Emmerdale Christmas 2023 preview: Tragedy, returns, weddings, new arrivals
Producer Laura Shaw reveals what lies ahead in the coming weeks in Emmerdale...
As ever the festive season in Emmerdale will prove anything but quiet.
Off the back of Super Soap Week which saw a clifftop drama for the rollercoaster love triangle of Mackenzie Boyd (Lawrence Robb), his wife Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins), and the mother of his newborn baby, Chloe Harris (Jessie Elland), in a precarious position.
As the weeks build towards Christmas this is only one storyline that threatens to explode in some shocking scenes around the Yuletide episodes.
Producer Laura Shaw has revealed to RadioTimes.com and other press some teasers and spoilers for what lies ahead in Christmas 2023 and beyond...
Emmerdale Christmas 2023 preview: Tragedy, returns, weddings, new arrivals
Charity Dingle/Mackenzie Boyd/Chloe Harris love triangle
Of course, fans have seen the drama between Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins), Mackenzie Boyd (Lawrence Robb), and Chloe Harris (Jessie Elland) bubble away for months on end, but a dramatic climax awaits this festive season.
Speaking on the story, producer Laura Shaw said: "The Charity/Mackenzie/Chloe love triangle has been bubbling away for 18 months or so now, so at Christmas we’ll see that reach a bit more of a crescendo where Mackenzie pushes Chloe to her absolute limit and what we’ll see is her reach out to her father for help."
Of course, fans have long awaited the arrival of Chloe's gangster dad, and he is certainly a force to be reckoned with.
"Obviously, we know from previous stories that Chloe’s dad is not someone to be messed about with - quite dark. We know that he was quite controlling with Chloe and that people are afraid of him, so obviously when she reaches out to him what we will see is him helping Chloe in his own unique way. Is Mackenzie going to be able to talk his way out of this one? I’m not sure, we’ll have to wait and see but I think it’s pretty sure to say the repercussions of that are going to be long-lasting into the new year and beyond."
Will everyone survive this love triangle?
Rhona Goskirk, Marlon Dingle, and baby Ivy
Another storyline that has just reared its head is the arrival of a newborn biological child for Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry), one that was conceived against her will through fraud and the use of frozen embryos she had produced in rounds of IVF with her ex-husband, Gus (Alan McKenna).
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"We’ve seen Rhona having a really tricky time recently," noted Shaw. "We’ve recently seen on screen [Gus's wife]Lucy died just after the birth of baby Ivy. What we’ll see going forward is just Gus starting to struggle a little bit with his grief and with being a single parent to little Ivy and that’s going to hugely impact on Rhona and Marlon’s Christmas. How is Marlon going to cope if Rhona wants to reach out and help baby Ivy? Will Gus let Rhona help with baby Ivy? And what are the repercussions going to be on Leo and April? We’ll see all that over Christmas."
Looking ahead to what comes next in the storyline in 2024, it seems Rhona will pushed to her limits.
Shaw added: "In the new year, we’ll see Rhona pushed to breaking point and she’s forced to make a really risky decision that threatens to affect her whole family and possibly change the dynamics of their family. As she’s pushed to the extreme can she be talked around or is she going to lose everything in the quest to help baby Ivy?"
Tracy Robinson and Caleb Milligan's affair
Fans have recently seen an unexpected lustful connection develop between recently married Tracy Robinson (Amy Walsh) and her husband's recently arrived uncle Caleb Milligan (Will Ash). This can only end badly.
Shaw revealed: "We’ve also started Tracy and Caleb’s dangerous affair. We’ll see a bit more of that in the run up to Christmas and what we’ll see is the most awkward Christmas dinner ever where those lot are all sat round the table at the Dingles’ together. Somebody on Christmas Day is going to find out their dark secret and threaten to blow that."
Who could be the one to discover the affair and will they use that to their advantage?
Caleb Milligan's wife Ruby arrives
One person who fans have noticed to be heavily mentioned has been Caleb's estranged wife and the mother of his son Nicky (Lewis Cope).
Now we can confirm that this character, Ruby Milligan, will be arriving in the soap in the New Year.
Shaw teased: "We’ve heard mention of Nicky’s mum and Caleb’s wife and we’ve just heard little bits from Caleb where’s he’s kind of said it’s all over between them and there’s nothing going on - but is that really true?
"In the new year, we will see Ruby bursting onto our screens. She’s going to be an absolute firecracker. She’s going to put a real spanner into the Dingles. Is her and Caleb’s relationship really as over as he’s made out? We’ll find out in the new year, I guess!"
