Emmerdale is a British soap opera first broadcast on 16 October 1972. The following is a list of characters that first appear during 2020, by order of first appearance. All characters are introduced by the series producers Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw.The first character to be introduced was Harry Sugden (Brody and Teddy Hall), the son of Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins) and Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie), followed by Cara Robinson (Carryl Thomas). DI Mark Malone (Mark Womack) first appeared in March, and Paul Ashdale (Reece Dinsdale) was introduced in April as the father of Vinny (Bradley Johnson). Ben Tucker was introduced in September as a love interest for Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller), and Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) and Mackenzie Boyd (Lawrence Robb) made their debuts in September and October, respectively. In December, vicar Charles Anderson (Kevin Mathurin) was introduced. Additionally, multiple other characters appeared in 2020.
|Portrayed by||Carryl Thomas|
|First appearance||Episode 8700 |
9 January 2020
|Last appearance||Episode 8869 |
22 October 2020
|Introduced by||Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw|
Cara Robinson, portrayed by Carryl Thomas, made her first appearance on 9 January 2020. Cara is introduced as the mother of established character Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter),who arrives in the village after receiving a voicemail from Moira Dingle (Natalie J. Robb) about the affair Moira had with Nate. Cara attempts to persuade Nate to leave the village with her, but he stays in Emmerdale. When Nate is accidentally shot by Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley), she returns, suspicious of Cain and Moira. However, as he feels guilty over the affair, Nate covers for them by lying to Cara about what happened, saying he was shot by random farm hustlers, and she leaves again. In October 2020, it was announced that Thomas would be reprising her role, with Cara set to make her onscreen return later in the month.
The character's backstory states that Cara was in a relationship with Cain, but Cain's stepfather (then believed to be his father), Shadrach Dingle (Andy Devine), detested the pair together due to his racism. Cara fell pregnant, and when Cain's mother Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter) found out, she persuaded her to leave. After having the baby, Nate, Cara made numerous attempts to contact Cain but Faith intercepted in an attempt to cover up what she had done.
|DI Mark Malone|
|Portrayed by||Mark Womack|
|First appearance||Episode 8749 |
5 March 2020
|Last appearance||Episode 8823 |
19 August 2020
|Introduced by||Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw|
Detective Inspector Mark Malone, portrayed by Mark Womack, made his first appearance on 5 March 2020. Mark is a former colleague of Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton), and the boss of Will Taylor (Dean Andrews) former gang. Mark arrives in the village to investigate the shooting of Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter). He is later revealed to be a corrupted police officer, and he blackmails Will, Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) and Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle) into working for him, threatening their arrest if they do not comply. When he is reintroduced to Harriet, the two begin to have an affair behind Will's back. When he learns that Harriet and Will are set to get married, Mark attempts to frame Will for possession of drugs. When Will learns what he is trying to do, he attacks Mark by bludgeoning him with a spanner. After Mark threatens Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley), she reports him to the police. When Mark learns of Dawn's police report, he tries to force her to suicide with heroin, which is interrupted when Harriet bludgeons him over the head. He gets up and attempts to fight, until Dawn shoots him three times, killing him.
Upon the announcement of his casting, the Emmerdale Twitter account described him as a "police officer with a dark history".In an interview with Stephen Patterson of Metro , actor Womack talked about his character saying: "He likes messing with people's heads, especially Will's. I think he's generally just enjoys the whole game of it all. That's his thing, there's a bit of him that just enjoys manipulating people and getting them into situations and controlling people and that might be his downfall. He kind of loses control along the way and that might be what gets him." He hinted that Mark could be responsible for his own downfall, as well as the downfall of other characters, and added that he enjoys playing a villain. Talking to Inside Soap , Womack described Mark as "very dastardly", and stated that "you wouldn’t want to lock horns with him". He added: "Malone will stop at nothing to get what he wants and is very Machiavellian. Even though Malone's a policeman, he behaves in much the same way as the criminals he’s going after."
|Portrayed by||Reece Dinsdale|
|First appearance||Episode 8777 |
15 April 2020
|Last appearance||Episode 9100 |
1 April 2021
|Introduced by||Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw|
Paul Ashdale,portrayed by Reece Dinsdale, made his first appearance on 15 April 2020. Upon his casting, it was revealed that Paul would have a connection to established characters Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) and her adoptive son, Vinny (Bradley Johnson). On his casting, Dinsdale commented "I'm absolutely delighted to be joining the cast of Emmerdale. Having recently directed a couple of episodes and seen at close quarters the superb work the cast, crews, and creatives produce, I can't wait to become part of the team once again – albeit in a different capacity." Paul is revealed to be the ex-partner of Mandy, as well as the biological father of Vinny. It has been suggested that Paul and Mandy will rekindle their relationship.
