Lisa Riley has revealed what inspired her to return to the soap that made her a star after 17 years away.
Riley says that while doing a Q&A on her time on her 2010 Strictly experience this year, she realised there was nothing to stop her from one day returning to the soap.
“I’m the type of person that must have an answer, I can’t leave anything open ended, and I was working for Strictly in June doing a Q and A and there were 4,000 people asking me when I was going back to Emmerdale. But I’ve had that since the day I left. It was really weird for some reason these people asked ‘why won’t you go back to Emmerdale?’ and I had no answer so I thought, ‘well why not?'” Riley said at a recent Emmerdale press conference.
She added that she wanted to know what her Emmerdale character, Mandy Dingle, had been up to over the years, and that this was something she was open to exploring.
“I’ve ticked my own boxes career-wise – I’ve done so much which has been great, and 17 years is a long time so I’m interested to see where Mandy has been – she put me on the map and it was seven wonderful years of my life. The reaction so far has been fantastic,” she said.
Riley joined the soap back in 1995, and Mandy Dingle quickly became one of the soap’s most beloved and indeed infamous character.
Departing in 2001, her character married and divorced two central characters – her first cousin Butch Dingle and Emmerdale stalwart vet Paddy Kirk. Known for her outgoing and take no prisoners persona, Mandy shocked audiences when she exited the soap in 2001 after cheating on Paddy with her college course lecturer.
Riley has revealed that she will return to the village in the coming weeks during Marlon and Jessie’s legal wedding ceremony. And she won’t be alone – but accompanied by her 16-year-old son.
Could she be set for a romantic reunion with Paddy? Riley remained tight-lipped, but did say that we would ‘like’ the outcome.
“I can’t say. I don’t want to give that away, I think that would ruin it for everybody. That’s going to be a nice surprise. Even my dad’s asking me: ‘What’s happening with you and Paddy?’ I’m like: ‘I’m not telling you a thing, because that’s the question that everyone wants to know. So let that evolve, let that happen’. And I think you’ll like it,” she said.