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(Picture: ITV/Metro.co.uk)

2018 has been a huge year for Emmerdale – Charity Dingles past has been explored in a major way, Paddy Kirk and Chas Dingle broke our hearts and we had the arrivals of Matty Barton and Ryan Stocks as well as a lot of Vanity love, the iconic return of Kim Tate and dramatic exits for the likes of Rebecca White, Ross Barton and Gerry Roberts. Still not over that, sorry.

2019 is shaping up to be just as big as Kim is coming home for a much more permanent rampage of chaos, Mandy Dingle is also heading back with a major bombshell and evil Lachlan White is hungry for more revenge. Theres also a journey of sorts for Paddy and Marlon while the ticking timebomb that is the death of Joe Tate is about to explode.

Our Emmerdale insider told us: There is a lot planned for the new year and beyond and some major storylines for some fan favourites. Mandys arrival will throw things in the air for Paddy while Kim will have more than a few scores to settle.

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The reveal that Cain was involved in Joes death may well destroy Debbie while there are more developments for Vanity as they go from strength to strength and the troubling saga of Maya Stepneys calculated abuse of Jacob Gallagher will create some tense but important scenes.

Cain reveals all

(Picture: ITV)

Ever since he delivered a knock out punch which he believes killed Joe outright, Cain has been dreading the day when Debbie will find out the truth. But as his conscience overwhelms him, that day is sooner that he thinks – and the results will be catastrophic.

Our source said: Cain has been living with this guilt – but theres only so much a man who thinks he murdered the man his daughter loves can take. As Debbie still refuses to give up on finding out what happened to Joe, Cain is backed into a corner. But as Debbie learns the awful truth – or what Cain thinks is the truth – it could destroy their relationship forever. It will be very messy, but the scenes will be unmissable.

Mandy comes home

Surprise! After 17 years, Paddy comes face to face with one of his most significant exes and, in true Mandy style, she brings chaos in her wake along with the shocking announcement that she has a teenage son. But is he Paddys?

Our source continued: As youd expect, Mandys return really sets the fox among the pig sty. And the fact that she comes to the village with her 16-year-old son in tow isnt even the only trouble she causes as she ends up squaring up with Chas as well.

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Long term fans are sure to be excited to see what Mandy has been up to – and how her return impacts Paddy.

Kims revenge

Another iconic return is also on the horizon as Kim is released from prison more seething than ever. As she takes her throne in Home Farm, she has some scores to settle. She will want to catch up on the Joe situation – and we also reckon its unlikely that she has forgotten that someone in the village almost killed her!

The likes of Faith and Charity should probably be nervous of her return – as should Graham. Kim is determined to get exactly what she wants and show her enemies that she is back in business and here to stay.

Will she get answers about Joe? Will Graham have tracked down her absent son James? And just how will she react when she finds out how close Megan has been getting to Graham while shes been locked up?

Vanessa is stabbed

(Picture: ITV)

Vanity is tipped for a bright future as their beloved relationship goes from strength to strength but first of all, Vanessa has to survive a brutal and sudden stabbing which throws her relationship with Charity and her very life in jeopardy. But who is responsible and what will they do next?

Charity and Vanessa are in a good place, despite some bickering but it could all be lost when Vanessa is stabbed. Its no secret that the Vanity relationship is a fan favourite but this is another huge hurdle for them to overcome.

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The culprit is a person we have met before – and their actions will have far reaching consequences.

Who is getting married?

It was recently teased by show boss Jane Hudson that there is a romantic proposal on the horizon, with Vanity fans in particular hopeful that Charity and Vanessa will make a huge step. But of course, they arent the only couple in the Dales right now.

Given that Pete and Rhona are in a good place as well as other couples such as Bernice and Liam, there are a number of contenders for a 2019 wedding.

Ryan and Dawn over?

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Since Harriet brought troubled Dawn back to the village in order to try and help her get her life back on track, its been clear that this is easier said than done. But Ryan, who supported Harriet in her quest to find Dawn, may find romance with her. However, it could be short lived.

When Dawn calls time on the relationship, it seems that she might have had more than a helping hand from Charity to reach that decision.

Matty takes a big step

After being brutally attacked over the new year by Isaac and his mates, Matty has been left shaken but it has prompted him to pursue the rest of his transition and before long, he has booked in for a mastectomy.

However, Faith isnt without warnings over how life changing this is. Having endured a similar operation albeit for different reasons, she will have some words of advice.

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Lachlan seethes

As he languishes in prison, Belle could be forgiven for thinking she has seen the last of serial killer Lachlan. But someone as sinister as Lachlan will never stay subdued for long and soon he is hatching another plan.

Before long, he is getting someone to do his dirty work, which includes tormenting Belle and even killing one of the Dingle pigs.

Our source warned: Belle doesnt believe Lachlans act of repentance for one minute. But how far is he prepared to go? And how much danger are the Dingles in?

Mayas sinister plan

(Picture: ITV)

Maya and Jacobs illegal affair will continue under Davids nose and she continues to manipulate the groomed teen. And before long, she has suggested that she gives Jacob private tuition so that they can spend more time together. But before long, Davids suspicions are piqued.

As David suspects that she is having an affair, how much is he set to discover? And what damage will Mayas abuse do to Jacob as the secret affair continues?

No hope for Bob?

Christmas was a bad one for Bob and the new year isnt looking any brighter as he continues to face mounting debts and serious loneliness. Things get more and more serious for Bob as it becomes impossible for him to make ends meet.

But will anyone spot the signs and help him?

Girl power

International Womens Day will see Emmerdale air an episode with an all female cast. The special will also be written and directed by women and will shine a light on the various female characters in the show.

Jane Hudson enthused: Were doing something rather special on March 8th, International Womens Day, now weve got two female producers and a female executive producer – which is the first time a soap has had an all female team.

We are going to have an episode that is produced by a female, directed by a female and written by a female. The entire cast will be female including all the background artists and we will have almost an entire female crew.

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