Upon his arrival in Emmerdale, Mandy sees him and confronts him. He asks to see Vinny, but Mandy states that she does not know of his whereabouts. However, when Paul sees Vinny in the village, he confronts him, using the alias Alex to befriend him. Mandy sees the pair together, and texts Paul from Vinny's phone, asking to meet him. When she meets with Paul, she insists that he should leave the village, until Vinny interrupts. When Vinny presses the pair, they admit that Paul is his father. Despite Mandy's mistrust of Paul, she allows the pair to see each other, and eventually, Paul rekindles his relationship with Mandy. Vinny discovers that Paul has a gambling addiction, and finds that Paul has stolen money from the Dingle family and a watch from Ellis Chapman (Aaron Anthony). Vinny asks him to attend an online addiction group, but when he discovers that Paul has not attended, he presses him to get help, and threatens to tell Mandy. Paul punches Vinny, and assaults him further while he is on the floor. Unwilling to tell Mandy, they claim that Vinny was the victim of a random assault.
Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele) confronts Paul after she discovers his role in Vinny's beating. The two argue in a barn and Paul assaults her, first slapping her then repeatedly kicking her after throwing her the floor. Just as Paul goes to kick Liv again, Jimmy King (Nick Miles), blinded by sunlight, accidentally crashes his van into the barn. Liv is able to get to her feet and Paul begs her to help him as his legs are broken, Liv forces him to admit he beat up his son, but she then refuses and leaves. Paul then curses Liv and attempts to crawl out of the wreckage. Just as Liv is about to return, the barn explodes after a spark of flame hit gas canisters. Paul, Liv and Jimmy all become unconscious and are then rushed to hospital. This then results Paul going into cardiac arrest from his injuries. Mandy begs the doctors to save Paul but they are unable to as he flatlines and dies.
Dinsdale was contracted on Emmerdale as a director, but was asked if he would play the role of Paul.Dinsdale enjoyed portraying Paul as he felt that Paul became "a fully rounded character" due to the arc given to him with abusing Vinny. He appreciated that writers did not make Paul villainous from his introduction, but rather "let his badness slowly bleed out". On Paul's death, Dinsdale stated that he was glad to leave "with a bang", and felt that his exit topped his exit as Joe McIntyre on the ITV soap Coronation Street . COVID restrictions had an effect on the filming process of Paul's death stunt, which he described as "painstaking", due to the attention to detail and safety. Although it was confirmed that Emmerdale would be featuring the death of a character, the identity of the victim was unknown until the episode was transmitted. Dinsdale stated that he found it difficult to do interviews for the press for over a month without being able to say anything publicly. Despite this, he was "thrilled" that it was kept a secret. Following his onscreen exit, Dinsdale continued working on Emmerdale as a director.
|Portrayed by||Simon Lennon|
|First appearance||Episode 8842|
22 September 2020
|Introduced by||Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw|
Ben Tucker, played by Simon Lennon, made his first appearance on 22 September 2020. Upon his casting, Lennon expressed his excitement to be appearing on Emmerdale, stating that he feels lucky to be a part of the soap. He expressed his excitement for viewers to see what unfolds for Ben. When Ben's character details were announced, it was confirmed that he is a figure from Aaron Dingle's (Danny Miller) past and that the pair become reacquainted when Aaron sees Ben working at a café he visits.Lennon was nervous about his first day and found the set to be much larger than he anticipated, with assistant director Val Lawson giving him a tour of the set. When asked what his favourite thing about Ben is, Lennon replied that he admires Ben's passion for what he believes in, as well as that Ben is confident in his own abilities and is not afraid to show his vulnerability.
Lennon noted that Ben and Aaron "have a lot of history and it will all come to the forefront when they're reunited after a long time apart".It was later confirmed that Aaron bullied Ben at school for his homosexuality, but since Aaron's realisation that he is gay, Jess Lee of Digital Spy noted that their reunion "could result in a romance developing between them". Lennon admired that Ben is assured within himself in spite of his childhood, which he accredited in part to people like Aaron who bullied him. Miller, who portrays Aaron, stated that due to the history of bullying, Ben finds it quite hard to accept and move on with, but confirmed Aaron will attempt to make it up to Ben.
When Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele) sees Ben accompanying a drunk man home, she informs Aaron, who questions Ben on who the man is. He later reveals that the man, Warren (Steve Marsh), is his alcoholic father. Ben reveals that he has given his father lots of money to pay for bills, which Warren spent on drinking. The loans left Ben struggling for money and led to him sleeping in one of the cabins at his workplace. Lennon explained that Ben has grown up around his father being drunk, and as a result, knows a lot about the trauma and struggle involved in alcoholism.
