The following is a list of characters that first appeared in the British soap opera Emmerdale in 1990, by order of first appearance. This year saw the introduction of a new family, the Feldmanns. Siblings Elsa and Michael debuted in February while their mother, Elizabeth appeared the following month. Councillor Charlie Aindow, in a new love interest for Dolly Skilbeck began appearing in August and Peter Whiteley, son of established characters Pete and Lynn was born in the same month.
|Portrayed by||Naomi Lewis (1990–1994)|
Natasha Gray (1999, 2001)
|Duration||1990–1991, 1993–1994, 1999, 2001|
|First appearance||8 February 1990|
|Last appearance||12 December 2001|
|Introduced by||Stuart Doughty (1990)|
Morag Bain (1993)
Kieran Roberts (1999)
Steve Frost (2001)
|Other names||Elsa Chappell|
Elsa Chappell (née Feldmann) first appeared in 1990 with her mother Elizabeth and brother Michael after they were being evicted from their house by Frank Tate. Elsa soon began dating Nick Bates and they got engaged and planned to marry on Valentine's Day 1991. However, Elsa was pregnant and gave birth to a daughter, Alice. As they were unable to get her to the hospital in time, Zoe Tate acted as midwife and helped deliver Alice. The couple separated, with Elsa leaving Nick on Christmas Day 1991, taking Alice with her. She soon realized that she wasn't ready for motherhood and Alice returned to Nick custody before Elsa left the village.
Following the death of her mother in the plane crash in December 1993, Elsa returned to Emmerdale for her funeral and tried to get custody by spreading rumours that Nick and his best friend, Archie Brooks, were gay. However, a court ruled in Nick's favour and Elsa left the village. After living in Australia for a while, Elsa returned in 1999 with a new husband, Brett, and stepson, Shane, hoping to take Alice to live with her in Australia. During Elsa's absence, Nick was imprisoned for manslaughter after killing a poacher and Alice went to live with his sister, Kathy Glover. Kathy, who was very close to her niece, let Elsa take Alice as she saw Alice wanted parents and a step brother, not an aunt. Kathy visited Elsa in 2001 and brought Alice home but Elsa followed and after seeing that Alice was happy with Kathy, suggested that Kathy join them to Australia with her and Alice. Kathy agreed and they returned to Australia.
|Portrayed by||Matthew Vaughan|
|First appearance||13 February 1990|
|Last appearance||4 January 2011|
|Introduced by||Stuart Doughty (1990)|
Gavin Blyth (2010)
Michael Feldmann, played by Matthew Vaughan, first appears on 13 February 1990 when his younger sister, Elsa, introduces him to her friends Nick Bates, Mark Hughes and Rachel Hughes while on a night out at the Black Bull pub in Hotten. When Mark is bounced for being underage, the teens are cornered in the car park by some bikers, who attack Mark and Nick, due to Nick insulting them earlier. Michael intervenes when the police arrive and Nick thanks Michael. Michael and Elsa, along with their mother, Elizabeth, are later evicted from their land on Blackthorn Farm by their landlord Frank Tate.
Michael seeks employment working for Annie and Jack Sugden and is later accused of arson, when one of the barns burns down, but is cleared - this is proven to be the work of a labourer from another estate. Michael begins a relationship with Rachel. However, this was jeopardised after he had a one-night stand with Zoe Tate, who later comes out as a lesbian.
In 1992 Michael takes part in an armed robbery of Home Farm, which leaves Joe Sugden badly injured and fighting for his life. The robbery was organised by Neil Kincaid's stable hand, Steve Marshal. Following his mother Elizabeth's marriage to Eric Pollard, several months later, Michael is arrested for his involvement in the attack, and consequently sentenced to four months imprisonment. Michael resents his mother's relationship with Eric and attacks him the Woolpack, punching him. When Elizabeth is killed, in the Emmerdale plane crash of 1993, Michael accuses Eric of murder. It transpires that Elizabeth had uncovered evidence of Eric committing cheque fraud, for which he had framed Michael, and was about to report him to the police when she was killed by falling plane debris. Eric is then suspected of murdering Elizabeth and things are not helped when Eric's first wife, Eileen Pollock, arrives and claims that Eric and Elizabeth's marriage was bigamous. This leads to a fight between Michael and Eric, which sees Eric pinning Michael to the floor. Elsa arrives and Michael takes advantage of the distraction to shove Eric, who hits head on the coffee table. Elsa, believing that Michael has killed Eric, tells Michael to run and he flees in Eric's car, which he later abandons at an airport.
