Samuel Jonah Dingle is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by James Hooton.

Sam Dingle
Sam Dingle.jpg
Emmerdale character
Portrayed byJames Hooton
Duration1995–1998, 2000–
First appearanceEpisode 1947
14 February 1995
Introduced by
  • Mervyn Watson (1995)
  • Kieran Roberts (2000)
Emmerdale: The Dingles, For Richer for Poorer (2010)
ClassificationPresent; regular
  • Caretaker
  • Sales executive
  • Farmhand
HomeTenant's Cottage


Sam arrived in Emmerdale village in February 1995, following his release from a young offenders institute. He got involved in several dodgy schemes with his family, one of which was taking part in an armed robbery with his uncle Albert in 1998. However, they were caught by the police and subsequently jailed. Sam was released from prison in 2000 and he returned to the village for his brother Butch's funeral. During 2004, Sam served a prison sentence for accidentally running over pensioner Edna Birch (Shirley Stelfox). He was in prison alongside his distant relative, Solomon.

In 2005, Sam began a relationship with Alice Wilson and they later left Emmerdale to start life on their own farm in Norfolk. They returned to Emmerdale soon afterwards, when Sam discovered Alice was pregnant. In early 2006, Alice gave birth to their son Samson via caesarean section so she could start cancer treatment. Sam's young sister, Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper), accidentally named the baby, she mistook "Sam's son" as his name, and Sam and Alice married on discovering her cancer was terminal. Eventually, she became so weak that she was unable to hold Samson so, at Alice's request, Sam got morphine from Eli Dingle (Joseph Gilgun) and gave Alice an overdose, ending her life. The police got involved when Louise Appleton's (Emily Symons) police boyfriend, Martin, heard Ashley Thomas (John Middleton) tell Diane Sugden (Elizabeth Estensen) that he thought Sam had helped Alice die. He opened a murder investigation and when the police came to arrest Sam at Wishing Well Cottage, the Dingles barricaded themselves inside. After eventually gaining entry and arresting Sam, Del Dingle (Hayley Tamaddon) said she did it so she was arrested too. Soon, all the Dingles admitted killing her to protect Sam. Eventually the police picked holes in their stories but worried that Social Services would remove Samson if Sam confessed, Cain told Sam to describe Alice's death in as much detail as possible so the police would believe he was responsible.

In early 2008, Sam was arrested for possession after Eli persuaded him to be his courier so he and Samson could live in the village. Sam was afraid he'd lose Samson when the police charged him, and ran away with Samson, but soon turned himself in. Unfortunately, that wasn't the only incident that alarmed the Dingles and Social Services - while living at Dale View, Samson had escaped and been run over by Val Pollard (Charlie Hardwick). She hadn't seen him because she had cataracts in both eyes and needed an operation. Shortly afterwards, Daz Eden's (Luke Tittensor) girlfriend, Penny, left vodka lying around and Samson drank it. Panicking, Sam rushed him to hospital but he was fine. Daz asked Penny to apologise to Sam but she refused, so Daz ended their relationship.

Sam saves Emily from drowning herself (2006)

Sam worked at Butler's Farm, helping with Jo Stiles' (Roxanne Pallett) goats but Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) sold them and, annoyed at Sam and Jo's friendship, fired him. Sam also got a job at Eric Pollard's (Chris Chittell) factory shortly before Eric planned to sell it to the Kings. Eric let his employees believe he was simply going out of business. When he told Sam he wished the factory would go up in smoke, Sam took him literally so he and Eli set fire to the factory. While Andy was away, Sam spent more and more time helping Jo out at the farm. For the first time since Alice, he was falling in love. Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox) tried to warn him off, but Sam ignored her, hoping he might have a chance. A few days later, Jo invited Sam for dinner, which he misconstrued as a date. She told him how much she liked him but was shocked when he went to kiss her. Gently, she told him that she didn't feel that way about him and tried to comfort him with a hug but Andy saw them. Sam left but Andy confronted them and beat them both up, putting Jo in hospital again with broken ribs. Lisa, his father Zak Dingle (Steve Halliwell), and uncle Shadrach Dingle (Andy Devine) saw his bruises and after treating his cuts, warned him to stay away from Jo and Andy. Zak also told Andy that while Sam was wrong to have approached Jo like that, Andy was wrong to have beaten him up. Andy was left in no doubt if he touched Sam again, he'd be fighting Zak. With Andy living in The Woolpack, the state of Jo and Andy's deteriorating marriage became common knowledge. He and Sam hadn't made up their differences but Sam warned Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb) about what was happening at Butler's Farm. Debbie then kept a very close eye and proceeded to help Jo and Sarah.

Olena Petrovich, an illegal immigrant from the Ukraine, hid in the Dingle's barn until she was discovered by Belle and Will Wylde. She convinced the children not to give her away and they looked after her for a while until Sam found them. Upon hearing Olena's story, he agreed to keep her whereabouts secret and tended to her wounded leg. Eventually, he convinced Zak and Lisa to take her in and Olena moved in and helped out around the house. Sam persuades Eric to give her a job at the B&B. Although Pollard was apprehensive, he agreed and Sam began to fall in love with Olena. By January, Zak asks Eli to spy on Sam and Olena, in case she was a gold-digger. Eli reluctantly agreed, but decided that Olena was genuine and convinced Zak to let Sam make his own choices. Zak then gave Sam his blessing but as Sam's behaviour became more intense, it was obvious that she did not reciprocate and was feeling increasingly uncomfortable around him.

