Emmerdale newcomer Joshua Richards ‘sad’ his soap fan mum died before he made his debut as Bear Wolf

Paddy bumps into Bear Wolf

The actor plays Paddy Kirk’s biological father…

Emmerdale newcomer Josuha Richards is gutted his soap fan mum didn’t live to see him make his Dales debut as Bear Wolf.

The actor, who plays Paddy Kirk’s biological father, admitted his joy at landing a role in the ITV soap is tinged with sadness because his mum Jean was a huge fan of the show.

Sadly, the 80-year-old passed away last year without even knowing that her son had landed the role of a lifetime.

Speaking as he filmed special scenes in Belfast for Paddy and Bear’s emotional reunion, he said: ‘My mum Jean was an ardent fan.

Emmerdale Bear Wolf

‘We watched it when it was Emmerdale Farm and she would have been over the moon that I was doing it but we lost her last year.

‘It’s really sad that she couldn’t be around to watch me in it.

‘She didn’t know I got the part. I just thought, if only my mum was here to see this.’

Speaking of his new role, Joshua added to The Mirror: ‘It’s my first soap and I love it. It’s not as daunting as I thought it would be. Everyone is so friendly.

‘The learning curve is quicker. I’m used to doing large roles in the theatre where you have a long time to learn it.

‘With this you throw out your short-term memory. It’s a new habit to get into.’

Paddy bumps into Bear Wolf

Joshua also gave hope to fans that all is not lost for Bear and Paddy, despite the pro wrestler rejecting his son, driving away from him in anger after he denied he had heard of Paddy’s mum.

He added: ‘For all his crassness and boastfulness I think underneath there’s somebody rather warm and generous.

‘He’s a man I see as being a little bit lonely and who would open up and share more, with a little encouragement.

‘I think he will be quite grateful to receive any kind of attention and love which is genuine, not just for this persona that he’s been inhabiting for so long.’



Jenni McKnight

Jenni McKnight is a beauty, lifestyle and entertainment journalist, currently US Lifestyle Editor for HELLO! Online. She has also written for HELLO! Magazine, GoodTo, CelebsNow, Daily Mirror and Yahoo!  Her first big break came when she interned on the Guilty Pleasures showbiz desk at Metro newspaper. She has since worked on the online lifestyle team at Woman & Home and Woman and was Senior Content Editor at CelebsNow.