In 2010 Eric begins receiving letters, messages and cards, claiming to be from Elizabeth. Originally suspecting the messages to be sent by Amy Wyatt, it is on 30 December, 16 years to the day of the plane crash, that the messages are instead found to be from Michael. Michael, who has been in-and-out of jail, confronts Eric at Elizabeth's grave. He later follows Eric back to The Grange, where he again confronts him, prompting him to reveal his history to his current wife, Val. Michael then leaves. However, he later informes Amy that he wants Eric to pay him a large sum or money, otherwise he will reveal Eric to be a murderer. Eric tells Michael to come in his car with him, and he will pay him off. Eric drives Michael to a remote area, however, and, after an exchange of words, Eric produces a tyre iron, advancing on Michael, who cowers into a corner. The result of the incident was not revealed. Eric returns to Emmerdale alone, appearing at edge and nervous, telling Val that he had given Michael a lift to the station. Michael reappears on 4 January to confront Eric, who refuses to give him any more money and Val tells Michael it is time he stopped blaming Eric. After a calm discussion, Michael agrees to leave and Eric gives him some money in order to look after himself and Michael drives out of the village into the night.
|Portrayed by||Kate Dove|
|First appearance||21 March 1990|
|Last appearance||30 December 1993|
|Introduced by||Stuart Doughty|
|Other names||Elizabeth Pollard|
Elizabeth Pollard (previously Feldmann), played by Kate Dove, arrived in the village with her son Michael and daughter Elsa in 1990. She found herself fighting between the affections of Alan Turner and Eric Pollard. Elizabeth chose Eric and married him in October 1992; she was unaware that Eric was still legally married to his first wife Eileen and was committing bigamy.
Eventually, Elizabeth discovered that Eric had planted a typewriter on her son, Michael, in order to disguise the fact that he himself had committed cheque fraud and was prepared to let Michael take the blame. On 30 December 1993, Elizabeth left Eric, informing him that she would report him to the police. He tried to dissuade her, saying that if she reported him, she herself would face prosecution for her role in the theft of antique vases, however, Elizabeth admitted that her own imprisonment would be worth that of Eric's. Shortly afterwards, Elizabeth was killed in the plane crash that struck the village. Her son, Michael, however, as well as a majority of villagers, believed that Eric had actually murdered her in order to stop her from exposing his fraudulent activities.
Nearly seventeen years after her death, in December 2010, Eric started to receive notes, messages and Christmas greetings, signed from Elizabeth. Originally believing them to be from Amy Wyatt (Chelsea Halfpenny), it later transpired that Elizabeth's son Michael had been sending the notes and returned to the village after 16 years of absence, in order to make Eric pay for the murder of his mother. Eric told Val on 3 January 2011 about the night of the plane crash 17 years before and stated the events leading up to her death such as about the cheque fraud and stolen Roman bracelet. He then stated that he went round to see her then after a brief row she had stormed out of the house and he followed her, caught up with her and tried to get her to listen and that she had run off into the night screaming but a tree near her burst into flames as plane wreckage shot down and the sky lit up. Eric explains that he went back a bit later and found her dead. On 4 January 2011, Eric's current wife Val Pollard (Charlie Hardwick) obtained the coroners report into Elizabeth's death which confirmed she had been killed by falling debris from the plane.
In May 2011, Eric mentioned her when he and David were looking for Amy in Hotten, and she is mentioned once again in July 2015 when Val, facing prison for committing fraud against the Bank, reminds Eric (who is upset over her actions) that he once tried to "defraud his dead ex-wife", referring to Elizabeth. In October 2015, Lawrence White (John Bowe) threatens Eric with legal action over his past if he gives evidence against Chrissie Sugden (Louise Marwood) in court. Lawrence tells Eric that he will get his lawyers to dig up dirt on his past, including "an ex-wife who died in mysterious circumstances" before saying "What was her name, Elizabeth?" His threat leads to Eric not giving evidence against Chrissie in court, suggesting that he may have had a more guilty role in Elizabeth's death than stated back in 2011.
|Portrayed by||David Fleeshman|
|First appearance||9 August 1990|
|Last appearance||30 April 1992|
|Introduced by||Stuart Doughty|
Charlie Aindow, played by David Fleeshman, first appeared in the village in 1990. Charlie was a councillor but was not all he seemed. The truth was that he was corrupt and quickly got involved in dodgy schemes with local villain Eric Pollard.
