Lisa Riley is set to return to Emmerdale after 17 years away from the Yorkshire Dales set soap. Reprising her role of Mandy Dingle, she will make her dramatic return in the new year.
Mandy, who was known for her larger-than-life personality, will return for a self-contained storyline.
Riley said she couldn’t ‘be happier’ to be returning as the iconic soap character.
“I could not be happier to be returning in the New Year to Emmerdale.
“It’s something I never thought would happen after 17 years and I am so interested to see what trouble Mandy is capable of causing. “But mostly being back with all my old friends, it’s like I’ve never been away.”
Mandy was known for her turbulent love life, and had two short-lived marriages. One to vet Paddy Kirk – who is still a beloved character – and the other to her cousin Butch Dingle – who is now deceased.
Kirk has gone on to have several additional relationships and is now in a committed partnership with another member of the Dingle clan – Chas Dingle.
Emmerdale’s producer Kate Brooks said Mandy will return with a secret and her return will certainly ruffle feathers in the village.
“Iconic Mandy Dingle returns to the village carrying a secret that turns lives upside down.
“She’s a character bursting with fun who certainly ruffles a few feathers during her short stint back in the village, and she clearly hasn’t lost any of the joie de vivre that made Mandy so popular and enjoyable to watch,” Brooks said.
Riley has undergone a massive weight loss transformation since leaving the soap in 2001. The 42-year-old actress has gone on to lose an incredible 12 stone (168 lbs).
She’s also made it to the semi-finals on Strictly Come Dancing in 2012, has regularly served as a panelist on Loose Women and appeared in dramas such as Age Before Beauty, Three Girls and Fat Friends.