As the Robin Hood heart-throb joins Emmerdale as Tracy's jailbird dad Frank, we take a look at Michael Praed’s life in pictures

Forget Harry Styles or Justin Bieber, back in the ’80s it was Michael Praed who adorned the walls of teenage girls bedrooms up and down the land.

Having shot to fame as Robin of Sherwood on prime-time Saturday night TV, the actor became a national pin-up and went on to star in TV hits Riders and Dynasty and countless West End and Broadway plays.

Next week the 56-year-old, who has two children, son Gabriel and daughter, Frankie, makes his British soap debut in Emmerdale playing jailbird Frank Clayton, the dad of fiery Tracy Shankley.

Here we take a take a gentle meander down memory lane to remember Michael’s best bits!

HANDY WITH A BOW AND ARROW:

ROBIN OF SHERWOOD (1984-1985)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ilpo Musto/REX/Shutterstock (102486b) MICHAEL PRAED "Robin of Sherwood" TV Series - 1983

Saturday nights became compulsive viewing when Michael starred as Robin of Loxley in the hugely popular ITV series Robin of Sherwood.

With his flowing locks, smouldering gaze not to mention nifty bow and arrow skills, Michael and his merry men, including a youthful Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet, kept us entertained as they bounded around woodland robbing from the rich, giving to the poor, and getting into scrapes with the Sheriff of Nottingham. Maid Marion wasn’t the only woman to be slightly swoony every time Robin and his finely honed calves made an appearance.

 

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (716376jl) 'Robin of Sherwood' - Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley - 1986 ITV ARCHIVE

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (716376je) 'Robin of Sherwood' - Judi Trott as Lady Marion and Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley - 1986 ITV ARCHIVE

 

GOOD IN THE SADDLE:

RIDERS (1993)

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by ITV/REX/Shutterstock (670905eh) Michael Praed in 'Riders' - 1993 ITV Archive

Michael’s horse riding skills from his Robin Hood days came in handy when he was cast as Jake Lovell, the gypsy-born hero in the TV adaptation of Jilly Cooper’s bonkbuster novel Riders.

Set in the fictional county of Rutshire, the actor injected the phwoarrs playing a talented horseman with a hay bale-sized chip on his shoulder. Tight jodhpurs and fistfuls of chunky silver jewellery made an alluring combo as Jake sought revenge on smarmy aristocrat Rupert Campbell-Black (Marcus Gilbert) and show-jumped his way to glory.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mike Hollist/ANL/REX/Shutterstock (2770080a) Marcus Gilbert And Michael Praed Who Will Star In The Television Programme Based On The Novel Riders. Marcus Gilbert And Michael Praed Who Will Star In The Television Programme Based On The Novel Riders.

 

ROYAL CONNECTION:

DYNASTY (1985-1986)

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sipa Press/REX/Shutterstock (115948b) L-R: JOHN FORSYTHE, CATHERINE OXENBERG AND MICHAEL PRAED 'DYNASTY' TV SERIES, AMERICA - 1985

Joan Collins wasn’t the only Brit to swan around in shoulder-pads and hang out with Blake Carrington. Michael joined the cast of US TV juggernaut Dynasty in 1985 as the fancily-titled Prince Michael of Moldavia (ooh get him!).

A whopping 60 million viewers tuned in to watch Prince Michael’s nuptials to Amanda Carrington (Catherine Oxenberg) which became the infamous ‘Dynasty wedding massacre’ Armed rebels stormed the castle and ran amok with machine guns, putting a bit of downer on the couple’s Big Day. Despite the bloodshed the Prince survived, but Michael himself decided to say farewell to Dynasty and steamy sessions in the shower the following year.

 

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Images/REX/Shutterstock (115713b) Michael Praed and Catherine Oxenberg 'DYNASTY' TV SERIES - 1985

 

HE CAN HOLD A TUNE:
THE SOUND OF MUSIC (2010)

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Geoffrey Swaine/REX/Shutterstock (1233754s) Connie Fisher as Maria and Michael Praed as Captain Von Trapp with cast members 'The Sound Of Music' photocall at The Wesley Memorial Hall in Oxford, Britain - 18 Oct 2010 Musical 'The Sound of Music' is on a UK Tour, its next stop is at the New Theatre in Oxford. The cast includes Connie Fisher, winner of the Andrew Lloyd Webber talent show 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?' and star of 80s tv series 'Robin Hood' Michael Praed

He’s not just handy with a bow and arrow and good in the saddle, he can do a good rendition of Edelweiss too! Michael, who separated from his wife Karen Landau in 2009, has been in many musicals, including Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects Of Love, Copacabana and Carousel and it’s fair to say, can hold a tune.

