from the pub when she fails to blackmail some out of Daz, who tells Bernice about Gabby and alcohol. Gabby takes ketamine from Vanessa Woodfield's (Michelle Hardwick) bag and Gabby encourages Liv to spike Daz's drink when he talks negatively about Liv, however, Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox) has the drink and suffers a heart attack. Gabby takes responsibility for spiking the drink when the police turn up at the hospital and she is arrested and charged with theft and administering a noxious substance, but when she is caught by her family writing a message to Liv, she admits Liv was involved, but will not implicate her. Liv confesses to being responsible for spiking the drink and is charged, but Gabby still is charged with theft. To make up for stealing ketamine, Gabby decides to work at the vets for free.
After Bernice receives a call about her ex-husband being ill, she makes the decision to leave the village to be with him in Australia. She takes Dee Dee with her, but insists that Gabby should stay behind so that she can complete her education. Gabby begins to feel lonely, and feeling that Bernice's boyfriend, Liam Cavanagh (Jonny McPherson), and his new girlfriend, Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi) are responsible for Bernice leaving, she vandalises Leyla's wedding planning business, Take a Vow. Gabby begins attending university, but comes to the conclusion that she does not enjoy it, and would rather be working to earn money. Leyla later discovers that Gabby is behind the vandalism, and rather than reporting her to the police, she feels sympathy for her situation, and gives her a job. Gabby begins working at Take a Vow, and despite Bernice disagreeing with her decision to leave university, Gabby affirms that it is her life. Gabby grows a strong affection for Leyla, and ensures that she is in her company as much as possible. Gabby sees Liam chatting with his colleague Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu), and decides to set the pair up. She orders a bouquet of flowers to Meena's house, with a note signed from Liam, in order to trick Leyla into believing that they are having an affair. Leyla initially believes that Liam has cheated on her with Gabby's encouragement, but the pair later reconcile. Liam suspects that Gabby is behind the prank, and contacts a flower shop, who confirm his suspicions. He then begins to blackmail Gabby into spending less time with Leyla, threatening to tell Leyla the truth. Leyla then sees the pair in a heated discussion, and assumes that he is grooming her, which Gabby does not respond to. Liam pleads with Leyla to see the truth, and when she realises that Gabby has become obsessed with her, she fires her from Take a Vow. Liam's daughter Leanna (Mimi Slinger) vows to make Gabby's life a "living hell" due to her nearly ruining Liam's life, and attempts to get her fired from her new job at the Hide restaurant. Gabby's boss Jamie Tate (Alexander Lincoln) defends Gabby, and Gabby develops a crush on Jamie. The pair later have sex, but after Jamie insists that it meant nothing and that he likes Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley), she decides to take revenge. She hides Bear Wolf's (Joshua Richards) wallet in Dawn's bag, which gets her fired from the Hide. Other Hop boss Kim Tate (Claire King) sees what Gabby has done on CCTV, but decides to mentor Gabby, since she dislikes Dawn and sees a spark in Gabby.
From the character's birth, Gabby was played by both Annelise Manojlovic and Jemma Giles, however, Manojlovic continued as Gabby until 2015.The character was recast to Rosie Bentham and she appeared from January 2016. Of her casting, Bentham said, "I was out shopping with my mate when I found out I'd got the role. I was jumping around in Boots. It was amazing. I went up to Leeds four times because of call backs. I knew I was down to the last five but I wasn't really expecting to get it. It was incredible when I found out. It's a bit weird, but I had been watching Gabby before I started going up there to see what I could find out about her character." Bentham stated that Lucy Pargeter, who plays Chas Dingle and James Hooton, who plays Sam Dingle, helped her as, like Bentham, they attended Television Workshop. She stated: "I couldn't wish for better people to work with. It sounds like a cliche but we're all one big family." She also added: "It was a bit of a shock for people when I first appeared as Gabby. It happens a lot in television and people get used to it. I just took it as 'I'm not playing this character' and didn't really think about whatever had happened in the past." Bentham was chaperoned by her parents whilst she was young.
