With Emmerdale's Paddy feeling downbeat in the wake of his split with cheating wife Chas, Mandy steps in to cheer up her ex-husband. But as the wine flows, will one thing lead to another?
Lisa Riley, 46 – aka Mandy Dingle – describes the emotional scenes ahead and reveals her plans for the future with real-life fiancé Al.
Hi, Lisa! Mandy realises that Paddy (Dominic Brunt) is struggling – how does he react when she offers help?
Well, Mandy being Mandy, her way to help people can be to overcompensate. When she first approaches him, Paddy winds up the car window on her! But over the course of a few days, she has noted how he’s behaving and wants him to know that she has two sturdy shoulders he can cry on.
And they end up havinga heart-to-heart?
She sees him breaking down on the allotments and takes him to The Woolpack backroom. They are reminiscing and Mandy starts reflecting on Paul (Reece Dinsdale) and how he treated her, while Paddy talks about Chas (Lucy Pargeter). There’s a beautiful line, “Love is not a switch on the wall,” which is so true, you can’t just switch it off.
When does the mood change?
Well, they lock eyes when they have a joke but manage to brush that away. But soon the cups of tea become big glasses of red wine. They start getting nostalgic, their song comes on, What’s Love Got To Do With It ? and that feels like a sign…
You gave up alcohol several years ago. Is it strange doing drunk scenes?
I do remember those days, definitely, so I can still act drunk! We use grape juice for red wine and it’s horrendous. It also gives you a breath of death – not good for snogging scenes!
We’re not going to give away what happens, but would you like them to reunite?
The nation wants them to reunite. But who knows? Dom and I adore working together, but do we want to give the audience exactly what they want straightaway?
It’s been revealed that there’s a big story coming up for them. What can you tell us?
I am over the moon about it. I’m flattered they have chosen myself and Dom. I have always wanted Dom to get the lead story and I can’t wait to watch him win every award going.
You and Dom started on theshow more than 20 years ago.Do you feel like old-timers?
The young ones call me “nana”. I give them advice and they listen to me. It’s so hard for them these days because social media is there every second of every day. I’m very stern about no mobiles on set.
You came back in 2019 after almost 20 years away. Did you expect to stay this long?
I thought it would be four months, but I just loved it. I never thought we’d leave London and move back to Yorkshire and be as happy as we are.
You got engaged to your fella Al in 2019, but you’ve decided against a wedding…
We are fine as we are. I’m not one of those girls who craves the big day. If I’m honest, I don’t think I could cope with a wedding day without my mum being there [Lisa’s mother Cath passed away in 2012]. Something so enforced that I have to enjoy myself would just feel fake. Also, there’s no importance to it these days. I have found someone who loves me for me and vice versa, which I never thought would happen, and that’s all that matters.
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