“You’re a special woman…” says Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) to Wendy Posner (Susan Cookson) as he consoles her in Emmerdale after a robber on a motorbike steals her handbag which contained a treasured key ring given to her by her dead son.
Bob is quick to stress that wasn’t him “trying it on” but who is he kidding? The five-times married Woolpack employee has been chancing his arm since his first marriage to Jean Hope ended when he walked out on her and children Dawn and Jamie in the early Eighties.
In the Wednesday 8th April episode, Wendy told Bob that she had not been with anyone in the years since she separated from the father of her sons Luke and Lee.
“The boys’ dad made my life hell and he broke my heart,” said Wendy, whose youngest Lee raped Victoria Barton. “I’m happier on my own.” Luke then arrived to comfort his mother and take her home but Bob Hope is not a man easily discouraged as his track record shows.
To date he has had five wives – Jean Hope (Julie Higginson, Susan Penhaligon) in 1982, Barbara Hope (Julie Dawn Cole) in 1988, Vonda Flockhart (Lorelei King) in 1994, Viv Windsor (Deena Payne) who he married twice in 2001 and 2006 and Brenda Walker (Lesley Dunlop) in 2018.
An emotional hand-fasting ceremony with Brenda after she had a brain tumour removed showed the best of Bob as he supported her through that and the murder of her daughter Gennie (who he also once slept with) at the hands of serial killer Cameron Murray (Dominic Power). But Bob’s affair with Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy) destroyed that.
A dad of seven – to Dawn, Jamie, Josh, Carly, Roxy and twins Cathy and Heath – Bob has been absent for most of his children’s lives. Daughter Carly (Gemma Atkinson) called him on it when she spent two years in the village in 2015 but it was twin Cathy (Gabrielle Dowling) who really nailed her dad.
When Bob told them in front of Brenda he had “done a very selfish thing” by having an affair with Laurel, his daughter calmly replied, “Again?” And as Brenda told him later, “You’re going to die a very lonely man.”
So our advice, nurse Wendy? Give yourself a break and keep well away.
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