In 2012, Giles reprised her role of Bernice. Giles said that Bernice will think Gabby will "enjoy spending time" with her, but will have thought little about the "hard time" Gabby has endured with Ashley and Laurel's marriage breakdown.Bernice's return will worry Laurel over the "affect" it will have on her relationship with Gabby. Upon Laurel embarking a relationship with Marlon, Gabby takes "a real dislike" to Marlon as she views him as the one who has ruined her family, so she claims Marlon assaulted her when an "upset" Gabby witnesses Laurel and Marlon kissing. Bellamy said Laurel is "very upset" when Gabby admits to making up to assault and chooses to live with Ashley as Lauren views Gabby as her own daughter, who would "happily accept" Laurel as her mum again if Ashley and Laurel reunite.
In 2015, it was announced Middleton would be leaving Emmerdale with Ashley being diagnosed with dementia.Ashley "desperately tried to put off" the "terrible prospect" of telling Gabby and Arthur the truth. Bellamy explained the "sad" scene where Ashley tells the children over a picnic. When a "wayward" Gabby breaks into Victoria's house, resulting in her being injured, and steals Sandy's pension, she "hatches a cruel plan against" Ashley when he reports her for robbery by reporting him for assault. The allegation causes a "rift" between Gabby and Ashley as Ashley will not apologise and Gabby is "determined not to back down either."
Gabby is "devastated" when she feels "denied" of the "chance to say goodbye" to Ashley privately when he dies.Producer Iain MacLeod said, despite the "crushing extra blow" for Gabby that was "added in to make the story more realistic", that throughout Gabby's "journey", she will come to realise that Ashley knew she loved him. With the suggestion Gabby go "off the roles", MacLeod confirmed it was not the "intention" as they do not want to "inflict any undue anguish on her, it just felt quite truthful." Middleton praised Bentham, calling her "a lovely young woman" and that he is "proud" of her and Clarke as "they’ve developed so brilliantly." Following the conclusion of the storyline, Gabby was temporarily written out of the soap, since Bentham was taking her GCSE exams in real life.
After Gabby's mother Bernice leaves the country, Laurel and Diane ignore her more and her friend Leanna gets into a relationship, Gabby's loneliness is explored in 2020. Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy described the situation as Gabby feeling "as everyone around her seems to be distracted by other matters", and that she feels Leanna sees her as a "third wheel who's standing in the way of her alone time with Jacob".The storyline sees Gabby taking out her anger on Leyla, since she blames her for the lonely situation she is in. Gabby stalks Leyla and later vandalises her business, and Leyla's portrayer Shahidi stated that when she discovers that the stalker is Gabby, "given the right set of circumstances, [Leyla] can be very empathetic, she can be a very forgiving and understanding person", and Leyla responds to the discovery by offering Gabby an apprenticeship at her business. Kilkelly noted that this could be "the fresh start Gabby needed". After Leyla reveals that she is going to Ibiza for work but is not taking Gabby, as well as Laurel going on holiday with boyfriend Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) without her, Gabby's actions "spark concern" when she gets drunk. Gabby then decides to break Leyla and Liam up, by making it seem as though he is having an affair with Meena. Speaking on her character's plan, Bentham explained that Gabby wants all of Leyla's attention. She described Gabby as a "troubled teen going through a lot of changes", and that her new friendship with Leyla is the most important thing to her, which leads to the fixation with Leyla. Bentham stated that Gabby sees Meena as a "pawn piece" in her plan, and that she is seeking an "explosion" with her plan. When Leyla confides in Gabby following the breakup, Bentham confirms that it is "exactly what Gabby wanted". When Bentham was asked why her character is doing this, she answered: "Gabby and Leyla is a new friendship and Gabby has no-one else in the village. She had that situation in the cricket pavilion where she poured out all of her emotions to Leyla and she has never done that to many people before. Gabby really needed that. Fans' reactions have been very interesting over what they think is going on. But I think Gabby just craves attention as a teenage girl and she hasn't got her mum there, which is really tough." She compared the storyline to the 1992 film Single White Female , adding that Gabby sees Leyla as an "idol", leading to her copying Leyla's mannerisms and style. On why the obsession was with Leyla, she explained that Gabby has been "completely neglected and Leyla just steps in, takes her under her wing, they've got really close and Gabby loves it." She added that it was more relative to a sister or mother relationship than a romantic crush on Leyla. The fixation storyline with Leyla concludes after her actions are discovered, with Leanna stating a "smear campaign" against Gabby.
