Emmerdale introduces Al Chapman, long-lost dad of Ellis Chapman (Asan N’Jie) and old flame of soon-to-depart Jessie Dingle (Sandra Marvin) on Tuesday 13th August. The newcomer is played by Michael Wildman, who joins the cast when Ellis has an unexpected reunion with his errant father when he turns out to be the mysterious new client who has organised a meeting.
Ellis tries to tell his mum, ashamed after her drunken outburst following her getting the sack as head teacher of the local school, he’s seen Al but the man himself makes quite an entrance as he roars into the village – to a somewhat mixed reception. “He’s going to ruffle feathers,” Wildman tells RadioTimes.com. “Al has been away on business and wants to pick up where he left off with his son – it’s not going to be that easy for Ellis.”
What else has Michael Wildman been in?
Wildman has notched up a number of credits in some impressively high-profile projects, notably Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in which he played centaur Magorian. It was the fifth movie in the franchise, released in 2007.
In 2018 he appeared in Steven Spielberg’s pop culture mash-up Ready Player One, alongside future on-screen son N’Jie. “Asan and I shared a trailer, and a few years later I’m playing his dad in Emmerdale!” laughs the star.
He was also in a particularly memorable episode of the Ricky Gervais sitcom Extras back in 2005 that guest-starred Hollywood heavyweight Samuel L Jackson. Wildman’s character Dan was involved in a cringe-inducing moment of unintentional racism for Ashley Jensen’s hapless character Maggie. “Lots of people remember that one, it was really funny. It’s amazing what one episode can do for you! Working with Ricky and Samuel L Jackson was great.”
Fans of long-departed Channel 5 soap Family Affairs might recall he played ladies’ man Marc MacKenzie between 2003-2004.
He’s also cropped up in TV hits such as Casualty, Midsomer Murders, Silent Witness, Primeval, Back and Miranda, and more big movies including The Bourne Ultimatum and London Has Fallen.
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