Hello and welcome to A Slice Of Soap.
Just when you thought you’d seen the last of them, yet another Dingle is set to make an appearance. Yes, Emmerdale’s Dingle tribe are in for an April Fool shock when a long-lost family member turns up out of the blue (where would soaps be without ‘long-lost’ relatives?).
Genesis ‘Gennie’ Walker, played by soap newcomer Sian Reese-Williams, arrives in the Dales on Tuesday, April 1, much to the shock of her estranged father Shadrach and her biological sister, Chastity. Ms Reese-Williams – who has worked on theatre productions of As You Like It, Be My Baby and The Dreaming – has begun filming with the Yorkshire soap.
Of her new role, the 26-year-old said: "I’m thrilled to have been given this fantastic opportunity. Emmerdale is such an iconic programme and I can’t wait to take my place in the Dingle family." New series producer Anita Turner added: "I’m delighted to welcome Sian to the show and we’ve got some exciting storylines planned. Chas, for one, is left reeling from the news that she has a long-lost sister. Genesis is not your typical Dingle and she’s in for a real culture shock when she meets her biological family." Not a typical Dingle, eh? By that I guess they mean that she can use a knife and fork and takes pride in personal hygiene. So, with the imminent arrival of Shadrach’s long-lost daughter, let’s take a look at some of the family’s key members throughout the years:
:: Zak Dingle
The head of the Dingle family, likeable rogue Zachariah Bartholomew Dingle – played by Steve Halliwell – made his debut in the soap in 1994 when he was seen challenging Ned Glover to a bare knuckle fight, which he lost. Zak is no stranger to tragedy. His son Ben died of a heart defect and the father-of-seven also lost another of his sons, Butch, who suffered fatal injuries in a bus crash. During his time in the soap, Zak has also had his wife leave him and battled with cancer. But he has also been involved in some of the soap’s lighter moments thanks to his scams, including blowing up a safe full of bank notes in a 2003 Christmas special.
:: Cain Dingle
Dubbed "the blackest card in the deck" by Sadie King, Zak’s hellraiser son Cain arrived in Emmerdale in 2000 for brother Butch’s funeral and immediately began a vendetta against tycoon Chris Tate, whom he blamed for Butch’s death. Cain also brought a campaign of destruction upon WPC Angie Reynolds and her family – sleeping with Angie and her smitten daughter Ollie and pushing grandfather Len down a flight of stairs. As a teenager, Cain fathered a child with 13-year-old cousin Charity, who kept their daughter Debbie a secret from him. He finally left the show after realising he wanted to change his ways. Kidnapping at gunpoint, assaulting police officers and abandoning his heartbroken daughter, his exit was as dramatic as his arrival.
Charity Dingle (Later Tate)
Charity – played by Emma Atkins – also arrived in the soap for Butch’s funeral. The prostitute immediately upset the family by letting arch-enemy Chris Tate pay for her "company". She eventually moved into Home Farm, married Chris and had affairs with Chris’s sister Zoe and with her cousin Cain. She was framed for murder after Chris killed himself and then tried to sell their baby to Zoe for £20,000 in an effort to avoid a jail sentence. Charity then set her sights on new millionaire in the village Tom King, but after her plans to marry him were thwarted by his daughter-in-law Sadie and Cain, she took revenge by sleeping with Sadie’s husband Jimmy. She left the show in 2005.
:: Mandy Dingle
Cain’s cousin Mandy Rose Dingle, played by former You’ve Been Framed host Lisa Riley, first appeared in 1995 at cousin Tina’s "non-wedding" to Luke McAllister. Her flirty and buxom ways left many an Emmerdale fellow blushing sheepishly and was a source of much comedy in the soap until she departed in 2001.
:: Sam Dingle
One of Zak and Nellie Dingle’s four sons, Samuel Jonah Dingle suffers from learning difficulties. Sam has repeatedly found himself in run-ins with the police – usually for theft, although he went to prison when he ran over pensioner Edna Birch and almost killed her. Often working as a dogsbody, Sam left Emmerdale with chicken farmer girlfriend Alice Wilson in 2005 to start their own farm, but they returned together not long after when Sam discovered Alice was pregnant. After marrying Sam, Alice developed terminal cancer. After giving birth to their son, Samson, she died in July 2006 with her husband’s help using drugs he obtained from cousin Eli. Police became suspicious over the circumstances of Alice’s death and Sam went on the run when a murder investigation was opened.
Are you looking forward to this new Dingle? Or do you think there’s enough of them already? Let’s see how she does…
That’s it for now. Join me on Friday for more soap news and gossip. Got a comment about your favourite soap, this blog or anything else? Share it with me.
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