Updated 21s June 2005
Pictured LtoR front circa 19th October 2004 - Shadrach, Zak, Lisa, Solomon
2nd Row - Elvis, Faith, Sam, Marlon, Cain, Lilith, Albert & Faith.
Note ©2002-2004 www.emmerdale.org and
its affiliated sites. The information in this section
is exclusive to this site.
All information on this page has been submitted by fans to this site often collected through throw away comments in the scripts. Many of the characters catalogued in this section can not be found in official books or press releases because they have either been forgotten or are seen as to obscure. However every character referred to in this section truly exists in the fictional world of Emmerdale and have been referred to at least once.
If you watch the Yorkshire soap "Emmerdale", then you will know who the Dingles are - the original soap family from hell. You either love them or you hate them, there's no in-between. One of the worst aspects of them is just when you think you have rid of one, another will crawl out of the woodwork - and often far worse than the previous. There has been at least Seventy who have either featured or appeared. Of those, eighteen have proved important to various storylines and around eleven remain in the current cast at any one time these days.
Love them or hate them, the Dingles have proved in the last 10 years to be an essential part of Emmerdale.
So where did the Dingles come from?
Early scripts suggested they lived Robblesfield way. Their home later was located nearer to Emmedale in the scripts after the self-purpose village was built in 1998.
The Dingles had squatted rent free in a delapitated barn on the land of Holdgates's Farm. Old Mr. Holdgate the viewer never met but we gather he was a bit scatty. He rented his property from the Tate Estate. However when he died in 1995 it came to the attention of Frank Tate that the Dingles hadn't ever paid rent and had even tapped into Holdgate's electricity supply so they got away with paying for utilities. By this time the family had renamed their home "Wishing Well Cottage."
Until their first appearance in the series, we were led to believe that the Dingles had kept themselves to themselves or harassed the residents of Robblesfield. They were known to people in Ememrdale and their reputation as being rogues was legendary. Their names appeared before we actually met them and once they joined people like Ned Glover and Seth Armstrong were able to fill in the viewer and other villagers with all the scandal and gossip.
The viewer actually first met a Dingle on the 9th August 1994 when Ben and some friends decided to gate crash a rave party. While there they picked a fight with Luke McAllister, son of Emmerdale's local Doctor. While trying to defend himself, Luke hit Ben and Ben dropped down dead!
It looked for a while that
Luke was going to be charged with murder or manslaughter. However
a friend of Luke's father was able to discover that Ben had a rare
heart defect and it was this that caused his death, not Luke!
No one dreamt at this time, not even the Dingles, the hurt and anger being felt and destined to boil over with tragic consequences at the hands of Ben's sister Tina!
So how did the Dingles become one of Emmerdale's most popular and loved creations ever?
Off-screen in October 1994 saw Mervyn Watson take over as head of production at Emmerdale. His job was to either make or break this series once and for all.
Among Watson's previous credits were Coronation Street's two most successful storylines ever (the Mike Baldwin, Ken & Deirdre Barlow love triangle; and villain Alan Bradley and his dealings with Rita Fairclough). It was quite clear if anyone was to save Emmerdale, then Mervyn Watson was that man.
Emmerdale was facing an uncertain future when Watson took over, it had come off a very controversial year. Phil Redmand (the previous producer) had ony given Emmerdale some more time with controversial and sensational stories such as the Plane Crash and Viv Windsor at the Post Office being taken hostage/and Home Farm Siege in the summer of 1994. While these stories had momentarily grabbed ratings, they hadn't sustained them and the programme had got into trouble with the ITC due to the violent content. So Redmond (who had created Brookside for Channel Four) was out and Watson was in.
Watson decided it was time to completely revamp and think again. Two of the main things he was responsible for were bringing in a host of younger characters and introducing the Dingles!
Mervyn Watson felt the show was lacking seriously in humour, so he decided to make Zak and Butch regular characters and set up a family around them.
By the end of 1995 we had met or heard of several other Dingles and Zak's niece Mandy had joined the cast as a full time character.
By August 2004 there had been over 50 Dingles seen or mentioned on screen and they are very much here to stay.