Lisa Riley thrilled about her return to the Dales

Emmerdale star Lisa Riley has revealed she “couldn’t be happier” that her legendary character Mandy Dingle is heading back to the village in the New Year – with a huge secret!

Mandy, the ex wife of both Butch and Paddy, hasn’t been seen in the Dales for 17 years!

Lisa Dingle as Mandy in Emmerdale 21 years ago!

Lisa Dingle as Mandy in Emmerdale 21 years ago!

But this New Year fans will find out what Mandy’s been up to in her time away.

“I couldn’t be happier to be returning in the New Year to Emmerdale,” says 42-year-old Lisa. “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.”

Life seems calm before her return. Ex hubby Paddy has moved on long ago and is trying to focus on his relationship with Chas following the loss of their daughter. And the rest of the Dingles are living relatively quietly! So, what mischief and mayhem can Mandy cause?

Well, Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks teased that Mandy has a big secret and could cause a lot of trouble!

“Iconic Mandy Dingle returns to the village carrying a secret that turns lives upside down,” she said.

“She’s a character bursting with fun who 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. We’re delighted to welcome Lisa back to Emmerdale.”

Since leaving the show, Lisa has enjoyed a string of roles including parts in Fat Friends, Waterloo Road and Age Before Beauty.

Lisa has also been a regular on ITV show Loose Women.

Emmerdale continues on ITV.

Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale in 1997 pic: ITV/REX/Shutterstock