Emmerdale newcomer insists: ‘I’m not attempting to replace Robert’

Emmerdale Ben

Simon Lennon has been cast as Aaron’s new love interest, Ben

Emmerdale star Simon Lennon, who has been cast as Aaron Dingle’s new love interest, Ben, has attempted to appease ‘Robron’ fans by insisting that he is not trying to be a replacement for Robert Sugden.

Next week on the soap, Aaron (Danny Miller) will attempt to strike up a romance with Ben, who is working at the outdoor pursuits centre as an instructor.

Aaron turns up for his session with Ben in Emmerdale

Ben and Aaron are set to hit it off next week (Picture: ITV)

The storyline is set to firmly consign Aaron and Robert’s relationship to soap history.

The much-loved couple tied the knot in 2018, but went their separate ways last year when Robert was sentenced to life in prison for murdering his sister Victoria’s rapist, Lee Posner.

Aaron and Robert

'Robron' were a huge hit for fans - but Aaron is now moving on... (Picture: ITV)

Aaron's new man

Says Lennon, who previously starred as Private Brains in BBC1 army drama Our Girl: “Before being involved in the show, I knew of the Robron fans.

"It’s such an amazing fanbase, and the support for Danny and that relationship was so big.

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“For myself, coming into Emmerdale, Ben is a completely different person [to Robert] and I’m in no way attempting to replace Robert.”

A dark past 

Instantly attracted to Ben, Aaron starts hanging around The HOP, hoping to see him - something that isn’t lost on little sister, Liv.

When the men are finally introduced to one another by Al, sparks fly - but Aaron is unaware that they actually have history.

It turns out Aaron used to bully Ben at secondary school for being gay - something he had forgotten all about, and which leaves him stunned when Ben reminds him of the dark chapter.

Emmerdale Ben and Aaron

Ben recognises Aaron from his troubled school days, but Aaron is oblivious (Picture: ITV)

The question then remains as to whether Ben can forgive and forget and give Aaron a chance.

Says Lennon: “I think for Ben and Aaron, it’s less about an immediate attraction between these two men and more about can they move forwards on a friendship level?

"Can these things that have been so impactful in their lives be ironed out, be spoken about, and be addressed and forgiven?

“Especially in the beginning, it’s learning about whether that is even possible for them.”

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays - see our TV Guide for full listings.

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor

Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine. 

She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way.

There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.