Mandy Dingle returns to Emmerdale

Lisa Riley reveals how Emmerdale co-star helped stop her damaging bad habit

She doesn't regret it at all

Lisa Riley feels “forever indebted” to Steve Halliwell after he cut up her credit card following a big spending spree during her younger years.

The 42-year-old star was “young and naive” when she joined the ITV soap as Mandy Dingle during her teens and used to enjoy blowing some of her wages on designer bags, but her on-screen uncle Steve (Zak Dingle) destroyed one of her cards in an attempt to get her to stop her lavish spending.

Emmerdale Zak Dingle
Steve plays Zak Dingle in the ITV soap (Credit: ITV)

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She said: “I remember this lovely story with Steve Halliwell. One day I came back from shopping, I had every designer handbag, every bag.

“He came up to me and went, ‘Come here.’ I said, ‘What?’ He said, ‘Give me that Mastercard.’

“He cut it up and said, ‘One day you’ll thank me for this,’ and I’ve been forever indebted to him.

“When you’re in a soap and you’re young and naive you do make those mistakes.

“When I was there [filming Emmerdale recently] in the green room I was looking at all the youngsters and it’s like role reversal.

“I wanted to say, ‘Don’t do what I did,’ or, ‘Don’t make the same mistakes I made.’ ”

Lisa Riley Mandy Dingle Emmerdale
Steve cut up her card (Credit: ITV)

Lisa’s post-filming activities tend to involve going home to her significant other and learning her lines nowadays, and she is pleased to have “matured”.

She said: “It’s completely different now. There’s no quiz night on a Monday, everyone finishes work and they are like, ‘See you then.’

“They’re off doing the school run, it’s like, ‘Bye then.’ It’s just normal.

“I’m not a kid anymore, I’ve grown up and I know who I am. It’s so lovely.

“I’ve matured, I was a kid.

“I just go home now and learn my lines, I’ve got my other half at home. It’s just normal now, it’s a normal life.”

Mandy Dingle returns to Emmerdale
Mandy returned last week after 17 years away (Credit: ITV)

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Lisa returned to ‘Emmerdale’ last week, 17 years after she quit the role to “get back to being me again”.

Speaking on ‘This Morning’, she added: “After seven years of partying and fun I thought, ‘No, I have to leave.’ To get back to being me again.

“If you think about it I’m on camera at seven in the morning and I’m off camera at seven at night in the Woolpack. I was Mandy Dingle more than I was Lisa in a day, week in week out.”

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