Hollywood Comes To Emmerdale

Hello and welcome to today’s edition of A Slice Of Soap. I couldn’t believe this when I first read it, but there it was in black and white; British actress and LA Law star Amanda Donohoe and The Colbys’ Maxwell Caulfield, are joining Emmerdale.

Say what you like about the rural soap, but this is a real casting coup. They pulled off a bit of a shock when Neighbours’ Anne Charleston signed up to play Edna’s sister Lily, but this news is in a whole different league of awe. Normally our soap stars head to Hollywood in search of fame and fortune, it rarely, if ever, works the other way around.

Amanda Donohoe will play one half of "sexy new couple" Natasha and Mark Wylde, who retire to the country. Her screen husband is played by Scottish-born actor Maxwell Caulfield. He first made his name as geek-turned-hunk Michael Carrington in the disastrous Grease sequel Grease 2 in 1982 opposite Michelle Pfeiffer. Some may also remember him chatting up Brenda Walsh (played by Shannen Doherty) in the very first episode of Beverly Hills 90210. However, it was the Dynasty spin off The Colbys that really made his name; he played scheming smoothie Miles Colby.

Amanda Donohoe made a memorable appearance in a very funny Frasier episode titled Call Me Irresponsible. On stage, she replaced Jerry Hall as Mrs Robinson in The Graduate in 2001. She won her Golden Globe for LA Law, the show in which in 1991 her attorney character CJ Lamb took part in what was billed as the first lesbian kiss on US television. She said of her new role: "I’m …. very excited about joining one of Britain’s best-loved soaps. I’m hoping the next few months will deliver some intriguing new storylines and I’m looking forward to galloping across the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and of course a pint (of Champagne) at the Woolie." Maxwell Caulfield has said: "This role was just too tempting to turn down and I can’t wait to start filming in the beautiful Yorkshire countryside. Mark’s complexities will be an interesting addition to life in Emmerdale." The couple make their debut on the soap at Christmas.

Whatever next? The Sopranos’ James Gandolfini as an American gangster in EastEnders? Mischa Barton as a stunning temptress in Hollywoodoaks? Mickey Rooney in Coronation Street?

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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