Soap operas have a special place in TV Land and is a guilty pleasure for most of us. The UK is no exception when it comes to loving juicy, drama filled daytime TV. Beginning in 1972 originally as `Emmerdale Farm’, this soap opera focuses on a fictional town in the Yorkshire Dales called Emmerdale (which in 1989, the show changed to just ‘Emmerdale’). The families of the town are farmers and rely on the village to live, but their world doesn’t come without drama, danger, and outrageous storylines.
Adele Silva – Kelly Glover, Then
Kelly Glover married to become Kelly Windsor just a year after being written into the show. She was on the show, initially, for seven years which saw her character go through many ups and downs. Sadly, Kelly suffered a miscarriage in this time, but she also had eyebrow raising affairs with a teacher as well as her own stepbrother. Her actions made her unpopular with the other onscreen characters and so she eventually left to start a new chapter of her life in London.
Adele Silva – Kelly Glover, Now
Silva has landed many roles on British TV screens since her departure from the soap. She has returned to Emmerdale as well in that time, but she also played parts in other soaps like Eastenders and Hollyoaks. Additionally, audiences will have seen her on The Bill as well as the much-loved Doctor Who. It has been rumoured that she moved to Hollywood to try to accelerate her acting career there. Amazed? Keep clicking to see what the next character did…
Sian Reese-Williams – Gennie Walker, Then
Sian Reese-Williams’s character, Gennie Walker, was part of the show from 2008 to 2013. She had a turbulent time on the show given that her biological father was exposed to be the disgraced Shadrach Dingle as well as having several stormy romantic relationships – most memorably with Jamie Hope and her marriage to Nikhil Sharma. She was eventually killed off by one of the show’s most infamous villains – Cameron. Click next to see what Reese-Williams got up to after the show.
Sian Reese-Williams – Gennie Walker, Now
Like several of her former Emmerdale co-stars, Sian Reese-Williams returned to treading the boards after her time on the Yorkshire soap. She has been in many plays now, like “Children of Fate”, “Lungs” and Alan Bennett’s “Enjoy”. She also continues to win parts on TV and has been in the show Hinterland and 25 Diwrnod, which won many awards. She latterly became part of a Netflix show, Requiem. See what one of Emmerdale’s most notorious characters got up to next…
Emily Symons – Louise Appleton, Then
Emily Symons played Louise Appleton at the beginning of the noughties. She started pulling pints at the soap’s pub as the newest barmaid there. She soon became an owner said pub, The Woolpack, alongside her friend Diane Sugden. As an Australian, and pretty blonde, Louise had her fair share of interest from the opposite sex who found her accent attractive coupled with her stunning looks. This had dire consequences though when Louise fell for pal, Diane’s, ex-husband, Rodney.
Emily Symons – Louise Appleton, Now
Having come to Emmerdale from the famous Australian soap, Home and Away, Symons was already a known actress – also with the show Richmond Hill under her belt. On Home and Away, she played Marilyn Chambers-Fisher for almost a decade, where she married the soap’s favourite character, Alf. When she landed a role in Emmerdale she moved to the UK but returned to her native homeland to reprise the role of Marilyn in 2008. But wait. There’s more. Keep clicking.
Kate McGregor – Emily Kirk, Then
Kate McGregor brought to life the character of Emily Kirk, a young, sheltered girl known for her cardigans and pigtails. A twist of fate took Emily to work at the post office and everything in the characters life changed. She was set to marry Butch Dingle, but unfortunately the character died before the two could wed on the show.
Kate McGregor – Emily Kirk, Now
Eventually, after a series of dramatic episodes (most involving characters having affairs), Emily moved to Manchester to pursue life as a vicar. Kate was an actress on the show for 8 years, but decided to leave the world of acting behind her after becoming a mother in real life. Kate has done a fair job of staying out of the limelight and focusing on her family.
Charley Webb – Debbie Dingle, Then
Joining in 2002 as one of the youngest cast members at the ripe age of 14, Charley Webb joined the set of Emmerdale as Debbie Dingle. The storyline of Debbie Dingle began as an adopted daughter to Tricia Dingle, only to find out she was actually the, daughter of Charity and Cain Dingle. A young Debbie found herself caught up in a whirlwind of teenage pregnancy and crime.
