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Mandy Dingle (also Kirk-Dingle) is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Lisa Riley. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 20 July 1995 and departed on 28 September 2000. She returned briefly on 16 November 2001 and departed on 26 November 2001. Riley agreed to reprise the role in late 2018 for a brief stint, and made her on-screen return on 4 January 2019, however she departed once again on 8 January. On 10 July 2019, it was announced that Riley would be returning once again on a permanent basis, and Mandy reappeared on 12 September 2019.
|Portrayed by||Lisa Riley|
|First appearance||Episode 1992|
20 July 1995
|Introduced by||Mervyn Watson (1995) |
Kate Brooks (2019)
|The Dingles Down Under (1997)|
The Dingles in Venice (1999)
|Home||Wishing Well cottage|
Mandy comes to Emmerdale for her cousin Tina Dingle's (Jacqueline Pirie) wedding to Luke McAllister (Noah Huntley). She later returns to live with her uncle Zak Dingle (Steve Halliwell), having been disowned by her father, Caleb (Mike Kelly). She finds work as a barmaid at The Woolpack, where her feisty personality makes her an instant hit with the locals. Mandy is initially very promiscuous but the arrival of vet Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) proves to be a turning point in Mandy's life. She falls in love with Paddy and is willing to settle down and get married, but their romance suffers problems. Mandy's cousin Butch Dingle (Paul Loughran) overhears Paddy ridiculing their family and he tells Mandy, who orders Paddy out of her house. Paddy leaves for Ireland where he has a job and returns to the village the following month. He and Mandy reconcile after he apologises to her family.
Paddy's mother, Barbara Kirk (Judi Jones), disapproves of Mandy and, convincing her that she will only make Paddy miserable if they marry, pays Mandy to marry her cousin, Butch Dingle, instead. Butch had always been in love with Mandy and readily accepts his cousin's proposal, marrying her in a secret registry office ceremony. However, despite trying to make her marriage work, Mandy cannot ignore the fact that she truly loves Paddy and they begin an affair. Butch is livid when he discovers the truth and the Dingle family disowns Mandy for her infidelity, although her uncle Zak and his wife Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox) eventually come round after Paddy delivers their unexpected daughter, Belle (James and Emily Mather), on Christmas Day 1998.
Following her divorce from Butch, Mandy marries Paddy. However, Mandy soon begins feeling inferior as Paddy is a university graduate and she is just a barmaid. With Paddy's encouragement, Mandy enrols in a college course in Hotten, but this proves to be the downfall in their marriage. Whilst at college, Mandy becomes attracted to her lecturer and they eventually embark on an affair. However, when she discovers that her lecturer is only using her for sex, a distraught and guilt-ridden Mandy comes clean to a devastated Paddy. With their marriage over, Mandy then departs the village to live with her best friend, Kelly Windsor (Adele Silva), in London. She returns briefly the following year in order to win Paddy back after realising the mistake she had made but seeing that he is happy and settled with post office worker Emily Dingle (Kate McGregor), Butch's widow, Mandy leaves the village again.
17 years later in January 2019, Mandy returns to the village for the wedding of her cousin, Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) and Jessie Grant (Sandra Marvin) despite not being invited. She has her son Vinny with her. After the wedding, Mandy catches up with Paddy. She stays at the Dingles' farm but Marlon and Sam Dingle (James Hooton) wonder why she has returned and Sam warns her not to cause trouble. Mandy and Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) have a fight over Paddy but Mandy reveals she is not back for Paddy. Mandy and Chas later have a heart to heart and Mandy gives Chas a letter that Paddy needs to see. Mandy then leaves again for Southampton but she is clearly hiding another secret.
Riley made her first appearance as Mandy in 1995, for her on-screen cousin Tina Dingle's wedding to Luke McAllister. The character proved to be popular with viewers, so producers invited Riley to return as a full-time cast member the following year.
In June 2000, Riley confirmed that she had decided to quit the show in order to pursue further television work. As the scriptwriters were plotting her exit scenes, Riley and the cast were "sworn to secrecy". However, Riley admitted that the storyline would be "heart-rending" and thought that viewers would need tissues as it airs. She also commented, "Mandy Dingle has made me who I am and I love my job so it will be a painful leaving. It's very scary. I could end up selling socks!" The character departed in scenes originally broadcast in November 2001.
On 13 November 2018, it was announced that Riley had agreed to reprise the role, with Mandy making her return in early 2019. Of her return, Riley stated "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's return storyline will be "self-contained", and her arrival will "cause trouble" for her family, as she is hiding a secret. Producer Kate Brooks added that Mandy "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."
Mandy returned during the episode broadcast on 4 January 2019. Mandy arrives unexpectedly for her cousin Marlon Dingle's (Mark Charnock) wedding to Jessie Grant (Sandra Marvin). Her former husband Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) is uncomfortable by her presence when she acts as a witness alongside him. Paddy's partner Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) later fights with Mandy outside the church. Riley commented that once she learned that a stunt coordinator would be involved, she knew that Mandy was back. The actress also explained where Mandy has been, saying "She's been living in Southampton for the past 17 years with her son – who's called Vinny (Bradley Johnson) – and she's been very happy. She's got a bit of money now, and she isn't as downtrodden as she once was. But she's not been invited to the wedding!"
On 10 July 2019, it was announced that Riley would be returning once again on a permanent basis, and Mandy reappeared on 12 September 2019.
For her portrayal of Mandy, Riley won Most Popular Newcomer at the 2nd National Television Awards in 1996. At the 1997 Inside Soap Awards, Mandy won the Biggest Laugh in Soap accolade, while Riley was nominated for Best Actress.
Sarah Hey of the Daily Mirror observed, "She is a brazen man-eater who could polish off a bloke for breakfast and be ready for another by tea-time. You can rest assured that Emmerdale's' Mandy Dingle – the bawdy brunette with the fuller figure and gravelly laugh – would be chasing an army of Valentines today."
- "A to Z – Lisa Riley". All About Soap (1): 22–23. October 1999.
- Kelly, John (29 June 2000). "Lisa: I'm quitting TV soap". Daily Mirror. Archived from the original on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2018. – via HighBeam Research (subscription required)
- Lee, Jess (13 November 2018). "Emmerdale confirms Lisa Riley is returning as Mandy Dingle". Digital Spy. Retrieved 13 November 2018.
- Kilkelly, Daniel (4 January 2019). "Emmerdale airs Mandy Dingle's return – has she brought Paddy Kirk's son with her?". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
- Jones, Allison (5–11 January 2019). "Mandy comes home... and all hell breaks loose!". Inside Soap (1): 4–7.
- "Secrets of my XS Lisa Riley". Sunday Mail. 5 July 1998. Retrieved 10 March 2017 – via Questia.
- "We are the champions of the soap world!". Inside Soap (80): 10–13. 26 July – 8 August 1997.
- "The 1997 Inside Soap Awards". Inside Soap (76): 48–49. 31 May – 13 June 1997.
- Hey, Sarah (14 February 1996). "I May Dangle like a Dingle but I Hate Her Taste in Men". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 10 March 2017 – via Questia.