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|Portrayed by|| Lynn Dalby (1972–1974)|
Helen Weir (1980–1986)
|Duration||1972, 1974, 1980–1986|
|First appearance||6 November 1972|
|Last appearance||26 August 1986|
|Created by||Kevin Laffan|
|Introduced by||David Goddard (1972)|
Anne Gibbons (1980)
|Other names||Ruth Merrick|
Patricia Ruth "Pat" Sugden (also Harker and Merrick) is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale , played by actresses Lynn Dalby and Helen Weir.
Pat is characterised as a "passionate and strong minded" female. Pat easily settles into farm life and contributes by taking over control of Sam Pearson's (Toke Townley) vegetable garden.Writers developed a marriage between Pat and Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby). They portrayed the Sugden marriage in stark contrast to the ideal marriage between Matt (Frederick Pyne) and Dolly Skilbeck (Jean Rogers). Pat's strong mindset often leads to arguments with Jack but they appear to enjoy this. Unlike the Skilbecks, Pat and Jack would be bored with a tranquil life and "enjoy the stimulation of pitting their wits against each other."
When Pat was originally featured in the series, Jack left her and moved away. This left Pat on the rebound and she marries Tom Merrick (Dave Hill).They later divorced and when she was reintroduced into the series she married Jack. Writers continued to give them a turbulent marriage and Jack has an affair with Karen Moore (Annie Hulley). His affair makes Pat question whether or not she made the correct decision marrying Jack. Another issue writers explored was Jack's relationship with Pat's children, including Sandie Merrick (Jane Hutcheson), which causes more friction.
Pat Harker was born in Beckindale in July 1944 to Robert and Louise Harker. She had a younger sister called Janie. When she entered her teens she started dating local farmboy Jack Sugden. But in February 1964, he left Beckindale and Ruth, as she was then known, got together with Tom Merrick when she learned she was pregnant. They married in April 1964. Later that year she gave birth to a son Jackie and two years later a daughter, Sandie. Tom questioned the paternity of Jackie as a result his being born several months early and his resemblance to Jack Sugden. The Merrick family left Beckindale for Leeds in 1972 when Jack returned to the village and offered Ruth £100. Ruth returned briefly in January 1974 to see her sister Janie Blakey.
In September 1980, Ruth, now calling herself Pat, returned to Beckindale with Jackie and Sandie to stay with her aunt Elsie after she left Tom for good. But Elsie would not take them in as her children would make a lot of noise. Ny Estates found her a home in a grotty, stuffy caravan. Later that year Tom came back to town but by this time Pat had started dating Jack again. Tom tried to frame Jack in an arson attack of which Jack had an alibi. Seth Armstrong found out the truth and told Tom to leave Beckindale with threats of disclosure.
In 1982, Pat and Jack married with Matt as best man and Sandie as bridesmaid. Pat and Jack were happy for quite a while until in 1984 when Jack had an affair with reporter Karen Moore. The couple split up for a while but later got back together. In 1985, Pat learned she was pregnant and gave birth to a son, Robert Jacob Sugden, in April 1986, which brought her and Jack closer together. However, that August tragedy struck when Pat died after her car crashed down a hillside when she swerved to avoid a flock of sheep. She had been returning home from dropping her sister Janie off at the train station after a visit. Pat's funeral was held on 2 September 1986 and she was buried in the village churchyard. Jack was left to bring up Robert alone, who grew up with no memories of his mother.
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.
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Archibald Seth Armstrong is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Stan Richards from 1978 until 2004. The role of Seth began as a temporary "bit part" and he due to appear for just a few episodes, but proved so popular that further appearances were made until Seth became a full-time regular character in the summer of 1980. Seth continuously annoyed the landlord Amos Brearly and later Alan Turner who took over in 1991, who memorably often shouted "Get out Seth!". Seth is the fourth longest running character in the history of the show.
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Annie Sugden is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale. She was played by Sheila Mercier as a regular character between 1972 and 1994, with occasional guest appearances in the show after her original departure. Mercier cut back on location filming during the late 1980s and eventually left the serial in 1994 due to the gruelling schedule. Annie was one of Emmerdale's original characters, appearing in its first episode on 16 October 1972 and became the longest serving female character in the series' history. She was the soap's "first matriarch", the maternal force behind the Sugden family, who were collectively one of Emmerdale's main focal points.
Amos Brearly is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Ronald Magill. He made his first appearance during the serial's debut episode on 16 October 1972. Amos ran The Woolpack pub and was the village gossip. A double act was later formed between Amos and Henry Wilks, which lasted for 19 years. Amos became known for this bushy sideburns and catchphrase "Nay, Mr Wilks". Magill left the show in January 1991, but reprised the role for several brief appearances until July 1995.
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Dolly Skilbeck is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale. Dolly made her first on-screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 22 February 1977. The character was initially played by Katharine Barker, before Jean Rogers took over the role in 1980. She remained in the role until her departure from Emmerdale in 1991. Dolly is characterised as kind, generous and a homemaker. She is a "townie" from Darlington who arrives in Beckindale to work at the local pub, The Woolpack. Writers quickly developed a romance with Matt Skilbeck. He was a widower and had previously has two children that had died.
Matt Skilbeck is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Frederick Pyne. He is one of the series' original characters and made his debut in the first episode broadcast on 16 October 1972. Pyne was interviewed for the role in 1971 and cast the following year. He came into the show with farming knowledge and an expectation that he would only be in it for five years. Matt is a sheep farmer and married to Peggy Skilbeck at the beginning of the serial. Matt is characterised as mild-mannered, honest, and stubborn, although Pyne thought his character was too nice. Following Peggy's death and those of his children, Matt marries barmaid Dolly Acaster. A change in Matt's personality occurs when quarry owner Harry Mowlem makes advances towards Dolly and Matt attacks him, leading to his arrest for Mowlem's murder. Pyne decided to leave Emmerdale in 1989 to pursue work in the theatre. He was unhappy that the writers chose to split Matt and Dolly up, as they had been one of the few remaining happy families in soap at the time.
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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.
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