In January 2021, it was announced that 2021 would have a large focus on the younger characters of Emmerdale, including Gabby. Details of a storyline that see Gabby become involved with the Tate family were announced, with Claire Crick of What's on TV hinting that Gabby could be set to become "the next Kim Tate".Bentham stated that Gabby "sets her sights on Home Farm", the largest property in the village, owned by Kim. She expressed her excitement at her character being "at the heart of the village" and involved in such a major storyline, and confirmed that 2021 would be the most dramatic year for her character. Bentham joked: "If Gabby is hoping 2021 is going to be a more settled year, she can think again". Producers confirmed that the storyline will be "huge", with producer Sophie Roper explaining that "a fight for power will quickly ensue" after Gabby discovers that she is pregnant with Jamie's baby, Kim's son. Roper noted that Gabby would find herself "at the centre of a family at war", and hinted that Gabby could either "succumb to the manipulations at Home Farm" or could "end up being the one who pulls the strings". In order to place distance between Jamie and love interest Dawn, Gabby gets her fired, which Kim appreciates since she does not like Dawn. Producers confirmed that they would develop an alliance between Gabby and Kim, with Kim's portrayer King explaining that Kim sees potential in Gabby. King explained that Kim thinks she can manipulate Gabby into being a "useful accomplice" for her, and noted that Kim sees her younger self in Gabby. King also noted that while her character does not know that Gabby has had sex with Jamie, Kim "will try to push them" to be a couple, since she believes they would be a good couple. She added that her character could be underestimating Gabby, and that her character could become a victim to Gabby's manipulation, explaining: "Kim senses that Gabby has this edge to her – she's not just intelligent, but she has a little dangerous side as well. I think Kim likes that, but that could be to her detriment at some point. Who knows? Gabby certainly has a tough side that we haven't quite seen yet." She also hinted that the storyline could run for months or potentially years, and that there is "real potential" for there to be a battle for the Home Farm property.
Bentham explained that one of Gabby's motives for the battle are both impressing Kim and being jealous of Dawn's relationship with Jamie. She noted that Gabby is attracted to "his power, his money and the huge house", stating that "Jamie has just got everything that Gabby would want", and that while she is somewhat attracted to him, it is "mainly about what she can gain for herself". She enthused at the thought of Gabby taking over Home Farm, since it would "launch her into something completely new and exciting". Bentham explained that while Gabby is primarily trying to show that she can be like Kim, she is also trying to get Dawn "out of Jamie's line of women", which is why she gets her fired from the Hide.However, when Jamie hires Dawn to work at the local vets and leaves to work there himself, Gabby is annoyed that her plan did not work, with Bentham stating that Gabby is "fuming", as well as Kim. The actress also commented on the potential that Kim sees in Gabby, explaining that she "wants to join Kim's little empire and she loves the power that Kim has", and that the cause for her power hungry ways is down to being abandoned and left lonely, comparing the fixation of power to her fixation with Leyla and adding: "If anyone sees potential in Gabby, she will hook onto it". When Gabby reveals to the Tates that she is pregnant, Bentham stated that Kim responds well, due to being happy about building her Tate empire, while Jamie is "not thrilled" about being linked to someone through a child. Bentham added that due to Kim buying the baby gifts early into the pregnancy, Gabby gets a taste of the Home Farm life, and it leads her to want more.
In episodes broadcast in February 2016, Gabby was seen drawing on a Scouse brow with permanent marker as part of her under-age drinking storyline. Many viewers took to social media to ridicule Gabby's look, despite the serious nature of plot.A columnist for Inside Soap commented: "Gabby Thomas isn't a bad girl, but she really ought to think twice before listening to sneaky Lachlan." Duncan Lindsay of Metro praised Bentham and her on-screen family for the portrayal of Ashley's dementia, saying their performances "continue to be outstanding". For her portrayal as Gabby, Bentham was nominated at the 2016 TV Choice Awards for Best Soap Newcomer.
Ashley Thomas is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by John Middleton. He made his first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 5 December 1996. It was announced on 22 October 2015 that Middleton would be departing as Ashley at the end of his contract after the character was diagnosed with vascular dementia in the episode aired on that day. The contract was later extended in order for the storyline to be extended. It was revealed that Ashley would be killed off at the end of the storyline. Middleton filmed his final scenes in March 2017 after his contract ended, and Ashley died on-screen on 7 April 2017, ending his 21 years on Emmerdale. Ashley appeared in further episodes in home movie scenes, making his final appearance on 13 February 2018.
