Cain Dingle has become one of Emmerdale’s all-time greatest characters – but how much do you know about Jeff Hordley, the man who plays him?

Here’s 7 things you never knew about Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley – who plays Cain in the hit ITV soap

1. Jeff was in Coronation Street!

Jeff Hordley in Coronation Street

Jeff played musical director Wayne in the soap back in 1998 and Roy Cropper turned up for an audition in Wayne’s production! Roy took to the stage and, encourage by his tragic late wife Hayley, belted out Singing in the Rain. And then Hayley ticked Wayne off for being on his phone and not listening to poor Roy’s wonderful voice!

2. Jeff loves having an allotment

Jeff, who was born in 1970 in Oldham, is a big fan of allotments, once telling us it was “great fun” having one. He added: “I know it sounds crummy, but food does taste better when it has just been picked or dug up.”

3. Jeff is married to Emmerdale co-star Zoe Henry – and she’s not sure about his sex symbol status!

Jeff Hordley with wife Zoe Henry

Yep, Jeff and Zoe, who plays Rhona Goskirk in the ITV soap, tied the knot in 2003. The couple have two children together, Violet, who was born in 2005, and Stan who was born in 2008. Jeff and Zoe recalled to us that Cain did once come on to Rhona in Emmerdale, but she knocked him back. “She dissed me,” smiles Jeff. “She absolutely blew me out!”

Meanwhile, Zoe isn’t convinced about Jeff being called a sex symbol as Cain! “We laugh at how middle aged we are. Jeff being a so-called sex symbol is one of the most amusing things in my entire life. I remind him of that constantly, especially first thing in the morning when he looks anything but,” Zoe once told OK!.

4. Jeff’s first scenes as Cain were at a funeral

Jeff Hordley looking very young as Cain Dingle

Cain Dingle in the very early days

Recalling his first day on Emmerdale, Jeff once told us: “It was nerve wracking. I arrived with Shadrach and Charity Dingle for Butch’s funeral. I remember driving over from Manchester on that first day and pinching myself, thinking ‘I can’t believe I am going to be one of the Dingles.’ It was a strange feeling and a strange day – but one I have fond memories of.”

5. Jeff loves music so much he set up a radio show!

Jeff is a big music fan and at one point launched a radio show with Coronation Street actor Graeme Hawley, who played evil John Stape. “We’re both very much into our music, so we’ll be playing everything from folk to soul and funk and a bit of rock ‘n’ roll and a bit of everything really,” John told us at the time. Jeff has also done a spot of DJ-ing at the British Soap Awards!

6. Jeff has Crohn’s Disease

Jeff was first diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 1996 when he was only 25 in his final year at drama school. Crohn’s is a type of inflammatory bowel disease and is a lifelong condition in which parts of the digestive system become inflamed. Jeff, who’s an Ambassador for the charity Crohn’s & Colitis UK, has said: “I was scared it would stop my acting career from taking off. Luckily it didn’t. Following surgery, medication and diet control, I’ve been playing the role of Cain Dingle since 2000”

7. Jeff’s first kiss was…

…at the age of 15 and he told the Express: “My first kiss was to Come on Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners at Royton youth club in Oldham. I was 15 – I was a late starter.”

Main pic and Jeff Hordley with Zoe pic: David Fisher/BAFTA/REX/Shutterstock