Emmerdale Spring preview: Six huge stories REVEALED!

Emmerdale spring 2021 preview Gabby, Kim, Jamie
(Image credit: ITV)

There’s misery on the cards for many of our Emmerdale favourites...

Spring is in the air, but while there’s reason for optimism in the real world, over in the fictional land of Emmerdale, disaster is looming for many of the village residents. We reveal six big plots headed our way...

1. Wedding day devastation looms for Mandy Dingle in Emmerdale

Mandy and Vinny in Emmerdale

Mandy's world is about to be turned upside down.

As we head further into Spring, Mandy’s full of excitement about marrying Paul. His recent kidnap has made her realise how much she loves him, while the gambling addict’s confession that he’d fallen off the wagon, whilst devastating at the time, has left her thinking that everything is out in the open. If only!

The blushing bride still has no idea that Paul has beat their teenage son, Vinny, on several occasions to stop the lad spilling his dark secrets.

"If Mandy knew about the violence, she would kill Paul," says Lisa Riley, who plays her.

Mandy also doesn’t know that the kidnap was, in fact, a scam. Paul owed money to dodgy associate Connor, and the duo set the whole thing up in a bid to get the debt repaid by wealthy Liv, by way of a ransom demand.

But in the run up to Mandy and Paul’s big day, Vinny becomes increasingly suspicious about Paul’s "ordeal", fearing he hasn’t been entirely honest. Will he dare to confront his devious dad?

"This story is going in a really big direction, and it’s our most ambitious work since Covid hit," teases Emmerdale’s executive producer, Jane Hudson.

"It will be epic and rewarding, and ultimately it will end in tragedy for one character."

Who’s going to come a cropper?

2. Harriet spirals out of control

Harriet doesn't believe Malone in Emmerdale

Malone caused Harriet loads of trouble when he was alive... and even more now he's dead!

The arrival of Dodgy DI Malone was always going to spell trouble for undercover copper-turned-vicar Harriet Finch, but Harriet could never have anticipated that the shady scouser would cause her far more distress dead than he ever did when he was alive.

Now, seven months on from his fatal shooting by Dawn, Harriet is set to face her toughest time yet.

As the exhumation takes place of deceased villager, Richard - whose grave Harriet originally buried Malone in, before she and Will moved the corpse to the grounds of Home Farm - Harriet is reminded of what’s she done, and truly hits rock bottom.

"Harriet wants to be punished," reveals our Emmerdale source. "But she knows that if she confesses all to the police, Dawn will end up in prison, and she doesn’t want that.

"So, she ultimately decides she must take matters into her own hands."

We’re promised some shocking scenes, as Harriet enlists the help of another villager in a desperate bid to atone for her sins.

"I don’t want to spoil what’s coming up," says Katherine Dow Blyton, who plays her, "but it’s all going to come to a crashing conclusion before it gets any better..."

3. Gabby decides to play dirty when she’s betrayed by Jamie

What is Gabby up to in Emmerdale

Gabby has revenge on her mind.

Jamie Tate is counting the cost of his night of nookie with Gabby. He’d consigned the encounter to the file marked "big regrets" by breakfast time, only to then discover she was pregnant. To make matters worse, Kim has moved Gabby into Home Farm, keen to keep her unborn grandchild close.

Feeling trapped, Jamie jumps on an idea from Mack, and hopes he’ll soon be free from Gabby’s clutches. But in an upcoming episode, Gabby will realise she’s been played. And right now, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of the Machiavellian Ms Thomas.

"Gabby gets very invested in people, and it’s not pretty when she gets knocked down," says Rosie Bentham, who plays her. "Then, she switches – she’s like 'You’re messing with the wrong woman.'

"This baby is just what she needs to get her teeth into Home Farm, and she knows she can use the situation to her advantage. If Kim will chuck money and opportunities at her, she will take them. And if Jamie doesn’t stand by her, then screw him!"

And it seems even the normally shrewd Kim may have underestimated her young employee.

"Gabby isn’t just intelligent; she has a dangerous side, and Kim likes that," adds Claire King, who plays the village vixen. "But that could be to Kim’s detriment. She could be considerably underestimating her.

"We’re calling this story 'The Battle for Home Farm.' We’re only so far in, but there ’s potential for a real battle between Kim and Gabby." Could Gabby oust Kim from the house on the hill?

4. Matty worries as his romance with Amy develops

Matty in Emmerdale

Matty has concerns

Matty Barton has achieved many personal goals since arriving in the Dales two and a half years ago. He’s developed a strong relationship with mum Moira - who was initially stunned to discover the child she had raised as ‘Hannah’ was living as a man - he’s been accepted by his fellow villagers, and he’s undergone top surgery as part of his transition. More recently, he’s got himself a girlfriend in Amy Wyatt.

Amy’s aware of Matty’s journey, and in the coming weeks, as her feelings develop, she’s keen to take their relationship to the next level. She’s flummoxed when Matty starts to act differently around her, and is unsure of where she stands.

The reason for Matty’s behaviour soon becomes clear - but can the couple resolve things? Reveals our Emmerdale source: "Amy wants to communicate with Matty, but he keeps shutting her out. She starts to doubt if they have a future together, because he won’t open up to her." Will Matty push the smitten Geordie away?

5. Faith tries to get Cain back on side

Faith begs for forgiveness in Emmerdale

Faith wants to build bridges

Cain is never the chirpiest soul at the best of times, and the return of mum Faith leaves him in more of a strop than usual. When he found out in 2019 that Nate was his son, his devastation was made worse by his discovery that Faith had known about Nate’s existence from day dot, and kept quiet. He can’t forgive her, and wants her gone.

Faith is determined to build bridges, and as Cain digs his heels in, she sets her sights on getting dirt on Mack. She doesn’t trust Moira’s brother, and thinks that if she can get proof he has been deceitful, the mechanic will be so grateful that he’ll let her back into his life.

Says Sally Dexter, who plays the Dingle matriarch, "Can Faith mend things with Cain? She’ll have a damn good go, and won’t give up easily. She’d settle for him just tolerating her being in the village.

"But it looks like she’s going to have a battle on her hands..."

6. Jimmy and Nicola are targeted by a mystery figure...

Jimmy is furious in Emmerdale

Jimmy is a worried man

The arrival of Juliette Holliday has turned Jimmy and Nicola’s lives upside-down. Juliette - the biological mother of Jimmy’s son Carl, who got pregnant with Jimmy’s baby due to a mix up with his sperm at a fertility clinic - has had nothing to do with Carl since 2016. Now, five years on, she wants him back.

Nicola has tried to talk to Juliette, much to Jimmy’s horror, who has warned his wife he’ll never forgive her if his family is ripped apart. And in the coming weeks, it seems Nicola’s good intentions may have backfired. It becomes apparent that the Kings are being watched by someone, who is taking photographs and following their every move. Is Juliette behind it all?

And if so, how low will she go in a bid to take Carl away?

"This is the biggest test of Nicola and Jimmy’s marriage," promises show boss Jane Hudson.

"There are massive betrayals of trust, and lives are changed forever."

Emmerdale continues on ITV (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.