'Emmerdale': Ben Richards makes first appearance as a baddie businessman!

This Morning, Ben Richards
Ex-Footballers Wives and The Bill star Ben Richards has joined the cast of Emmerdale. (Image credit: ITV)

The wait is over as Ben Richards made his first onscreen appearance during tonight's ONE-HOUR episode of Emmerdale.

It was announced a while back that former Footballers Wives and The Bill star Ben was joining the cast of the ITV soap.

Ben plays baddie businessman, Gavin, an associate of Al Chapman (Michael Wildman), who recently became a co-owner of village pub, The Woolpack.

Devious Al has secret plans to ruin the pub so it can be knocked down and redeveloped into luxury apartments!

But now it appears that Al is not entirely operating on his own and is under pressure from mystery-man-in-black, Gavin to get the job done.

A suspicious Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) secretly followed and spied on Al and his shady associate, Gavin as the gentlemen had a heated exchange in a car park.

Paddy then reported back to his wife, Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) and her cousin, Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock), who also co-own The Woolpack.

We don't know much more about Gavin at this stage.

But it seems like he's calling the shots and expects to see Al deliver results... or else!

Hmm, maybe Gavin should tread carefully when it comes to messing with the Dingles!

This Morning, Laila Rouass, Gary Lucy, Ben Richards

Ben with Footballers Wives co-stars Laila Rouass and Gary Lucy. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale is not the first long-running ITV drama that Ben has appeared on.

He played footballer Bruno Milligan on Footballers Wives.

He was also PC Nate Roberts for three years on The Bill.

Ben recently reunited with his Footballers Wives co-stars, Laila Rouass and Gary Lucy to celebrate the (almost!) 20th anniversary of the sex-and-soccer series.

The trio appeared on ITV's This Morning to reminisce about some of the most over-the-top storylines including a baby swap, death-by-sex, murder, catfights, shock shootings and a guest appearance by Dynasty star, Joan Collins.

All five series of Footballers Wives are now available to watch on BritBox

Emmerdale continues on Friday 26 November at 7:00pm on ITV.

Simon Timblick

Simon has long been a fan of soap operas, and especially loves OVER-THE-TOP plots involving evil twins, hair-pulling catfights and natural disasters. Anyone remember the Sunset Beach earthquake/tidal wave? Or when Krystle Carrington got locked in the attic and replaced by look-a-like Rita in Dynasty?!

Simon has written for a variety of TV and childrens’ magazines/websites including Inside Soap, Nickelodeon, What’s On TV, Radio Times, Metro, Girl Talk, Disney Girl, Toxic! and Digital Spy. He has reported LIVE from the red carpet at The British Soap Awards interviewing glammed-up stars from soapland, and hosted a Facebook LIVE session for Metro with Home and Away legend Ray Meagher (Alf "Stone the flamin' crows!" Stewart) to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Aussie soap.

Simon is also co-author of The Treasures Of Coronation Street (Carlton Books)

And the writer and director of (very!) low budget fright flick, Midsummer Night's EVIL and the sequel webisodes series, The Hatchet Woods HORROR.