This article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (October 2009) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Portrayed by||Freddie Jones|
|First appearance||Episode 4197|
6 November 2005
|Last appearance||Episode 8074|
19 February 2018
|Introduced by|| Kathleen Beedles (2005)|
Gavin Blyth (2009)
|Occupation||Retired Royal Navy sailor|
Sandy Thomas is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale , played by Freddie Jones. Sandy was introduced as the father of Ashley Thomas (John Middleton). He made his first appearance during the episode broadcast on 6 November 2005. The character departed for a while in March 2008, but returned to the show in February 2009. On 6 February 2018 it was confirmed that Jones had filmed his final episode and he made his final appearance as Sandy on 19 February 2018.
On 19 August 2005, Kris Green of Digital Spy reported that actor Freddie Jones had been cast as Sandy, the father of established character Ashley Thomas (John Middleton). He was to join the regular cast, but would initially appear for three months worth of episodes, before returning if and when he was needed.Series producer Kathleen Beedles told Green, "We are delighted to welcome Freddie to the cast." Jones made his first appearance as Sandy in November 2005. Jones announced his decision to quit in January 2008, remaining on-screen until March, however in October 2008, 7 months after deciding to quit, it was announced that he was to return to Emmerdale.
On 6 February 2018, it was confirmed that Jones was to leave the role of Sandy on 19 February 2018. Jones played Sandy for the last 13 years, and his decision to quit was down to Middleton's (Ashley Thomas) leaving in 2017. He was offered an extension on his contract but declined as he felt it was the right time to leave.On 28 January 2020, it was announced Sandy would die off-screen in early February, after Freddie Jones' death in July 2019 last year.
Sandy arrives in Emmerdale on his son Ashley Thomas's wedding day to Laurel Potts (Charlotte Bellamy). Ashley and Laurel find him in their bedroom and Ashley introduces him as his father. Ashley and Sandy were estranged, due to Sandy helping Ashley's mother and his wife Dorothy, who had a terminal cancer illness 1982. However, Ashley's new wife and daughter-in law Laurel and granddaughters Jasmine Thomas (Jenna-Louise Coleman) and Gabby Thomas (Annelise Manojlovic) are pleased to have him around. Sandy makes friends with Daz Eden (Luke Tittensor), Len Reynolds (Peter Martin), and Shadrach Dingle (Andy Devine), but makes an enemy of Edna Birch (Shirley Stelfox). He is wrongfully accused of kidnapping Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) after she goes missing.
After falling out with his son, Sandy also made friends with Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) and Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook). Father and son reconcile, but Sandy stays with Alan and Betty. Sandy leaves Emmerdale for a while in March 2008 to visit his son, Jasmine's father, Karen's husband, and Ashley's brother Luke in India, but he returns to the village in February 2009 and reveals that Jasmine had visited him when she left Emmerdale. He and his lady friend helped Jasmine find a flat, but she went on the run again. Jasmine tells Sandy that she killed Shane Doyle (Paul McEwan) after he attacked her, and that Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) is on remand for his manslaughter. She feels guilty and wants to confess, but Debbie and Sandy insist she go on the run. However, she later goes to Debbie's court hearing and confesses. Jasmine is charged with manslaughter and later sentenced to four years in prison.
Sandy stays at the vicarage, but overcrowding mean he and Laurel's father Douglas Potts (Duncan Preston) have to share a room. Sandy tries blackmailing Nicola King (Nicola Wheeler) to move out, and he and Doug later write her a love letter, apparently from Jimmy (Nick Miles) inviting her to move into Mill Cottage. She accepts, easing the overcrowding, but Ashley throws Sandy out after his preoccupation with Jasmine led to Gabby Thomas (Annelise Manojlovic) damaging the computer in Café Hope. Ashley is furious when Gabby says that she thought if she was naughty, she would be sent to prison and could ask the governor to let Jasmine go because it was making her grandfather very sad. Debbie finds Sandy sleeping in her garden shed. Sandy and Ashley reconcile, but Sandy asks Diane Sugden if can move into The Woolpack and she agrees.
Sandy moves back to the vicarage, after Laurel and Ashley's marriage ends for a while, so he can support his son. and Ashley and Laurel reconcile, but Ashley learns she has been having an affair with Marlon Dingle. Laurel chooses to stay with Ashley, but he becomes unhappy and takes his anger out on Sandy. Ashley violently attacks Sandy on numerous occasions, but is soon caught out by Rachel Breckle, Gabby and Laurel, who throws Ashley out. Edna reports him to the police, but Sandy refuses to give a statement. Ashley admits what he has done, leading him and Sandy to rebuild their relationship.
Sandy also befriends teenager Sean Spencer (Luke Roskell), after Betty moves to Australia and Edna dies. Ashley is diagnosed with vascular dementia and later dies at home. Sandy continues to live with Laurel and the family. With his old age and need to see more of the world, Sandy decides to leave the village for Australia. After leaving the village, Sandy bids farewell to his friends and family during a video-call to The Woolpack. A couple of years later, Betty informs Laurel that Sandy has died.
Jasmine Thomas is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale, played by Jenna-Louise Coleman. She made her first screen appearance in the episode broadcast on 30 June 2005 and her last appearance on 26 March 2009.
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.
Edna Birch is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Shirley Stelfox. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 25 May 2000. Edna had been living in the village for many years prior to her first appearance on screen. She may have a vicious temper, but Edna has a good heart, which is demonstrated by her devotion to her friends and her beloved dogs. Edna is also known for her hats, which have been known to reflect her personality. She is rarely seen without a hat. Edna died off-screen on 3 May 2016 after it was reported in December 2015 that Stelfox had died.
Deborah “Debbie” Dingle is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Charley Webb. Webb has taken maternity leave three times, with the first time being in 2010 before returning in 2011, and the second throughout 2016 with Debbie departing on 1 January 2016. She returned on 24 January 2017 and then went on maternity leave for a third time in 2019 as Debbie left for Scotland on 13 August 2019. She returned on 25 December 2020.
Betty Eagleton is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Paula Tilbrook. She made her first screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 12 April 1994. Tilbrook announced her departure from the soap on 17 April 2015 and Betty departed on 25 May 2015. She made a cameo appearance on 25 December 2015 during a video call with some of the village residents. Betty was perhaps best known for her habit of gossiping about the residents of the village, her love of sherry and her relationship with Seth Armstrong.
Marlon Sebastian Dingle is a fictional character from the British television soap opera Emmerdale, played by Mark Charnock. He made his first appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 October 1996.
Pearl Ladderbanks is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Meg Johnson. She first appeared on the show during the episode airing on 30 July 2003.
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 set to air later in the year.
Nicola King is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale. She has been played by Nicola Wheeler since she joined the soap in 2001. Wheeler quit her role in January 2006, with her on-screen departure airing in March. In July 2007, it was announced that Wheeler chose to return to the soap eighteen months later and made her return in September 2007. She also took maternity leave throughout 2015, and Nicola departed temporarily on 26 March 2015 to go to Dubai to work there for six months. She made a brief appearance on 7 May 2015 via webcam, and then made her full-time return on 11 November 2015, when she was kicked out of Dubai for an incident that happened to her there.
Gabby Thomas is 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.
The ITV soap opera Emmerdale has featured numerous major storylines since it began in 1972. 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.
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.
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.