ITV Emmerdale spoilers: Zak Dingle's farewell, explosive stunts, and surprise returns

Emmerdale bosses have revealed what we can expect from the next six months of the ITV soap, with big stunts, some huge returns and new arrivals and a sad funeral being confirmed
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Emmerdale is set to deliver some gripping storylines over the next six months, as new producer Sophie Roper spills the beans on what fans can expect for the remainder of 2024.

The producer teased a mix of heartbreak, deceit, and high-octane drama in store for the Dales in the latter half of 2024. Emmerdale viewers are in for a treat with an array of compelling plots unfolding in the upcoming months.

The village will mourn the loss of a beloved character as the Dingles prepare for a poignant farewell to Zak, portrayed by the dearly departed Steve Halliwell. Meanwhile, an "explosive" stunt is currently in production on the ITV soap, promising to shake things up in the village.

Additionally, there's buzz about a fresh face arriving in the form of John Sugden, played by Oliver Farnworth, alongside some major and unforeseen comebacks. But the burning question remains: who will return to wreak havoc in the village?

Sophie Roper, Emmerdale's producer, has dished out details on the soap's forthcoming narratives, reports the Mirror. Let's take a look at what viewers can expect...

Zak Dingle star Steve Halliwell lived a much different life to his on-screen character
Zak Dingle star Steve Halliwell was a beloved character on the soap before his tragic passing -Credit:ITV

Tragic funeral episodes

In light of actor Steve Halliwell's passing, Emmerdale has confirmed the character of Zak Dingle will be honoured with an on-screen funeral. Discussing the upcoming sombre scenes, Roper said: "The Dingles have been at the heart of our show for 30 years now, and will continue to be so. We lost Steve recently, so we're going to be marking Zak's passing in the coming months with a Dingle funeral."

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She added: "It will be very difficult for a lot of people who work on the show and obviously a lot of our viewers who have grown and love Zak for many, many years - but it will be a hugely fitting tribute for a great character."

Wedding scenes

There's some joyous news coming from the Dingle clan, as Mandy and Paddy are finally heading down the aisle. "Elsewhere in the Dingle world, we've got Mandy and Paddy building towards a wedding. It is Mandy and Paddy, so that's going to be filled with fun. We've had Mandy's dress made in-house by one of our dressmakers," said Sophie, adding, "It's going to be very Mandy. It's going to be very big. It's going to be very fun. So look out for some fun in amongst all of that with the Dingle clan."

Paddy and Mandy are getting married!
Paddy and Mandy are getting married! -Credit:ITV

Newcomers and familiar faces will also be making their entrance or return to Emmerdale. The Sugden family is expanding with the introduction of John Sugden, raising questions about his connection to Victoria.

New arrivals and bombshell return

That's not all though - prominent characters will be spotted once more in the village, possibly causing a flutter.

Unveiling more, she continued: "Elsewhere, we've got some returning and new and exciting faces coming into the show over the next few months. I'm pleased to confirm that we'll have Oliver Farnworth joining us as a new casting and he's coming into the show as a new Sugden. The Sugdens, just like the Dingles, are an iconic family in Emmerdale, and we're keen to cement them back in the show."

Inviting further excitement, she announced: "So Oliver's a brilliant new addition, incredibly talented, and we're really looking forward to welcoming him. He's going to bring lots of drama to the Dales, which I'm going to keep quite tight lipped about for now."

Special episode

The upcoming episodes of Emmerdale are set to deliver a gut-wrenching plot as Belle's situation with Tom takes a darker turn. Sophie shared her insights, stating: "Belle and Tom is obviously a huge storyline for us at the moment and incredibly important but difficult storylines to watch at the moment.."

"We've got a special episode coming up that sees Tom and Belle head off to Wales on a trip away together. Actually we recreated Wales in Yorkshire. Our fantastic design team used a cottage in the village that we redressed and made this beautiful Welsh retreat. The story, set to the backdrop of this beautiful cottage, is going to be really hardhitting. Tom is very much isolating Belle from her family, from her surroundings, from everything that she knows and loves, which is unfortunately a typical trait of abusers. It will be difficult drama at moments, but a really important message and a really important story to continue to tell."

Major stunts

Emmerdale fans can also brace themselves for some adrenaline-pumping action as the soap prepares for a major stunt sequence. Sophie hinted at what's to come: "We've got a lot of stunts coming up - some we're actually filming this week. What I can tell you is there will be fire engines involved. So take from that what you will. It's going to be a really explosive week of Emmerdale," she revealed.

Ruby certainly stirred things up when she arrived in the Dales, but her past remains largely a mystery. However, that's all set to change as show bosses have hinted we'll soon learn more about Ruby and her relationship with Caleb.

She revealed: "We've got Caleb and Ruby, who have landed in the village and had a real impact. But we don't know a huge amount about them and there's lots in terms of their history, particularly Ruby's, that is yet unknown."

"We're going to see a bit of a blast from their past come back and really give us some more information about this complicated relationship between husband and wife, and also the complicated family dynamics."

Ella twist

Paula Lane recently joined the cast as Ella Forster and while at first, nothing seemed amiss, like all new soap additions, she was hiding a big secret. After the truth was revealed about her killer past, fans thought she would flee the village.

However, producers have confirmed she will be back - and hinted about a complicated relationship with Liam going forward. Sophie said: "Ella will continue in the show, and her past will continue to haunt her. Her relationship with Liam will remain complicated, and we'll continue to question - will she ever get a happily ever after? Can she ever really escape the past that's led her to this point?"

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