Emmerdale cast: New, leaving and returning characters

AS Super Soap Week is fast approaching, bosses have lined up plenty of fresh drama for weeks to come.

But who will be in Emmerdale to see it all unravel and finish off another bombshell-filled year? Get the lowdown.

 Matthew Wolfenden will leave Emmerdale after 17 years

Matthew Wolfenden will leave Emmerdale after 17 yearsCredit: ITV

David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) – leaving 

Much like his real-life partner Charley Webb aka Debbie Dingle in the ITV Dales, soap legend Matthew Wolfenden has decided to turn over a new leaf.

The David Metcalfe star confirmed he’d be leaving the long-running program during an appearance on the set of This Morning after 17 years.

Previous reports made by The Sun revealed he was allegedly unhappy with the lack of “gritty storylines” for his character.

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“He’s only just announced he is leaving so scriptwriters are working out his on-screen exit. It’s possible David could be killed off”, a source claimed.

However, while discussing his exit on This Morning, Matthew revealed David will not be killed off.

What’s in store for him?

 Martha Cope joined the Emmerdale line-up in September, 2023

Martha Cope joined the Emmerdale line-up in September, 2023Credit: ITV

Sophie (Martha Cope) – joined

Former EastEnders star Martha Cope joined Emmerdale in September, 2023, as Sophie, a surprising face from Gail Loman’s (Rachael Gill-Davis) past.

The eccentric character and girlfriend of Ryan Stocks was revealed to be keeping a sinister secret, months after her sudden return to the eponymous village.

Gail was seen taking a mysterious phone call before meeting up with Sophie who broke sad news to her about another individual named Oscar.

Viewers then learned that Oscar was Gail’s secret son… and Ryan is the father.

Thirteen-year-old Oscar was adopted by Sophie and needs a bone marrow transplant for his Aplastic anaemia.

Sophie let Gail know that she was no match and the latter realised she was being asked to get tested to figure out if she could help save Oscar.

How will the new storyline play out?

 Victor was released from prison in early June, 2023

Victor was released from prison in early June, 2023Credit: ITV

Victor Anderson (Eddie Osei) – left

Eddie Osei joined the soap line-up as Charles’ (Kevin Mathurin) estranged father Victor.

The character rocked up the village after being released from prison and despite the vicar’s warnings to stay away from his family.

Victor tried to rekindle his romance with his wife Claudette (Flo Wilson) and, although she forgave him for his past actions, Charles was more reluctant to allow him back into their lives.

Sadly, when Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) tried to get a hold of a necklace given to Manpreet (Rebecca Sarker) by her ex-husband Rishi (Bhasker Patel), viewers and fellow villagers were quick to assume Victor had stolen the piece of jewellery.

Victor ran away, claiming his innocence, before the police could confront him.

He was found dead in St Mary’s Church and it was then revealed that Charles had framed him for theft in an attempt to get rid of him, completely unaware his father was never lying about his health issues.

 Marshall Hamston struggled to come to terms with his sexuality

Marshall Hamston struggled to come to terms with his sexualityCredit: ITV

Marshall Hamston (Max Fletcher) – left 

After coming out as gay in recent months, Arthur Thomas (played by Alfie Clarke) got a brand new love interest in the form of Max Fletcher’s Marshall.

But the teen struggled to come to terms with his sexuality and, when he was first brought into the ITV soap, he took his frustrations out on Arthur.

As he grappled with his sexuality and tumultuous relationship with his abusive and homophobic father Colin, Marshall was able to count on Arthur and his mother Laurel’s support.

The pair of teens eventually embarked on a romantic relationship while living under the same roof.

Sadly, all good things have to come to an end, even in the Dales, and in scenes aired on Thursday, July 20, 2023, Marshall made the decision to leave the village to live with his aunt.

Arthur was heartbroken when Marshall put an end to their relationship and waved him goodbye.