Charley Webb – Debbie Dingle, Now
Currently, Charley Webb is still staring on the show as Debbie, who runs her own business and has her own home. It was Charley’s real life that got a turn at a bit of drama; Charley married Emmerdale co-star Matthew Wolfenden at a surprise ceremony! Afterwards, they had two boys, Buster and Bowie, but in 2013 decided to breakup. Fortunately, they reconciled a year later
Natalie Anderson – Alicia Gallagher, Then
Alicia Gallagher was one of the show’s new breed of characters written in to attract a younger, hipper crowd. Natalie Anderson started playing Alicia in 2010. She was Leyla Harding’s estranged sister and was not a popular character amongst the rest of the cast. Her glamorous and classy exterior was seen as phony and untrustworthy. The most shocking of her storylines was one that saw Leyla revealed as the biological mother of Alicia’s son, which had repercussions for many an Emmerdale episode…
Natalie Anderson – Alicia Gallagher, Now
Anderson already had a fairly strong CV prior to her time as part of the Emmerdale cast. She had been seen on the medical drama, The Royal, playing the character Stella Davenport. She also was part of the cast of Wicked, the stage show and musical. After the Yorkshire soap, however, she has worked on daytime TV shows like “This Morning” and “Loose Women”. She has also gone where some soap stars dare to and released a pop music album.
Verity Rushworth – Donna Windsor, Then
Donna Windsor’s character has been on the show for over twenty years with her first appearing on the show back in 1993. The character has not always been played by the same actress however, and it was Verity Rushworth who brought the character back to our screens in 1998, where she stayed until 2014. Rumor would have it that Rushworth thought about leaving the show in 2008 as she did not want to be typecast for the rest of her career.
Verity Rushworth – Donna Windsor, Now
Verity Rushworth stopped playing Donna in 2014 to go on to tread the boards in theatre. Most notably, Rushworth become part of the cast of “And Then There Were None”, whom she toured with for over a year, playing Vera Claythorne. She landed a West End role when she won the part of Lauren in the musical “Kinky Boots”. Impressed with the caliber of play? Wait until you see what the next ex Emmerdale actor has done since quitting the show…
Tom Lister – Carl King, Then
Tom Lister played the famous villain Carl King for 8 years from 2004. When he was killed off in 2012, audiences jumped for joy as was fitting for such a hated character. Brought on to the show for some eye candy by the makers of the soap, Carl King’s storylines were often involving other women and his liaisons with them. Most notably, his relationship with Chas Dingle and the ill-fated marriage to Lexi Nicholls. See what Lister did next…
Tom Lister – Carl King, Now
Eschewing the world of acting, Lister now works with the charity Hope for Justice – a not for profit organization that is working towards ending human trafficking and modern-day slavery, a cause Lister is very passionate about. Aside from his charity work, Lister also plays in a band called Edna’s Hat with former co-stars from Emmerdale like Sian Reese-Williams and Dominic Brunt. Prepare to be wowed by what the next Emmerdale actor got up to on and after the show…
Sheree Murphy – Tricia Stokes, Then
Beloved by Emmerdale audiences, Tricia Stokes was a very popular character on the show. Sheree Murphy brought the character to life for six years. She was the granddaughter of Alan Turner and often seen cheering up customers in The Woolpack pub. She married a Dingle when she fell in love with the pub’s chef, Marlon Dingle – a storyline that caused much intrigue from audiences. Her time on the show came to an end when she tragically tripped over a fallen tree and died.
Sheree Murphy – Tricia Stokes, Now
Murphy left the popular soap to spend more time at home with her family – she is the mother to two children. She came back on to our screens for a few weeks when she joined other celebrities in the jungle show ‘I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here’. She also won a role on another British soap, “Hollyoaks”, as well as becoming part of the cast of “Neighbours” when she moved to Australia to be with her footballer husband, Harry Kewell.
Sophie Powles – Holly Barton, Then
Holly Barton’s character had two stints on the show. Powles played her both times and saw the character develop a substance abuse problem. The storylines that Holly was involved in were championed as one of the main reasons Emmerdale attracted a new, younger audience. She was a volatile female and part of the larger family of characters, the Barton’s. In her second stint on the soap, which began in 2016, her substance addiction saw her sadly die from an overdose.