Lydia Dingle's story
Fans saw the hard-hitting story of Lydia Dingle (Karen Blick) being raped by her childhood friend and he was subsequently killed in a whodunnit story by what turned out to be Kim Tate's (Claire King) own horse and this was concealed by Kim and Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley).
"Lydia is still struggling after her horrific ordeal at the hands of Craig and we’ll see that continue forward," noted Shaw. "Lydia and Sam will find out what happened that night that we saw in the big Dingles week with Kim. That will all come out. "
The long-term impact of this story on Lydia's relationships with both Sam and Kim will be felt into 2024.
Shaw continued" "How is Lydia going to cope with that news? How will Sam cope with that news? It’s going to really test Lydia and Kim’s friendship which I know we all absolutely love.
"We’ll see in the new year if they can get their friendship back on track. Similarly for Sam and Lydia - are they ever going to get through this? Hopefully, the new year’s going to bring some new hope for them."
Chas Dingle's story
Another figure never far from drama is Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) who has found herself more and more distant from her troubled son Aaron (Danny Miller).
Teasing Chas's story in 2024, Shaw said: "There’s a huge story coming up for Chas in the new year that’s going to be shocking for all her family and friends and villagers around her.
"We know that she and Aaron have got quite a strained relationship at the moment and Aaron’s really pushing his mum away, so this could be the story that maybe brings those two back together and bonds mother and son again. That’s all to find out in the new year."
Moira Dingle's confession
Someone who has had a bit of a quieter time is farmer Moira Dingle (Natalie J. Robb), but that will change in the New Year when her past rears its ugly head.
"Moira’s going to make a big confession to one of our villagers," revealed Shaw. "It’s a secret from her past that she’s going to reveal. She does it in a way to try to help the person that she’s talking to, but how is that person going to react when they find out Moira’s deepest, darkest secret?"
However, the consequences of this confession could be disastrous for Moira herself.
"If they blow it, it could threaten Moira’s whole life," warned Shaw.
Will Moira regret her attempts to help?
Huge tragedy rocks the village
One of the most troubling teasers for the future in Emmerdale will change life in the village forever.
"There’s also going to be tragedy in the village in January that’s going to affect two of our most-loved families," confirmed Shaw. "It’s ultimately going to tear friendships apart and change the dynamics of one of those families forever."
Who will be impacted by this horrific event?
Aaron Livesy and Cain Dingle clash
Ever since he returned to the village, Aaron has had a bigger chip on his shoulder than usual and it will soon all come to a head as his uncle Cain won't let him carry on the way he is going.
"Aaron and Cain are not getting on very well at all at the moment, I think it’s safe to say," noted Shaw. "We’ll see some tensions building there between those two leading to a really brutal physical fight between Cain and Aaron in the new year. Which one of those is going to come out on top? Who’s going to win the fight? We’ll have to wait and see if both of them come out still standing."
Dingle versus Dingle seems to be a theme in 2024!
Belle Dingle and Tom King
The romance of Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) and Tom King (James Chase) will continue in earnest this Christmas season and build to some swoon-worthy moments.
However, fans will struggle to forget the worrying moment when Tom aggressively pushed Belle to the floor and she cut her head. Tom apologised but was this a one-off accident or a sign of further troubling scenes to come?
"Belle and Tom are going to move on in their relationship," stated Shaw. "I think we’ve already hinted a little bit that there may be more going on in their relationship, but what we will see is them building their relationship."
Their romance will build so much that a wedding will be on the way!
Shaw revealed: "Wedding bells come in on Valentine’s Day, of course, because we’re a soap so we have to do weddings on Valentine’s Day! But is it going to be their happy ever after? We’ll have to see."
Bob and Cathy Hope
The increasingly strained relationship between Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) and his youngest daughter Cathy (Gabrielle Dowling) looks set to face its greatest challenge yet in the coming weeks.
Laura Shaw revealed"Bob and Cathy’s relationship is going to be tested to the max as well. We’re going to see something happen that’s going to push them to the extreme. They’re going to hit rock bottom when this happens. Is it going to tear them apart or will it pull them together? We’ll see how that plays out."
A familiar face returns
Finally, fans can expect a dramatic return to occur in Emmerdale in the coming weeks.
"Lastly, we’ve got a familiar face returning in the new year," concluded Shaw. "This person comes back to help one of our villagers who’s in a little bit of trouble. We’ll leave you to guess who the familiar face might be coming back in January."
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- Emmerdale needs to do one thing with Aaron Dingle as he returns
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