Shortly after arriving, Charlie falls for feisty barmaid Dolly Acaster, whose ex-husband Matt Skilbeck has just left the village, leaving her depressed. After initial bonding, Charlie and Dolly begin an affair which carries on until the revelation that Dolly is pregnant brings him back to reality. Not wanting to be a father, Charlie advises Dolly to get an abortion, which she does. Despite this, he is devastated when she leaves the village in Autumn 1991 to reunite with Matt in Norfolk. Realising what he has lost and not popular amongst the villagers, Charlie leaves Beckindale in 1992.
|Portrayed by||Sam Walker|
|First appearance||28 August 1990|
|Last appearance||4 August 1994|
|Introduced by||Stuart Doughty|
Peter Whiteley was the son of Pete and Lynn Whiteley and appeared from 1990 to 1994 during the first four years of his life. He was born on the same day of the funeral of his father, Pete, who had been run over and killed by his lover's mother Kate Sugden. Lynn began to raise Peter as a single mother. On the night of the plane crash, Lynn left Peter with a babysitter whilst she went to The Woolpack and Whiteley's Farm was hit by falling debris from the plame and set on fire. The babysitter managed to get out of the house and save Peter and he was later reunited with his mother, although their home was destroyed. Peter left the village with his mother to live with her new lover, Sven Olsen, in Australia in August 1994.
|Gary||11 January–26 March 1992 (Gary)|
11 January–1 September 1992 (Dan)
|Gary Halliday||Dan and Gary are school friends of Mark Hughes. The Three plan to catch and sell wild Mink by setting traps in the Woodland but end up catching Lucy, Mark's mother, Kate's new puppy in the traps. Lucy is freed and there is no damage. At Mark's sister Rachel's post-exam party, Dan and Gary spike the punch, unaware that it has already been topped up with Alcohol by Joe Sugden and Rachel herself, leading to Rachel collapsing with alcohol poisoning. The following year, Dan and Gary convince Mark to talk to Paula Barker who agrees to date him but the relationship goes nowhere. Dan and Gary then play a prank on Sarah Connolly by sending her an anonymous Valentine's card but their sniggering gives them away. At Halloween, Mark and Dan run around in masks scaring the women of the village. When Mark throws a party Dan and Gary invite some friends but things go awry when their friend attack Jack Sugden with a plank of Wood. This is Gary's last appearance. Dan is last seen when he tries to chat up some female holidaymakers at the Holiday village but is pushed into the pool for his trouble.|
|Wilf Henshaw||8 February–6 March||Danny O'Dea|
|Wilf is the Malt Shovel's resident Dominoes champion who defects to the Woolpack. He and Seth Armstrong argue with some of the Woolpack's younger customers over the use of the Domino table and the old tap room which has recently been cleared out. In order to get rid of the Youngsters, Wilf and Seth lace their drinks with vodka in order to get them drunk and rowdy so they will be banned, which works until landlord Amos Brearly finds out and bars Seth, Wilf and their friends from the tap room.|
|George Starkey||8 February–22 March||James Noble|
|George is a lorry driver for Tate Haulage. He returns the late Jackie Merrick's sweater to his widow, Kathy, which Jackie had left behind at a cafe down in Southampton several months before his death. George reveals he had met a psychic woman and drops Kathy off in Southampton to meet her. However, Chris Tate is unhappy and promptly fires George, who ignores his warning. George appeals to Chris' father, Frank but he refuses to help him. George then threatens to expose a dark secret unless he complies, which Frank refuses to do so again. George then reveals to Chris that Frank is behind the death of his mother, Jean five years earlier. Frank refuses to give George a reference, and he leans on Frank's current wife Kim to get Frank to change his mind but his request falls on deaf ears. George then spray-paints that Frank killed Jean, on the Woolpack Wall which results in an enraged Chris attacking him. This is not enough to stop George writing the same statement on the side of his truck and causes a scene at the Hunt Ball. Frank then reveals the truth about Jean's death, which was a suicide by overdosing on painkillers while he left a walk. George then leaves the village as his plan for revenge fails|
|Debbie Wilson||12 April–29 May||Debbie Arnold|
|Debbie visits Eric Pollard to ask for advice about starting up an antiques business. Eric is attracted to Debbie and acceptes her invitation to look at properties for her shop in Hotten. Debbie tells Eric about her late husband, Barry and explains that she is ready to move on, before flirting with Eric. Debbie asks Eric to invest in her business, which he agrees. He invests £1500 in her business, and they celebrate. Eric begins angering auction bidders when he makes Debbie's bid final on some of the auctions, but Debbie continues to be charmed by him. Eric proposes to Debbie and she accepts. She later asks Eric if she can borrow more money to take stock out of storage, and he agrees. However, Debbie cons Eric out of the money and flees the village.|