When Shadrach half-destroyed the Dingle house by letting the bath overflow, Olena was obliged to move in with Marlon and Eli. Sam missed Olena and kept visiting her at work, but Olena was distant. Then, as Lisa, Sam and Olena were driving to pick up some building materials, they were pulled over by the police. Olena panicked, thinking they were after her and so Lisa covered for them as Sam and Olena fled into the woods but the police saw them and to give Sam and Olena a chance to get away, Lisa punched an officer and was arrested. Meanwhile, Olena and Eli were becoming closer and, seeing them having a laugh together, Sam was jealous. Olena confided in Eli that she although she was grateful for Sam helping her, she did not see him as anything more than a friend. Olena reluctantly moved back in with the Dingles, but missed living with Eli and Sam began to snipe at his cousin, thinking he was taking Olena from him. Zak became increasingly irritated by Olena's presence so she moved back in with Eli and Marlon. Sam was devastated, so when Olena told him that she was upset because she missed her son, he decided to propose. Olena turned him down, but seeing his upset, she qualified it by saying that she did not have the right papers and would just be deported. Thinking this was all that was keeping them apart, Sam asked his brother Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) to obtain a dodgy passport for Olena and told Olena that he understood why she didn't want to marry him and that it would all be OK. Olena and Eli misread this, thinking he'd accepted that Olena did not return his feelings. Cain agreed to get the passport, but mentioned it to Zak, who told Cain to get it and then told Olena about the passport and said that, once it came through, she was to leave town, without a word to Sam or he would have her deported. Tearful, Olena went home and told Eli, who then confessed that he also loved Olena. She said she felt the same and they kissed and began to make plans to elope together once the passport arrived.

When Olena didn't attend Lisa's Welcome Home party, Sam went looking for her and saw her kissing Eli. He was devastated and reported her to Border Control, then watched as she was arrested and taken away. When a drunken Eli began accusing people of reporting Olena, Sam admitted that it was him. Eli was furious and threw a glass at his head and just missed. Sam broke down in tears, telling his father that he knew he was nothing but he'd thought, if he tried hard enough, Olena might take a chance on him. Zak comforted his son, but Sam felt guilty and decided to leave the village. Lisa persuaded him to stay, saying that he could not sleep rough with a toddler. However, Eli - angry at being blamed for Sam's actions - arrived and blasted Sam for ruining Olena's life, before revealing that Zak had already told Olena to leave, or he'd have her deported. Sam was livid with his father for interfering and refused to speak to him. He tried to apologize to Pollard for getting him a £7000 fine for hiring Olena but Pollard refused to forgive him. Sam was gutted and Zak convinced Pollard to forgive him and Pollard advised Sam to forgive his father. Sam tried to make amends to Olena by paying £200 into a bank account for her before finding Pollard unconscious at the B&B and phoning an ambulance. However, he didn't realize that Eli had robbed the B&B. Suspicions were raised over the missing money and Sam's earlier transaction and he was accused of stealing the money. Pollard tried to get Sam to tell him where the money really came from, but Sam was acting shiftily and lied. When Pollard uncovered his lies, he began to believe Sam might be the thief until Eli confessed and apologized to Sam before going on the run and Sam admitted that he'd got the money through poaching from his employer, Natasha Wylde (Amanda Donohoe). Sam later discovers Mark Wylde's body in the woods, after his dog digs him up and calls the police.

Sam has become very close to Rachel Breckle. They eventually began dating after the birth of her son, Archie. He supported her throughout her pregnancy and they moved in together but he and Samson moved out when Ali, Ruby, Sean and Amelia moved in after Megan Macey evicted them. He decided to move back in. However, Rachel was forced to leave by Sam's cousin, Charity, in early 2014, ending their relationship. Sam later begins a relationship with Tracey Shankley but reunites with Rachel when she returns. However, their reunion did not last long as the stress of Rachel's custody battle with Jai Sharma for Archie made her start hitting Sam. Eventually, after winning the custody battle, Rachel broke up with Sam, believing she was only worsening their gradual split with her abusing him, and she left for a new life in Liverpool with sister Ali.

Sam struggled to accept that Zak had an affair when it's revealed in December 2015 by Belle that Zak was having an affair with the lodger, Joanie Wright. The family excommunicated him, but Sam was the only family member who couldn't bring himself to cut Zak out of their lives. This whole conundrum was only worsened when it was revealed that Aaron had been sexually abused as a child, and Sam was under strict instruction by Cain not to tell Zak. However, Belle eventually told him the truth. Sam has recently begun talking to his dad again, despite Lisa beginning divorce proceedings.

On March 2016, when running to get help after Megan's water breaks, Sam was accidentally shot by Joanie in the wood. Sam was taken to the hospital.

Sets up a business called Scarborough Trader's in Scarborough.

In August 2018, Sam was attacked in the grounds of Wishing Well Cottage by the serial killer Lachlan White who was the lover of his sister Belle.


In March 2016, Sam was accidentally shot by father Zak's girlfriend Joanie Wright (Denise Black) whilst they were out poaching, whilst Sam was with Megan Macey and was out calling for help due to Megan's pregnancy.[1] He is presumed as dead by Joanie, but it is later revealed that he has survived the accident.[2]

In 2015, Sam begins a friendship with Megan Macey, and agrees to helping her leave Emmerdale. In March 2016, after Sam's shooting, it was announced that Sam and Megan would begin a relationship.[3][4][5] However, the characters later decided to just be friends.


External linksEdit