Sophie Powles – Holly Barton, Now
Sophie Powles returned to Emmerdale in 2016 with the knowledge that her character would be killed off. In the four-year hiatus between stints on the show, Powles traveled the world. After she had finished her time on the show for good, Powles returned to the theatre and started performing in plays. Her most recent work was ‘Rehearsal for Murder’. Thought you knew what soap stars got up to after they left the show that made them famous? See what the next actress achieved…
Sammy Winward – Katie Sugden, Then
A popular, stalwart character on the show – Sammy Winward played Katie Sugden for almost fifteen years on Emmerdale. Sadly, the last time viewers saw Sugden on screen was as a corpse. Shockingly, she had been killed by her ex-lover and brother in law, Robert Sugden. Her exit on the show reflects many of her other love trysts and relationships during her long time on Emmerdale. She had a year’s break in 2005 whilst she took maternity leave having fallen pregnant.
Sammy Winward – Katie Sugden, Now
Sammy Winward was lucky to win a part in the ITV drama, Prey, soon after her character was killed off. She was the daughter of David Murdoch, a prison officer and the character was also pregnant for the storyline. Her character was only in the second season of the show. Winward also played a part in a few episodes of the show “Fearless” which was a crime miniseries. Surprised? Click next to see what the next Emmerdale star has achieved since the show…
Jenna Coleman – Jasmine Thomas, Then
Coleman moved to Leeds to take on her first role of Jasmine Thomas. Whilst her character’s stint on the show was short, it was certainly important to Coleman’s career and also one of show’s most memorable storylines. Jasmine started off as a meek and mild character but her final shot in Emmerdale is of her in a jail cell – where she had been sent following her illegal antics. Click next to see what Coleman has got up to since landing her Yorkshire role.
Jenna Coleman – Jasmine Thomas, Now
Coleman is one of the hottest British actresses around at the moment – owing to winning roles on “Doctor Who” and “Victoria”. In Doctor Who, she was the sidekick to the eleventh doctor and in Victoria she claimed the main role, playing a young Queen Victoria herself. She has even landed roles in feature films. In 2011, she played a small part in “Captain America: The First Avenger”, which is perhaps just a taste of things to come for the actress.
Stephen McGann – Sean Reynolds, Then
The Reynolds family were big news on the Yorkshire soap. Sean Reynolds was an even bigger character and was at the crux at many of the Reynolds family stories. Becoming Chris Tate’s arch enemy, almost upon arrival on the show in 1999, McGann was soon infamous for many, many reasons. For instance, he started an affair with Tara Thornfield, with whom he left for Chester, in an attempt to start a new life away from the drama of their pasts.
Stephen McGann – Sean Reynolds, Now
Sean Reynolds was never reprised in Emmerdale as McGann started acting in theatre productions almost immediately after leaving the show. He starred in the production of “Art” put on in the West End. He was also lucky enough to land the role of Reverend Shaw in “Footloose” and more recently starred as Dr. Turner on the BBC drama “Call the Midwife”. Interestingly, McGann has written several books on the subject of science – one of his personal passions. Shocked? You ain’t seen nothing yet…
Sheila Mercier – Annie Sugden, Then
No discussion of Emmerdale characters would be complete without mentioning Annie Sugden – one of the founding characters of the show. Sheila Mercier played Sugden for 22 years from 1972 to 1994. The Sugden’s were a central family to many of the show’s storylines, and Annie Sugden was their matriarch. It was at the death of her husband Jacob that she encouraged her sons, Joe and Jack, to repair their estranged relationship. She sadly had a daughter, Peggy, who died too.
Sheila Mercier – Annie Sugden, Now
Having gained a well-loved reputation due to being Emmerdale’s longest serving cast member, Mercier is still well respected and a popular actress in the UK. She sometimes returns to the Dales and reprises the role of Annie Sugden – most notably when she attended the funeral of her on screen son, Jack. In her life before Emmerdale, she joined the WAAF division of the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Impressed? Keep reading. You’re in for some even BIGGER treats.
Andy Devine – Shadrach Dingle, Then
A notorious member of the even more notorious Dingle family, Shadrach was a longstanding character on the show, having had an on and off part from 1998 to 2010. It was in 2010 that he was finally killed off. Shadrach sadly suffered from liver disease in one of his storylines alongside being part of his complicated family. He met with an awful end when he passed away by drowning when attempting to pick out some beer cans from a river.
Andy Devine – Shadrach Dingle, Now
Andy Devine wanted to retire when the character of Shadrach was eventually written out of the show – hence the finality of the character’s ending. However, his retirement was short lived, and he has appeared on several other shows like “Doctors” and “Monroe”. Though he could never reprise the role of Shadrach, like so many of his past cast members, he did star on “The Big Quiz: Coronation Street v Emmerdale”. Keep clicking for more juicy Stories of past Emmerdale characters.