|Martin Bennett||12 April–30 May 1991||John Pickles||Martin is a veterinarian who hires a recently graduated Zoe Tate to work for him. Zoe finds the job enjoyable at first but when her friends, Archie Brooks, Michael Feldmann and Rachel Hughes discover that Martin has signed a contract with Skipdale Laboratories, allowing them to experiment on animals. They show Zoe proof, and she confronts Martin, who admits it. Zoe threatens to resign but Martin lies that he's disassociated his company with them. However, in May, she discovers this lie, and he tells her he cannot afford turn down business based on principles. As a result, Zoe quits her job.|
|John Henderson||19 June||Michael Browning||John arrives at Home Farm on behalf of the Demdale Hunt to inspect the place as a potential location for their next hunt. John dislikes the trout prepared by house Dolly Skilbeck and prepared by Alan Turner, and is unimpressed when Dolly's seven-year-old son Samuel frequently interrupts him when John tries to talk about the hunt with Frank Tate. This causes Frank's wife, Kim to kick off at Dolly who promptly quits her job.|
|Terry Prince||24–26 June||John Hallam|
|Terry is a friend of Frank Tate. He and some Frank's other friends arrive at Home Farm and begin drinking and generally getting rowdy. The group go out and end up spending the night in a hotel. Frank wakes up hungover and as a result misses his daughter, Zoe's University Graduation in Edinburgh. The following year, Frank asks Terry to stage a hijack one of the vans from Tate Haulage to teach his son Chris a lesson but when Frank tells Terry to call the job off, the message is not received and Chris is attacked.|
|Fran Carter||7 August–30 October||Heather Wright|
|Fran is an old school friend of Kate Sugden who she invites to stay with her family at Emmerdale Farm. Kate and Fran share a drink and catch up on old times but Fran proves to be a distraction to Kate from her farm duties much to the irritation of Kate's husband, Joe. Fran also annoys Joe's mother, Annie when she asks if she can smoke in the farmhouse. While driving home on the way from the Woolpack, Kate and Fran knock over Pete Whiteley, who Kate had been arguing with earlier in the evening. Kate panics and Fran checks Pete over but urges Kate to drive off as she is over the limit. When they arrive home, Fran calls an ambulance, which arrives to the scene to tend to Pete, who dies of his injuries in hospital. Kate is then breathalyzed and taken to the police station and formally charged then bailed. Joe, livid that Fran has been released without charge, angrily packs her belongings and throws her out. Fran returns two months later when Kate stands trial and takes the stand and is cross-examined by the prosecution. Following Kate's sentencing to two years, Fran apologises to Joe who is still angry and warns her to stay away.|
|Tony Charlton||23 August–18 July 1991||Stephen Rashbrook||Tony is a newly ordained Vicar who arrives in Beckindale to begin Ministry at St. Mary's Church. His first act in the village is to preside over the funeral of the recently deceased Pete Whiteley. A modern vicar, Tony is often interested in the needs of his younger parishioners. Tony begins spending time with Kathy Merrick much to the chagrin of Chris Tate, who is in love with Kathy. Tony and Kathy enjoy each other's company and Kathy gives Tony horse riding lessons. Tony later leaves the village to return to London.|
|Ken Trafford||21 August–25 October||Adam Bareham|
|Trafford represents Kate Sugden when she is arrested for running over Pete Whiteley and successfully gets her bail. Trafford then puts Kate in contact with Harriet Buchan, a barrister.|
|Sally Graves||27 September–9 October||Deborah Fairfax|
|Sally is a customer at Martin Bennett's veterinarian practice insistent that he dog, Clement is unwell even after Zoe Tate explains that Clement is fine. Two weeks later, Sally returns and claims that Clement is dying. Martin tells Zoe that Sally is a sick woman who is always visiting vets and claiming that her animal is dying.|
|Harriet Buchan||9–25 October||Sheila Grier|
|Harriet is Kate Sugden's barrister who defends her when she is charged with manslaughter after killing Pete Whiteley. Harriet puts Kate through her paces by replicating some of the questioning that may arise in court. Kate feels she has a chance but confides in her husband, Joe that she is scared. Two weeks later on the day of the trial, Harriet is able to argue Kate's clean 20-year driving licence and calls Reverend Tony Charlton to the stand who testifies that Kate has done work for the church. In spite of Harriet's best efforts, Kate is sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined £800.|
John Jacob "Jack" Sugden is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale. The character was originally played by Andrew Burt from 1972 to 1973 with a brief return in 1976, when the actor left for Italy to write a book. On his return in 1980 he was played by Clive Hornby. Hornby remained in the role until 2008 when he was forced to take a break from Emmerdale due to illness. His last on-screen appearance was on 21 February 2008, and his absence was explained by the character visiting his mother, Annie Sugden in Spain. Although Hornby was intended to return, he died from his illness in July 2008 without returning to the programme. Jack was written out following Hornby's death, dying off-screen of a heart attack in February 2009.
