The residents of Emmerdale are reeling following the discovery of human bones found buried at the local school on Wednesday 3rd July, unlocking a tragic backstory for one female regular involving the death of their baby.
With the identity of the secret mother remaining under wraps until later this week when the police get involved and confirm the parent of the deceased child is called 'Jenny Finn' and gave birth in her teens, fans may already have guessed from her shifty behaviour in tonight's instalment that Lydia Hart (Karen Blick) is connected and is about to reveal some shocking things about her past.
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Is she Jenny Finn? Or does she know who is? Here are five clues that point towards her being involved in the dead baby mystery…
Her reaction to the news about the gruesome discovery
Head teacher Jessie Dingle was called away to the school when building work was halted due to something suspicious being dug up, and when she returned to the Woolpack to deliver the news to the locals that bones had been found, Lydia all but froze. "Have they identified these bones?" she asked, virtually trembling in close-up before quickly changing the subject.
Her reluctance to adopt Samson
Partner Sam Dingle's suggestion she formally adopt his son Samson was met with apprehension, surprising when you consider how deftly Lydia has filled the matriarchal gap since Lisa's death. Insisting it should be the boy's decision and she doesn't want to replace the memory of his late mum Alice appeared to cover the real reason she was uneasy about the idea - is this tied in with something she's hiding from her other half?
Her conversation with Zak hinting at a shady past
A heart-to-heart with Zak about the adoption awkwardness hinted at a shady past for the character when he told her she had become an important part of the family since losing Lisa, and how she and Sam were made for each other - note Lydia's intriguing reply: "He don't really know what I was like before I came to the village. None of you do…" What does that mean, exactly? Is this a hint she used to be called Jenny Finn and changed her name to avoid her shame?!
Her comedy streaking storyline to put viewers off the scent
Kooky Lydia can be relied on for plots that provide light relief, and having her and Sam disrobe to streak across the field as a tribute to Lisa's memory is a prime example. But was the timing of this frothy bit of cheeky fun designed to wrong foot the audience as Emmerdale secretly prepare to plunge the character into a dark, disturbing story about teenage pregnancy and massive grief?
Her tragic miscarriages
Of course it's not all been a barrel of laughs with Lydia - she had a cancer scare in 2018 and has opened up about some upsetting chapters in her backstory. While Chas Dingle and Paddy Kirk grieved for their baby girl Grace, it emerged Lydia had suffered two miscarriages while married to late husband Steve. If Lydia does turn out to be Jenny Finn, perhaps her desire to become a mum began by losing a baby much earlier in life? And her unease about adopting Samson is borne out of possible guilt connected to the incident that led to the bones discovery?
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