Emmerdale previews summer storylines and new arrival

Emmerdale producers have today revealed the casting of a new character, as well as some teasers for the months ahead, including an explosive stunt and some returnees.

John Sugden arrives

The show will be extending the iconic Sugden family dynasty next month, with the arrival of a brand new character played by Oliver Farnworth.

The mysterious John Sugden will make his debut in August, shaking things up for Victoria (Isabel Hodgins) who herself is the daughter of late Sugden patriarch Jack (Clive Hornby).


Victoria and her four-year old son Harry (Adam Pryor) are currently the only members of the Sugden bloodline remaining in Emmerdale, a family which have been synonymous with the village for hundreds of years, and who the show was first based around on its launch in 1972.

Although Andy Sugden’s (Kelvin Fletcher) daughter Sarah (Katie Hill) remains in the show, Andy had been adopted into the family by Jack and second wife Sarah (Madeleine Howard/Alyson Spiro) in 1999.

John’s exact relation to Victoria is something that is being kept under wraps for now, but producers tease that he will “introduce fresh challenges and intriguing relationships,” and become “deeply entwined with the rich history of the Sugden family.

Naturally, he’ll also be catching the eye of another village resident soon after his arrival.

We are thrilled to have an actor with Oliver’s talent and presence join the Emmerdale family,” producer Laura Shaw stated. “The Sugdens have always been central to Emmerdale, and introducing a new member opens up exciting possibilities for future storylines.

Emmerdale producers Laura Shaw (L) and Sophie Roper (R). ITV

During a press event at the Emmerdale studios in Leeds yesterday, co-producer Sophie Roper told EverySoap that John is just one of a number of new and returning faces arriving over the next few months.

The Sudgens, just like the Dingles have been an iconic family group in Emmerdale, and we’re keen to cement them back into the show. Oliver’s a brilliant new addition, incredibly talented, and we’re really looking forward to welcoming him. He’s going to bring lots of drama to the Dales, which I’m going to keep quite tight lipped about for now.

I am absolutely delighted to be joining the cast of Emmerdale,” added Oliver Farnsworth, who has previously starred in both Hollyoaks and Coronation Street. “The show has such a rich history, and the Sugden family is integral to that. I’m looking forward to bringing my character to life and working with such a talented and dedicated team.

Sophie Roper, who was appointed Emmerdale producer in April after previously acting as the show’s Story Producer for 8 years, also teased some of the other big storylines to come during yesterday’s press event:

The farewell of Zac Dingle


“The Dingles have been at the heart of our show for 30 years now, and will continue to be so. As many of you will know, we very sadly lost Steve [Halliwell] recently. So we’re going to be marking the iconic Zak Dingle’s passing in the coming months with a Dingle funeral.

“It’s been very difficult for a lot of people who work on the showand obviously for a lot of our viewers who have grown and loved Zac for many, many yearsbut it will be a hugely fitting tribute to such an iconic character.”

Mandy and Paddy’s Wedding


“Elsewhere in the Dingle world, we’ve got Mandy and Paddy building towards a wedding. It is Mandy and Paddy, so that’s going to be filled with fun.

“We’ve had Mandy’s dress made in-house by one of our dressmakers. It’s going to be very Mandy, very big, and very fun. So look out for some fun in amongst all of that with the Dingle clan.”

Belle and Tom head to Wales

“Belle and Tom is obviously a huge storyline for us at the moment, and an incredibly important, if not difficult, storyline to watch. It’s resonating with our audience because of course, it’s such a huge, real issue. So we’re continue with that story and trying to be really truthful to those kind of relationships.”


“We’ve got a special episode coming up, that sees Tom and Belle head off to Wales on a trip away together. We actually recreated Wales in Yorkshire. We’ve got a cottage up in the village that our fantastic design team have redressed and made this beautiful Welsh retreat.

“It’s really fantastic the lengths that they’ve gone to to create that within our world. The story, though of course set to the backdrop of this beautiful cottage, will be really hard hitting and difficult at moments. 

“Tom is very much isolating Belle from her family, from her surroundings, and from everything that she knows and loveswhich is very much, unfortunately, a typical trait of abusers and people who are trying to isolate their victims from their family. So it will be difficult drama at moments, but a really important message and a really important story that we’re keen to continue to tell.”

An explosive stunt

“Elsewhere we’ve got a lot of stunts coming up, some we’re actually filming this week. I’m not going to tell you too much, but what I can tell you is that there will be fire engines involved, and it’s going to be a very ‘explosive’ week of Emmerdale.”

Caleb and Ruby


“Caleb and Ruby who have kind of landed in the village and had a real impact, but we don’t know a huge amount. There’s lots in terms of their history, particularly Ruby’s, that is yet unknown.

“We’re going to see a bit of a blast from their past come back and really give us some more about this complicated relationship between husband and wife, and also the complicated family dynamics that we have there.”

Ella’s return


“We had a really huge twist with the Ella (Paula Lane) storyline recently, which I think was quite unexpected but really powerful. Ella will continue in the show, but her past will continue to haunt her.

“Her relationship with Liam will remain complicated and will continue to question whether she’ll ever get her happily ever after. Can she ever really escape the past that’s led her to this point?”