Reports have confirmed this was Marshall’s final scenes in the Yorkshire-based drama and no plans for him to come back have been made.

 Samantha Giles is leaving Emmerdale

Samantha Giles is leaving EmmerdaleCredit: ITV

Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles) – leaving

Actress Samantha Giles joined the long-running program for the first time in 1998, becoming one of the Woolpack’s biggest icons.

Although she moved on to other projects throughout her stint in the Dales, including a book and an appearance in Channel 4’s Hollyoaks as Valerie Holden, Samantha always made her way back to the eponymous village.

The soap star returned on a permanent basis a final time in 2021 but after more than two decades of memorable storylines, she has decided to call it quits.

Recent reports revealed Samantha will be parting ways with the feisty redhead ITV viewers have grown to know and love.

Her final storyline and exit date have yet to be announced but many viewers have suspected it could have a link to Bob Hope.

The chemistry between both B&B owners is brimming as the pair almost kissed earlier in 2023.

And with Wendy Posner’s affair set to be revealed, Bob may be tempted to give romance with Bernice a shot.

 Georgia Sharma has been recast

Georgia Sharma has been recastCredit: ITV

Georgia Sharma (Lin Blakley) – returned

Jai Sharma and Laurel Thomas tied the knot and spoilers confirmed the ceremony would have its fair share of drama ahead of the big day.

The ceremony turned into a huge family affair as Rishi Sharma (Bhasker Patel) was reunited with his first wife Georgia amid tensions with his adoptive son.

Georgia returned just in time to attend her son’s wedding but the role was played by a fresh newcomer.

Former EastEnders actress Lin Blakley took over the role from The Bill’s Trudie Goodwin.

As viewers of the Yorkshire-based soap will remember, the wedding culminated in the sudden and tragic death of Rishi Sharma and Georgia left soon after.

Could she return as the family continue to mourn the loss of the Sharma patriarch?

 Charles Anderson will be welcoming his mother to the Dales

Charles Anderson will be welcoming his mother to the DalesCredit: ITV

Claudette Anderson (Flo Wilson) – joined

Spoilers have confirmed that Charles Anderson (portrayed by Kevin Mathurin) was reunited with his imperious mother Claudette.

West End and Coronation Street actress Flo Wilson joined the line-up to portray the new character… and rattle Manpreet Sharma (Rebecca Sarker) due to her chequered past with the village vicar.

Emmerdale boss Jane Hudson spoke about the new arrival, stating: “We are delighted to welcome Flo Wilson to the cast of Emmerdale.

Her talent and experience will bring a new dimension to the show, and we can’t wait for viewers to see her in action. She’s certainly going to ruffle feathers in the Anderson household.”

Flo Wilson, on the other hand, added: “I feel blessed that I was chosen to play Claudette and I hope to make the Emmerdale family proud of the work that I will do.”
 Karene Peter is leaving Emmerdale after a year

Karene Peter is leaving Emmerdale after a yearCredit: ITV

Naomi Walters (Karene Peter) – left

But while Charles will finally have time to spend with his mother, his daughter Naomi Walters decided she’s ready for a fresh start away from the village during the summer of 2023.

Karene Peter was introduced as the troublesome Naomi in 2022 as her on-screen alter ego became involved in Nicola King’s brutal mugging.

Throughout her stint in the Dales, Naomi slowly became a reformed villain and even embarked on a relationship with Nate Robinson.

However, all good things come to an end and Karene has left her role on the ITV soap.

“Karene’s loved her time on the soap but it is time for her to go”, a source told The Sun.

“Being on Emmerdale was a dream but she became an actor to play different roles and that’s exactly what she wants to do.”

There’s still room for her to come back to Emmerdale as the source added: “The door isn’t being closed on Naomi so she could always make a return down the line.”

Naomi left the village after angrily quitting her job at the Woolpack and setting her sights on adventure in Ibiza, encouraged by her grandfather Victor.