Meena Jutla, played by Paige Sandhu, made her first appearance on 24 September 2020.Meena is the estranged sister of established character Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker), who comes to the village to reconcile her relationship with Manpreet. It was also confirmed that she would be a love interest for Billy Fletcher (Jay Kontzle). On her casting, Sandhu commented: "Meena is such a fun and complex character to play and I'm really looking forward to seeing how people react to her". Speaking to Digital Spy about her character, Sandhu stated that if she was "watching someone play this character", she "wouldn't like the character", and that Meena is "going to annoy some people" and "likes to wind people up, especially women, and flirt with men". She noted that Meena will make enemies in the village, since there is a "selfish side" to her. She added: "Meena comes to the village because she wants a reconciliation with Manpreet, but there's always some selfish reason behind all she does".
In June 2021, it was confirmed that Meena would be Emmerdale's next villain. After Meena's murder of Leanna Cavanagh (Mimi Slinger), Yasmine Leung of HITC noted that she has "left quite the impression on viewers". Leung noticed that fans of the soap had praised Sandhu for her portrayal of Meena and that they had become invested in the storyline due to her acting skills. Despite some viewers wanting Meena gone from the soap due to disagreeing with her actions, Leung herself admitted that she loves Meena and enjoys seeing her "psycho, unpredictable nature" as it incites drama on the soap. Metro 's David Brown echoed Leung's comments, opining that she could become a "top soap serial killer" and "could go down in the soap history books".
|Portrayed by||Lawrence Robb|
|First appearance||Episode 8876 |
29 October 2020
|Introduced by||Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw|
Mackenzie Boyd, played by Lawrence Robb, made his first appearance on 29 October 2020.Mackenzie is the brother of established character Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb), and Duncan Lindsay of Metro wrote that his arrival means Moira's "life is set to be turned upside down". On being cast in the role of Mackenzie, Robb stated that he is "absolutely thrilled", and that he "has had so much fun playing around with the character already". Robb added that he "couldn’t be further from Mac in real life", so portraying him "will no doubt have its challenges".
On Mackenzie's relationship with Moira, Digital Spy wrote: "Mackenzie had a close bond with his sister Moira when they were growing up together. Sadly, their time together came to an abrupt end when a surprising turn of events led to Moira leaving the family home forever." Actor Robb added that while growing up, his character "had it drilled into him that something happened and that's why Moira left". He explained that this led to Mackenzie having a "preconceived idea of who she's become" prior to arriving in the village. However, when he arrives, Moira informs him that it is different to what he believes. Actress Natalie J. Robb, who portrays Moira, praised the decision to bring Mackenzie into the programme. She stated that the decision was "talked about for quite a while really, and it was just knowing when the right time was going to be".
|Portrayed by||Kevin Mathurin|
|First appearance||Episode 8925 |
25 December 2020
|Introduced by||Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw|
Charles Anderson,played by Kevin Mathurin, made his first appearance on 25 December 2020. Charles is introduced as a new vicar in the Emmerdale village, when struggling vicar Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton) phones him to ask if he can perform the honours at Chas (Lucy Pargeter) and Paddy Kirk's (Dominic Brunt) wedding. Digital Spy stated that Charles would be a "hit" with other villagers, and that be would "provide great support to Harriet".
Charles' character and casting details were announced on 26 November 2020, alongside that of his onscreen son, Ethan (Emile John).It was stated that when his son Ethan is accused of a crime he did not commit, Charles' "intense need to fight injustice" leads to a rivalry with the established Dingle family. On his casting, Mathurin commented: "The show has always been a family favourite and my mum is a huge fan. The cast and crew have all been so welcoming and I am really looking forward to Charles' storylines in the Village." Producer Sophie Roper stated that Emmerdale are "delighted" to be welcoming Mathurin to the soap, and noted the "dynamic new father and son duo" will "send shockwaves through the village as they find themselves embroiled in the heart of a thought-provoking story with one of our most loved families", referring to the Dingle family. She added: "With two actors of such great calibre, they're certainly set to make their mark on the Dales."