Valerie "Val" Pollard is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Charlie Hardwick. She made her first screen appearance in the episodes broadcast on 1 February 2004. Val was introduced as the sister of established character Diane Sugden. She later married Eric Pollard. Hardwick took a three-month break from Emmerdale to appear in a play, and the character left on 10 February 2012. Val returned in June 2012 and was surprised to learn that Eric was in a relationship with Brenda Walker. She moved into Diane's pub, after her marriage breakdown, and helped run it while Diane was away visiting her daughter. In 2014, Val was told that she was HIV positive, after a holiday fling while she was in Portugal. In 2015, it was announced that Hardwick had quit the soap. Val was killed off on 6 August 2015 in the highly publicised "Summer Fate" storyline, which saw a helicopter crash into the village. She made several appearances afterwards as a ghost to Eric and on a videotape describing her final wishes. Her final on-screen appearance aired on 31 August 2015. She more recently appeared as a ghost again in Robert Sugden's dream on the episode broadcast on 25 December 2017.
Diane Sugden is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Elizabeth Estensen. Since her first appearance in 1999, she has been involved in several high-profile storylines, including her marriage to Jack Sugden and his subsequent death, a battle with colon cancer, the revelation that her ex-husband Rodney Blackstock fathered her sister Val Lambert's son, being held hostage in a siege at the Woolpack, sleeping with Val's husband Eric Pollard, being involved in a helicopter crash which kills Val, being stabbed by Chas Dingle, and a feud with Chrissie White.
Eric Pollard is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Chris Chittell. He made his first appearance in the soap on 30 September 1986. Having appeared continuously since, he is currently the longest-serving actor and the longest-serving character in the history of the soap. The character originally served as the show's villain, but this has been noticeably toned down in recent years, particularly since Eric's marriage to Val Lambert and the introduction of his long-lost son, David Metcalfe.
Alan Turner is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Richard Thorp. He debuted on-screen on 23 March 1982. Thorp died on 22 May 2013 and his last scenes that Thorp filmed were aired on 4 June 2013 in a special hour-long episode dedicated to him. It was announced on 12 September 2013 that Alan would be killed off-screen in late October with his daughter Steph returning for his funeral. Alan died in his sleep on 24 October 2013.
Paul Lambert is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Mathew Bose. Paul appeared between 2004 and 2009. He arrives as the son of existing characters Val Lambert and Rodney Blackstock and in 2008 Paul, who is openly gay, enters into a civil partnership with Jonny Foster, the first of any primetime soap opera. In 2015, Bose made brief returns to the show, on two occasions, one being in March and the other being in September.
Joseph "Joe" Sugden is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Frazer Hines. He first appeared on-screen during the soap's first episode broadcast 16 October 1972 and remained in the programme until 1983. After a brief return in the following year, Hines reprised his role on a permanent basis in 1986, a landmark year for the show under Richard Handford. He made his last appearance in August 1994, and subsequently died off-screen the following year. In 2019, Hines confirmed that he would like to return to the soap despite his off-screen death.
Rachel Hughes is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, portrayed by Glenda McKay. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 7 September 1988 and departed following the character's death on 12 May 1999.
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.
The Emmerdale Plane Crash, also known as the Beckindale Air Disaster, was a storyline for the British soap opera Emmerdale, broadcast on ITV. The episode aired on 30 December 1993, and gave Emmerdale its highest-ever viewing figures of 18 million.
Katherine "Kathy" Brookman is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Malandra Burrows. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 26 November 1985. In 2001, new series producer Steve Frost decided to write the character out. Burrows briefly reprised the role in 2005, as Kathy returns for the funeral of Seth Armstrong. She was one of the show's central characters throughout that time.
Archie Brooks is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, portrayed by Tony Pitts. Archie was first described as a layabout but eventually turned into a loveable and caring individual. He had a 10-year span on the show between 1983 and 1993. He was one of the victims of the famous Emmerdale plane crash.
Nick Bates is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, portrayed by Cy Chadwick. He first appeared on 26 November 1985 and became the fiancé of Elsa Feldmann, father to their daughter Alice, and the best friend of Archie Brooks.
The Sugdens, are a fictional family in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. Introduced during the show's conception in 1972, they were the main family for storylines between the 1970s and 1980s and remained as such for many years. The families original unit consisted of widowed farmer Annie Sugden, alongside her children Peggy Skilbeck, Jack Sugden and Joe Sugden. Subsequently these characters went on to produce more generations of Sugdens.