'Emmerdale': New owners of the Woolpack revealed in last minute twist
Thursday’s Emmerdale was a rather momentous affair, as The Woolpack pub was finally sold after months of uncertainty over its future.
In soapland, ownership of the local watering hole is always of great importance, given that residents are destined to spend many hours propping up the bar.
It’s now been revealed that the Dingles are keeping it in the family after all, as Charity and son Ryan Stocks won the bidding war in a surprising last minute twist.
Following the death of his adoptive mother Irene, Ryan chose to invest his inheritance in the pub. Meanwhile, Charity elected to sell her half of the haulage business to Kim Tate (Claire King) in order to provide her share of the funds.
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Chas (Lucy Pargeter) Marlon (Mark Charnock) and Paddy (Dominic Brunt) were initially baffled when the auctioneers sanctioned a mystery internet bid, only to be told the person purchasing their beloved home wanted to meet them there to unveil their identity.
They were shocked when their relatives casually rocked up with Charity looking very pleased with herself after previously being pushed out of the business.
So what’s next now that scheming Al Chapman’s influence is over? Here, actors Emma Atkins and James Moore, who play Charity and Ryan, discuss the storyline and tease what we can expect.
“I was excited to hear Ryan would be one of the new owners of the pub,” says Moore. “It’s a big step for him as a character especially after losing his mother, and cements his part in Emmerdale history.”
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Asked about his character’s role at the pub, the actor reveals: “I think Ryan is taking over more of the behind-the-scenes management in the Woolpack, but I imagine he might come out to pour a pint from time to time!”
Co-star Atkins explains: “There was a mention in a previous script that Charity’s role will be more managerial, hands on; and Ryan, being a computer wizard, will be behind all the admin, marketing and financial stuff.“
“Ryan may want to modernise the Woolpack and create more of a youthful vibe to the pub,” adds Moore, giving viewers an insight into how things might change after ten years with Chas at the helm.
“As we know he is a computer wiz and I expect he will have good ideas for promoting the pub on social media et cetera.”
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Of course, thanks to Al starting that devastating blaze at Christmas, the pub is in dire need of refurbishment. An impressed Atkins tells us that the Woolpack’s new look is “brilliant and well thought out.”
“They manage to maintain that country pub style, with a modern twist, using a really vibrant velvet upholstery in wonderful autumnal colours. The new snug area is my favourite.
“During the design process, Ryan rightly points out the pub is also in need of wheelchair access and suggests one section of the bar be lowered in order to cater for everyone.”
We can’t wait to see these new features - but we are also assured that not everything is changing. Atkins promises the return of Charity and Chas as a double act, and she is delighted about the development.
“It’s a great dynamic having mother and son save the pub to keep The Woolpack in the family. Also, knowing I’d be reunited with Chas again, I was over the moon,” she says.
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“Getting back behind the bar will be so exciting. And knowing they’re going to put Charity and Chas together again, it’s just a dream come true.“
The actor clearly feels at home on the Woolpack set, too. “I cannot wait to get back behind the bar. I love the atmosphere. It’s always the central hub of the village where the audience witness all sorts of drama, revelation, gossip and conflict. It’s the best place for all those memorable one liners between the punters and bar staff.”
As always, running this pub could come with the usual clashes. “Charity, Mackenzie, Marlon and Ryan all want to have their say on the way it should be run,” Atkins informs us.
“Marlon suggests bringing a modern twist to his menu, Mac fancies DJ events and Ryan is busy helping re-design the pub."
Fans have been very vocal over the storyline, and the stars are thrilled to hear it - with Moore feeling proud to be involved in such an iconic part of the show.
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“I have seen on Twitter the speculation from the fans, and I have seen some people guessing correctly! I am very much looking forward to seeing the audience's reaction,” he says.
“I am very honoured to be included in this way, and to be so involved in such a big part of Emmerdale history!”
Atkins adds that she has “been off social media for a while so it’s wonderful to hear there has been excitement and speculation.”
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Emmerdale is approaching its 50th anniversary, and the Woolpack has seen a variety of staff come and go over the decades. So who stands out as most memorable for our new landlords?
Moore favours a certain lovable chef. “I always loved Marlon as a team member in the Woolpack, and I think it’s safe to say at this point he is integral to the pub. I can’t imagine the place without him so I hope he is involved in the upcoming storylines with Charity and I.”
Referencing another strong era, Atkins adds: “I loved Diane when she was at the helm. And of course Chas.”
The enthusiasm of the actors is sure to be good news for loyal viewers, who can look forward to classic scenes once more as the Dingles take back their rightful place in the village.
Now that she has reclaimed her status, all eyes will be on Charity. Tune in at 7pm on Friday to see what her next move will be.
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