Vinny Dingle (Bradley Johnson) slowly started to build bridges with long-lost dad Paul Ashdale (Reece Dinsdale) in Emmerdale after discovering new workmate ‘Alex’ had lied about his true identity, and was actually the parent who abandoned him 14 years ago.
Paul begged his son for forgiveness in an emotional heart-to-heart, and was full of remorse as he explained his gambling addiction spiralled out of control when he first met Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley). With the debts spiralling, and feeling he’d failed as a father, he couldn’t cope and did a runner.
Mandy raised Vinny, who was just four years old at the time, as her own, and when Paul rocked up in the village wanting to make amends earlier this year she sent him packing, pretending his lad no longer lived with her.
Paul realised protective Mandy was lying to keep him away so went behind her back and befriended Vin, who had no clear memories of his father, under a false name. Ms Dingle got wind of it and plotted to run Paul out of town once again, before Vinny rumbled the pair’s deception.
Eventually giving into Paul’s pleading, Vinny took him back to Wishing Well Cottage for a peacemaking family meal, with Mandy barely suppressing her misgivings that he’d seemingly been forgiven.
Having won Vinny over, could Paul be holding out hope he can charm Mandy and reignite their romantic relationship?
“Paul is full of admiration for how Mandy has brought up his son,” Dinsdale told RadioTimes.com, “and even though his primary reason for coming to the village is to make up for lost time with Vinny, my hunch would be he’s also come back for her.
“His reason for leaving was nothing to do with Mandy, he had his own problems, so I think he’s hoping she might take him back…”
Can Mandy be persuaded to forgive and forget? And is Vinny setting himself up for more emotional turmoil if it turns out Paul hasn’t changed – what if he does another disappearing act and lets his son down again?
Mandy and Vinny are set to be the focus of one of Emmerdale’s six lockdown episodes airing from 8th June, showing various village households are coping in isolation as the soap acknowledges the coronavirus pandemic that halted filming for two months when the UK went into lockdown. Will they thrash it out about bringing Paul back into their lives?