Laurel Thomas is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Charlotte Bellamy. She debuted on screen during the episode airing on 3 September 2002. Laurel has been off-screen at various times while Bellamy has taken maternity leave. Laurel is perhaps best known for her thoughtful and caring attitude towards other characters, however, this changed dramatically in 2015 when she developed an addiction to alcohol, which often caused her to become violent and aggressive towards other characters.
Belle Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Eden Taylor-Draper. Belle made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 25 December 1998, and was originally played by twins Emily and James Mather, with the latter leaving the role in 2005. Belle has featured in various storylines throughout her time on the soap, such as falling down a mineshaft, killing her best friend Gemma Andrews, having an affair with doctor Jermaine Bailey, faking a pregnancy to prevent Jermaine from leaving after their affair is revealed, being diagnosed with schizophrenia, a relationship with Lachlan White which ends after discovering he is a serial killer and suffering mental health relapses.
Aaron Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Danny Miller. The character was originally played by Danny Webb and appeared in a recurring capacity. Aaron made his first appearance during the episode broadcast on 24 December 2003. When Aaron was reintroduced in 2008, he was promoted to the full-time cast and the decision was made to recast the role. Miller successfully auditioned for the part and later admitted that he would have quit acting if he had not been cast.
Bernice Blackstock is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Samantha Giles. She made her first on screen appearance on 25 November 1998. In September 2012, it was announced Giles had reprised her role and Bernice returned on 20 November 2012 after over eight years away from the programme. In September 2019, Giles announced her departure from the series, with her final scenes airing in November 2019. In April 2021, it was announced that Giles would be returning to the soap, with her return scenes airing on 27 May 2021.
Storylines of Emmerdale, the British ITV soap opera, have spanned more than five decades, from the programme's inception in October 1972 until the present day. Emmerdale has covered a number of storylines that created dispute and debate in the media and caused public outcry from viewers. A viewer poll conducted in January 2021 found that the top three storylines/episodes voted by viewers were the Emmerdale plane crash of 1993, the Storm of 2003 that occurred on around the 10th anniversary of the plane crash, and the Hotten Bypass Crash in 2016. Some storylines are seen as having caused controversy amongst viewers and in the media due to the sudden sacking of an actor by the programme's producer, or as a result of a topic or theme that openly shocked viewers or was seen as taboo.
Douglas "Doug" Potts is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Duncan Preston. In July 2010, Preston announced that he was taking a break from the show, initially temporarily for several months to allow him to do some theatre work. However, it was later announced by Executive Producer, Steve November, that a return for the character of Doug wasn't definite. November stated that the door would remain open for Preston to come back to the show but that it was in the actor's hands if and when he decides to discuss a return. On 30 July 2014, it was announced that Preston has reprised the role and Doug is returning to the show as a regular character from September. During a December 2016 episode of the show, Doug was recast temporarily to provide an alternative physical appearance from the viewpoint of dementia patient Ashley Thomas.
Leyla Harding is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Roxy Shahidi. She made her first on-screen appearance on 11 August 2008 and was introduced by series producer, Anita Turner. The character departed on 5 August 2011. Shahidi returned to Emmerdale for two episodes on 25 December 2013. She returned full-time in January 2014. On 5 January 2018, Shahadi took maternity leave from the show whilst pregnant with her first child. She returned on 3 October 2018.
Leanna Cavanagh is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Mimi Slinger. Leanna is introduced as the troublesome daughter of Liam Cavanagh when producers made the decision to explore Liam's character. Since making her first appearance on 6 March 2018, her storylines in the soap have included her numerous rivalries with her father's partners, her friendship and eventual rivalry with Gabby Thomas, and her on-off relationship with Jacob Gallagher.
Liv Flaherty is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Isobel Steele. The character made her first on-screen appearance on 25 February 2016. Liv was introduced as part of her half-brother Aaron Livesy's sex abuse storyline, which would see her realise that her father is a sex offender. Liv is initially characterised as a troublemaker, but her depth is explored following the decision to move in with Aaron. Steele has noted that similar aspects of her character are similar to herself, and appreciates that Emmerdale wrote her as a teenage with authority since she felt that this is rarely seen on television. Liv became the first asexual character to be featured in a soap opera, and Steele has been praised by viewers and critics for her role in the storyline. Asexual people felt that the character was an accurate portrayal of themselves, and Steele has expressed her gratitude at being able to represent them on-screen.