Mandy Dingle is back in Emmerdale
(Picture: ITV)

Emmerdale is set to welcome back a familiar face in the new year as Lisa Riley has reprised her role as Mandy Dingle after a 17 year absence – and the much loved character wastes no time in turning lives upside down in a major way.

She comes carrying one hell of a secret – is Paddy about to discover that he is a father? Lisa has hinted at this potential outcome before, previously teasing: In my last episodes, Mandy and Paddy spent the night together, so there could be a mini-me knocking about.

Id be so much more interested to see what their child is like – and itd give Paddy a shock!

And lets not forget the big hint that boss Jane Hudson teased recently: We will be sending Paddy and Marlon off on a little adventure next year, around February time. One of them will make quite a big discovery.

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Given that Paddy and Chas have just lost their newborn baby, such a bombshell would carry even more emotional weight – and could cause major strife between Chas and Paddy who are only just getting things back on track when Mandy rocks up.

(Picture: ITV)

Of course, the secret could be related to anything so viewers will have to wait and see what Mandy is hiding – and what her self contained storyline for her short term return stint will be. But whatever it is, its a major treat for viewers who have been waiting to revisit Mandy after almost two decades.

The coup for Emmerdale writers comes in the same year that they finally managed to tempt Claire King back as the legendary Kim Tate. Honestly, it feels like the 90s again and were living for it.

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Lisa enthused: I could not be happier to be returning in the new year to Emmerdale. Its 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, its like Ive never been away.

Producer Kate Brooks added: Iconic Mandy Dingle returns to the village carrying a secret that turns lives upside down. Shes a character bursting with fun who certainly ruffles a few feathers during her short stint back in the village, and she clearly hasnt lost any of the joie de vivre that made Mandy so popular and enjoyable to watch. Were delighted to welcome Lisa back to Emmerdale.

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MORE: Emmerdale spoilers: Graham Foster makes a shocking confession about Joe Tate to Debbie Dingle tonight

MORE: Emmerdale spoilers: Dark child grooming story for Jacob Gallagher and teacher Maya Stepney?

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