Robert Sugden is to get a punch in the face from old rival Andy almost as soon as he arrives back in the village.
Robert – now played by Ryan Hawley – will be moving in at Home Farm with new fiancee Chrissie (Louise Marwood) and prospective father-in-law Lawrence (John Bowe). But despite occupying Emmerdale’s most exclusive property, it seems that Robert still has a grievance with his adoptive brother.
“Robert starts saying some really horrible things. He comes in acting really smarmy and his arrogance is unbelievable,” reveals actor Kelvin Fletcher, who plays Andy. “He really belittles Andy and Katie. The digs he makes at Andy are quite personal and he really insults Katie too. He even refers to her as the village bike. So Andy just snaps and hits him. It was one of the first scenes I shot with with Ryan, so that was a bit weird. I had to dislike him immediately. But credit to Ryan – he played it so well that I really wanted to crack him!”
Long-time viewers will recall that, back in 2004, Katie – who was dating Andy at that time – began an affair with Robert. Katie did go on to marry Andy, but when the truth was finally revealed, he tried to shoot Robert and ended up hitting Jack instead.
A decade on from those dramatic events, Andy has reconciled with Katie in the wake of his recent farming accident. But could Robert’s surprise return jeopardise their future together?
“Robert certainly knows which buttons to press,” says series producer Kate Oates. “Although I really wouldn’t wind Andy up because he’s got arms like tree trunks! There will be brawls between the brothers. We know that Andy’s got problems with his temper as well, which he largely has under control. But make-up has a lot of blood on order!”
Watch a 60-second preview of next week’s Emmerdale drama below: