Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) revealed a tragic secret she has kept to herself for 15 years in Emmerdale‘s latest lockdown episode, confessing to adopted son Vinny she had a miscarriage shortly after his dad Paul walked out on them.
Over the first month of isolating themselves from vulnerable relative Lydia Dingle by moving out of Wishing Well Cottage and into the beauty salon, the atmosphere between the pair started off frosty as Vin blamed Mandy for driving Paul away after he tracked him down wanting to make amends.
Slowly things thawed, aided by the discovery of a secret prosecco stash, and Mandy soon made a heartbreaking admission – when Paul left she discovered she was pregnant but sadly lost the baby quite early on. Vinny’s grandmother, since deceased, was the only person she told. Following an emergency operation, doctors told Mandy she would never be able to have biological kids of her own.
“I absolutely love this story,” says Riley. “Mandy’s 15-year-old secret is the big ‘bomb’ of the episode. She has been sitting on it for so long and now things will suddenly make so much sense. It will have huge repercussions going forward.”
Paul’s whereabouts were also revealed – he’s working as an NHS volunteer – and much was made of Vinny’s crush on Liv Flaherty. Could they be set for a socially-distanced romance?
The instalment, the third of Emmerdale’s lockdown specials that marked the soap’s phased return to filming in late May after the pandemic shut production down in March, also teased another potential future plot as Vinny’s biological mother was properly discussed for the first time.
Turns out she had left well before Paul met Mandy, and after he scarpered Ms Dingle helped Vinny’s gran find her but to no avail. Mandy told Vin she understood the need for him to have a relationship with his real mum, but was secretly pleased when the search proved fruitless as she had come to think of the lad as her own, and vowed to protect him from harm and heartache in the future.
Was this a sneaky way of setting up a shock return for the woman who gave birth to Vinny, but had nothing to do with his upbringing? We know gambling debts drove Paul away, but what was the real reason Vin’s mummy was never part of his life? Would she fight Mandy for her boy?
Emmerdale’s lockdown continues on Wednesday 17th June, with bickering couple Jimmy and Nicola King the next household in focus.