|Harry Sugden||1 January–||Brody and Teddy Hall||The son of Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) and Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie).|
|DI Dent||27 January – 4 March||Linda Armstrong||Detectives investigating the murder of Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough).|
|DS Ward||Simon Delaney|
|Carol||26 March – 27 April||Susan Mitchell||Experienced foster parents who take care of Lucas (Dexter Ansell) while he is away from his mother Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley).|
|Ricky||1 June – 1 July||Max Dowler||A restaurant owner that flirts with Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb).|
|Gaz||10 August||Kem Hassan||A man who boasts about going on a date with Leyla Harding (Roxy Shahidi), having met her on a dating app. When he meets with her, she does not know who he is, and insists that the dating profile set up in her name is fake, and forces a disgruntled Gaz to leave.|
|Gwyn||22 October||Jon-Paul Bell||The best man of a groom who meets with Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham) to discuss wedding plans.|
Cain Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Jeff Hordley. Cain made his first appearance on 30 March 2000, and in 2006, he was written out of the series when Hordley left the soap; however, the option for a return was confirmed, which occurred when Hordley returned to the cast in February 2009. Cain's main storylines have focused on discovering his "uncle" Zak Dingle is his father; his relationship with his cousin Charity Dingle ; discovering he is Debbie's father; his affair and subsequent relationship with Moira Barton ; being attacked in a whodunit storyline where his assailant was eventually revealed to be his father; being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm; supporting his nephew Aaron Livesy after discovering Aaron was sexually abused by his father Gordon Livesy as a child; reuniting with his and Chas's mother Faith Dingle ; his relationship with local vicar Harriet Finch ; building up a relationship with his children; and being blackmailed by DI Malone to do drug runs for him.
Patrick Cedric "Paddy" Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Dominic Brunt. He has been married four times: to Mandy Dingle in 1999, to Emily Dingle in 2002, to Rhona Goskirk in 2012 and to Chas Dingle in 2020. He has also had several affairs since arriving, notably with Viv Hope and Tess Harris. His other storylines in the series have included discovering his biological father and dealing with the loss of his child.
Natalie Joy Robb is a Scottish actress and singer. She played the roles of Trish McDonald in the Scottish Television soap opera Take the High Road (1990–1999) and Jude Carlyle in the BBC soap opera Doctors (2001–2004). Since 2009, she has portrayed the role of Moira Barton in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. Her other television roles include Dream Team (2000–2001) and The Bill (2004–2005).
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.
Mandy Dingle is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Lisa Riley. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 20 July 1995 and departed on 28 September 2000. She returned briefly on 16 November 2001 and departed on 26 November 2001. Riley agreed to reprise the role in late 2018 for a brief stint, and made her on-screen return on 4 January 2019, however she departed once again on 8 January. On 10 July 2019, it was announced that Riley would be returning once again on a permanent basis, and Mandy reappeared from 12 September 2019.
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.
Lizzie Lakely was a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Kitty McGeever. Lizzie is Emmerdale's first blind character, and was played by a blind actress. She made her first on-screen appearance on 28 April 2009. Lizzie's last appearance was on 28 March 2013. McGeever had health problems, but, in June 2013, producer Kate Oates stated there had been plans for her to return. McGeever died in August 2015, however, without having returned to the series.
Moira Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Natalie J. Robb. The actress successfully auditioned for the role after a call came through her agent. Robb's character and her family were created and introduced to Emmerdale as part of an overhaul of the show by the series producer Gavin Blyth. The Barton family took over the running of Butler's Farm and they were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary". Robb first appeared as Moira during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009.
Adam Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, portrayed by Adam Thomas. The character and Thomas' casting was announced alongside that of the Barton family in May 2009. Thomas called Adam "a family man". The character first appeared during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Following a break to participate in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2016, Thomas opted to leave the serial and Adam's departure was announced on 22 June 2017, with his exit airing on 2 January 2018.
Holly Barton is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Sophie Powles. She made her first on-screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Holly was introduced to the soap as part of the Bartons, a new farming family who took over the running of Butler's Farm. Holly was joined by her mother, father and two siblings. The family were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary" by the show's series producer, Gavin Blyth. Holly departed on 20 June 2012, but Powles later reprised her role and Holly returned on 24 March 2016 for a six-month stint. The character was killed off on 29 September 2016.
John Barton is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by James Thornton. The actor was asked to audition for the part and he called it the "most frightening audition" he had ever done. Thornton won the role of John, who was introduced to Emmerdale along with his family as part of an overhaul of the show by the series producer Gavin Blyth. The Barton family took over the running of Butler's Farm and they were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary". Thornton made his debut screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. The following year, he signed a one-year extension to his contract. In November 2011, Thornton revealed that he was to leave Emmerdale after three years and he departed on 16 February 2012.
Ross Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale, portrayed by Michael Parr. He made his first appearance in episode 6600 of the soap, broadcast on 9 July 2013. Ross first appears as the carjacker of Laurel Thomas, before being revealed to be the nephew of Moira Barton. The character is initially characterised as a bad boy and a "nasty piece of work". The softer side of Ross' personality is explored when he enters a secret relationship with police officer Donna Windsor, who has terminal cancer. When Donna dies, Ross bonds with her daughter April Windsor.
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.