In 2010 he toured the UK as moody dad of seven, Captain Von Trapp, along with Connie Fisher, who shot to fame when she won the role of Maria in BBC’s How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. Altogether now ‘Doh A Deer, A Female Deer…’

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Geoffrey Swaine/REX/Shutterstock (1233754e) Michael Praed as Captain Von Trapp and Connie Fisher as Maria 'The Sound Of Music' photocall at The Wesley Memorial Hall in Oxford, Britain - 18 Oct 2010 Musical 'The Sound of Music' is on a UK Tour, its next stop is at the New Theatre in Oxford. The cast includes Connie Fisher, winner of the Andrew Lloyd Webber talent show 'How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?' and star of 80s tv series 'Robin Hood' Michael Praed

 

HE’S NOT AFRAID OF ALIENS:

WAR OF THE WORLDS (2016)

Editorial Use Only. No Merchandising Mandatory Credit: Photo by Alastair Muir/REX/Shutterstock (5587228c) Heidi Range as Beth, Jimmy Nail as Parson Nathaniel, Michael Praed as George Herbert, David Essex as The Voice of Humanity, Madalena Alberto as Carrie, Daniel Bedingfield as The Artilleryman 'War fo the Worlds' by Jeff Wayne. Musical performed at the Dominion Theatre, London, UK, 15 Feb 2016

He’s been in countless West End productions, including Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband and Noel Coward’s Design For Living, alongside leading ladies Rachel Weisz and Kate O Mara, but most recently, Michael’s been treading the boards in theatrical bonanza War Of The Worlds, playing traumatised journalist, George Herbert.

The ambitious, techno-crammed musical also featured Liam Neeson as a hologram and starred David Essex, Jimmy Nail, Daniel ‘Gotta Get Through This’ Bedingfield and ex Sugababe Heidi Range. We’d like to have seen that lot hanging out together post-show!

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock (5586272s) Michael Praed, Daniel Bedingfield 'The War of the Worlds' photocall, London, Britain - 12 Feb 2016

 

NOW HE’S BEHIND BARS:

EMMERDALE (2016)

FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - NO USE BEFORE TUESDAY 2 AUGUST 2016 Emmerdale - Ep 7583 Thursday 11 August 2016 - 1st Ep David Metcalfe [MATTHEW WOLFENDEN] sneaks to the prison to see Tracy’s Dad. Frank [MICHAEL PRAED] appears friendly and is pleased David wants to help him repair things with his daughter, who he calls ‘Teenie’. David’s shocked to learn he’s up for early release. Picture contact: david.crook@itv.com on 0161 952 6214 Photographer - Andrew Boyce This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Michael is joining the cast of Emmerdale playing Frank Clayton, the jailbird father of Tracy Shankley, who’s behind bars for assault.

FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - NO USE BEFORE TUESDAY 2 AUGUST 2016 Emmerdale - Ep 7583 Thursday 11 August 2016 - 1st Ep David Metcalfe [MATTHEW WOLFENDEN] sneaks to the prison to see Tracy’s Dad. Frank [MICHAEL PRAED] appears friendly and is pleased David wants to help him repair things with his daughter, who he calls ‘Teenie’. David’s shocked to learn he’s up for early release. Picture contact: david.crook@itv.com on 0161 952 6214 Photographer - Andrew Boyce This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Michael said” “I’m thrilled to be joining Emmerdale and portraying this complex man.”

He sure is complex! Describing Frank’s character, Emmerdale producer Ian McLeod said: “He’s flawed, funny, flirtatious and even fatherly, when it suits him. His tale is a story of a man trying to find redemption in the face of huge temptation, with a massive twist or two thrown in for good measure!”

Frank who first appears on screen on Thursday, August 11 has certainly got a lot going on and his first ‘twist’ unfolds next week. One minute he’s in prison, the next he’s in hospital after copping a vicious beating… and we assure you, that’s just the start of it!

FROM ITV STRICT EMBARGO - NO USE BEFORE TUESDAY 9 AUGUST 2016 Emmerdale - Ep 7589 Wednesday 17 August 2016 At the hospital, Tracy Shankley [AMY WALSH] finds Frank [MICHAEL PRAED] hooked up to machines. She rummages in his cupboards and is surprised to find a picture of him with a small blonde girl. Picture contact: david.crook@itv.com on 0161 952 6214 Photographer - Andrew Boyce This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Plc Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website www.itvpictures.com

Watch Emmmerdale on ITV, weekdays 7pm