Paul Loughran – Butch Dingle, Then
Butch Dingle stood out in the show mainly owing to being the only redhead – a fact that he was not often allowed to forget. Heh also stood out as, though a Dingle, he was very different to his family members due to being a much more sensitive chap. He was not always the cleverest of Emmerdale characters, but this endeared him to TV audiences across the country especially when his stupidity got him into sometimes farcical situations that caused much hilarity.
Paul Loughran – Butch Dingle, Now
When Butch was killed off, sadly, in a bus accident in 2000, Paul Loughran still managed to remain a much-loved soap actor. He has appeared in shows such as Heartbeat, The Bill and Blue Murder. He has also starred more prominently as Darryl Perkins in Coronation Street – a role he began in 2016. He did not stop jumping around soaps there though. Loughran went on to act in Casualty just a year later. Click next to see the longest standing cast member!
Norman Bowler – Frank Tate, Then
Perhaps one of the soap world’s most infamous onscreen relationships was the marriage of Frank Tate to his wife Kim. Their on off love story started in the most shocking of ways – by having an affair whilst Frank’s then wife was suffering from cancer. Storylines like this were never far from Frank Tate or the rest of his family – all of whom were always up to no good and causing drama in some way or other. Frank Tate was a character for over 8 years.
Norman Bowler – Frank Tate, Now
Norman Bowler wanted to leave Emmerdale, which was one of the main reasons Frank Tate was written out of the show. When he started on Emmerdale, he already had a number of other soap parts under his belt, including “Harpers West One” and “Crossroads”. He moved away from acting slowly however and started dedicating more time to charitable work with his wife – which included living in India for a number of years. Ready to hear who the longest standing member of Emmerdale was? Click next…
Richard Thorp – Alan Turner, Then
Did you guess who the longest serving cast member of Emmerdale was? It was, of course, Richard Thorp, who played Alan Turner for over thirty years. Thorp first graced our TV screens in 1982. He moved to the village with his wife, but only three years later they were to split. Over the years, audiences saw him struggle with alcohol, as well as women. Producers wrote Turner’s death into the show when Thorp’s own health issues sadly became apparent. Click next to read about Thorp’s incredible life…
Richard Thorp – Alan Turner, Now
With several feature films under his belt before he even started starring in Emmerdale, like “The Dam Busters” or “The Barrett’s Of Wimpole Street”, Thorp sadly passed away in May 2013. He was a much=loved character in the show, so much so that his final episode of Emmerdale was an hour long special. Fans of the soap claim he never really left and he remains one of the most popular cast members. He is fondly remembered to this day by his Emmerdale family.
Peter Amory – Chris Tate, Then
The character of Chris Tate first appeared on our TV screens in 1989 when the rest of the Tate family moved to the village. He ran the family business and was a much-loved character on the show. However, this wasn’t to be, when he was involved in a plane crash that left him with life changing injuries. His character changed almost overnight which saw him divorce his wife Kathy, and the later breakdown of another marriage to Rachel Hughes.
Peter Amory – Chris Tate, Now
This long-standing character left our screens in 2003 when Chris Tate killed himself to frame Charity – a character he much despised. Since the show, Peter Amory himself has kept a fairly low profile by retiring from acting. However, he did marry his co-star Claire King though this marriage was not to last. After 10 years together, the Emmerdale pair parted ways. He has a son from a previous relationship. See what the next Emmerdale star got up to on the show…
Lisa Riley – Mandy Dingle, Then
Even non-Emmerdale watchers will know who Lisa Riley is, who played Mandy Dingle in the famous British soap, owing to her on screen charisma and ebullient character. She had a dramatic relationship with her onscreen love interest, Paddy, who broke her heart when he moved to Ireland. Mandy eventually moved on from him, however, and married Butch. This marriage was to be ill fated though when Paddy returned. He and Mandy began having an affair with many far-reaching consequences.
Lisa Riley – Mandy Dingle, Now
Riley played Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale for six years. In 2000, she called it quits and moved on to become the host of “You’ve Been Framed” for a time – the show stopped airing in 2003. Almost 10 years later, Riley got the call for the BBC show, “Strictly Come Dancing”, where she wowed audiences by surprising them with her light-footed ability around the dancefloor and onscreen chemistry with partner Robin Windsor. Additionally, she has also acted in the shows “Waterloo Road” and “Wolverton”.