Lisa Riley from Emmerdale spills the beans about her return to the village…

Is it fun being back in Emmerdale?

Lisa Riley has returned as Mandy Dingle (Credit: ITV)
Lisa Riley has returned as Mandy Dingle (Credit: ITV)

It’s great. Then I remember I’m 42! It’s been 17 years and so much has happened in my life in 17 years, it’s interesting to wonder what’s happened in Mandy’s life. She has been away that long.

Why did you come back now? Was it this storyline?

I’m the type of person that must have an answer, I can’t leave anything open ended. I was working for Strictly in June doing a Q and A and someone asked ‘why won’t you go back to Emmerdale?’ and I had no answer! So I thought, ‘well why not?’

Are you staying?

The first initial offer was for a long period but because of work and my commitments, there was an original storyline which has been flipped. it won’t be what people expect which is even better. So it leaves things very much open for the new year shall we say..? I’m genuinely interested to see what’s happened to her and now I’ve had a glimpse.

Lisa Riley plays Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale
Mandy Dingle left Emmerdale 17 years ago (Credit: ITV)

What’s happened to Mandy over the past 17 years?

She’s in Southampton, and she has a child, Vinnie. She’s been very happy and has a bit of money now, not as down trodden as she was. She a little bit more glamorous than the mismatch she was before.

Was it easy slipping back into character?

Completely, I saw Mark (Charnock, aka Marlon) on the first day and as soon as I saw Dom (Brunt, who plays Paddy), it was just heaven. My first scene with James Hooten (Sam) who’s like my little brother, was wonderful; we were just reminiscing about stories from years back which is so special.

Lisa Riley plays Mandy Dingle
A lot has happened to Lisa – and her alter-ego, Mandy – in 17 years (Credit: ITV).

Did you watch old footage of Mandy back in the day?

Of me thumping people? Yes! L