Lisa Riley has revealed that Mandy Dingle will be a part of this year’s festive Emmerdale storylines. “We are just about to shoot these episodes and Mandy’s got her Christmas knickers,” the soap returnee commented when asked how long she’d be back on screen.
Riley’s alter-ego will return to the ITV soap next week, with upcoming scenes set to see her barging in at Tall Trees Cottage to catch Jessie cheating on Mandy’s cousin Marlon with Al Chapman. But why has she decided to return at this particular time?
“She hasn’t got anywhere to live,” explained Riley. “So, she’s bursting in to ask Marlon if she can come and live with him. She needs a home in order to fulfil her first scam. Honestly, she’s got more faces than Big Ben. So when she finds is Al and Jessie together, her first reaction is, ‘are you going to tell Marlon or am I?’ She completely uses the situation to her advantage.”
Such scheming won’t come as a surprise to viewers – after all, when we last saw Mandy in her cameo appearance back in January, she was swearing son Vinny to secrecy as they sped away in a sleek sports car being driven by a handsome but mysterious suitor. So are we going to get answers this time around when Mandy resurfaces with Vinny in tow?
“Well, who was that driver? Is he still around? Probably not! Mandy probably paid him to make a show of it. And as for Vinny – what you’ve got to remember is that Mandy’s a really good teacher and she’s taught her son everything about how to manipulate, survive and get money. So maybe Vinny isn’t who he says he is…”
As for what Mandy will be getting up to once she’s settled herself into village life, Riley revealed that she’ll soon be wrapping the rest of her on-screen family around her little finger. “She thinks the Dingles are getting a bit settled. She wants to get the fight back into them. She might even manipulate a few of them to get what she wants, which is money! She’ll do anything to get it.”
But one thing Mandy definitely won’t be plotting to do is reigniting a romance with her ex-husband Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt): “It’s going to be a lifelong friendship between Paddy and Mandy. Every piece of speculation I’ve read says that Mandy is going to split up Paddy and Chas. Of course she’s not going to do that! It would be the most ludicrous idea ever.
“Mandy and Chas are like sisters – they’re spiky with each other, but they’re allies. And it’s nice for Mandy to be a female confidante that Paddy can offload on. As we get towards the birth of Paddy’s baby, you’ll see that Mandy is elated that Paddy is happy. She’d never dent that.”
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