Credit: ITV

Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) – returned

After finding out that her fiancé Nate had been unfaithful to her, Tracy struggles to forgive his lies and kicks him out of their home.

But when she is offered a new job in Nottingham, Tracy weighs out the pros and the cons before deciding to leave the Dales.

Tracy’s exit storyline aired on screens in January, 2022, as both Nate and her sister Vanessa tried to convinced her to stay.

The former then had a change of heart and encouraged Tracy to shoot her shot and go pursue her dream job.

Tracy left the village with her daughter Frankie.

Off-screen, however, actress Amy Walsh left on maternity leave.

She welcomed her first child after a “tough” birth with partner and former EastEnders star Toby-Alexander Smith in January, 2022.

During her Emmerdale exit chat, Amy teased a potential return for her character.

“If she fails, then she can always come back, which she will probably do in about a year’s time!”

In recent weeks, Nate found out through Tracy that she has a new fella in her life – while Toby-Alexander Smith has been rumoured to join the Emmerdale cast as his other half’s on-screen boyfriend.

Tracy made a one-off return ahead of Emmerdale’s anniversary, shocking viewers and former fiancé Nate Robinson when she announced she was engaged to another man – but this didn’t stop her from shacking up with Nate.

Ready to rekindle their relationship, she was shocked to see Nate alongside his new girlfriend Naomi Anderson.

Hurt, Tracy made the decision to pack up and return to Nottingham.

Amy Walsh reprised her role in recent weeks as Tracy reappeared in the village for her secret marriage to Nate.

 Darcy Grey is ready to turn a new leaf

Darcy Grey is ready to turn a new leafCredit: ITV

Marcus Dean (Darcy Grey) – left

The son of serial killer and rapist Pierce Harris, Marcus Dean was said to be ready to keep his legacy alive.

But after a year of drama, actor Darcy Grey has reportedly called it quits and Marcus is set to pack up and leave the eponymous village in upcoming weeks.

Soap bosses have confirmed Darcy has filmed his final scenes as the mysterious character.

Since his arrival, Marcus struck up a romance with solicitor Ethan Anderson (Emile John) and the pair had big ideas for their future.

He was then approached and seduced by Ethan’s shady boss Greg and the drama escalated into a physical altercation.

But Marcus eventually left Tall Trees Cottage after being caught with another man and confessing he was no longer happy with Ethan in brutal scenes.

Could he come back?

 Priya Sharma left the Dales for a new job opportunity

Priya Sharma left the Dales for a new job opportunityCredit: ITV

Priya Sharma (Fiona Wade) – left

More than a decade has passed since Fiona Wade first stepped into Emmerdale and the soap star has decided it’s time for her to move on.

After less than twelve years in the show, the actress left the role of Priya Sharma behind.

For the past year, the wedding planner was focusing on her long-term recovery from burns sustained in the maze fire in October, 2021.

It became clear she still had lingering trauma from the horrific ordeal.

Priya Sharma’s exit storyline aired in late January, 2023.

The beloved character moved to London for a new job opportunity.

But matters became harrowing when a spiralling David Metcalfe refused to lose his daughter Amba and resorted to kidnapping her when he spiralled out of control.

 Michelle Hardwick is on maternity leave

Michelle Hardwick is on maternity leaveCredit: ITV

Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick) – left

Much like Laura Norton, actress Michelle Hardwick left the ITV village to go on maternity leave at the end of November.

The soap star gave birth to her second child with Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks at the same time her final scenes were aired.

The vet left the village for a year-long job in Canada after falling out with her pal Rhona Goskirk.

Her relationship with Suzy Merton was also impacted due to a lack of trust as she feared the newcomer would become addicted to drugs again.

But Vanessa eventually made up with Rhona and even shared a final kiss with Suzy before departing with her son Johnny.

Will she return?

Emmerdale airs weeknights from 7.30pm on ITV.

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