Emmerdales Dominic Brunt thanks co-star for help as he celebrates 25 years on ITV soap

Emmerdale's Dominic Brunt hopes Mandy Dingle will return

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Dominic Brunt is celebrating 25 years of playing the loveable vet Paddy Dingle on ITV’s Emmerdale. Appearing in some of the soap’s most compelling storylines, with four marriages to show for it, the 51-year-old has continued to be a familiar face in the village. Despite playing the role for over two decades, Dominic claimed it could have been over as soon as it started if it hadn’t been with the help of a legendary co-star Norman Bowler who put in a good word for him.

Reflecting on his first week on the soap, the actor claimed he’d initially been contracted for a handful of episodes. 

He began: “I came for eight episodes and on the last day Norman Bowler who used to play Frank Tate asked, ‘Have you enjoyed yourself?’

“I told him I’d loved it and wished I could stay a bit longer. 

“So he told me to go upstairs, knock on the producer’s door and tell them exactly that.”

The 51-year-old added to The Mirror: “I was really nervous, I didn’t think it was my place. But I did it. And four months later they’d written me back in.”

Norman joined the cast in 1989 as head of the wealthy Tate family, millionaire Frank Tate. 

Meanwhile, Dominic had been signed up to cover for resident vet Zoe Tate (played by Leah Bracknell) while she went away on holiday. 

Aware his role could last only as long as Zoe’s holiday, the Paddy actor plucked up the courage and followed Norman’s advice. 

Luckily, his plea was well received by ITV bosses and he hasn’t looked back.

However, he recently revealed how he hadn’t taken a sick day from work until contracting COVID-19.

Dominic shared with his followers on Twitter: “After 25 years at @emmerdale without a single day off, I have succumbed to the dreaded ‘rona’. 

“I have been ridiculously careful but tomorrow will be the first time in a quarter of a century.”

Annoyed by the diagnosis, he went on to say: “Now THAT p***es me off. 

“Fortunate to have good health though and thankful. Love to all,” the TV star added.

Some of Dominic’s closest ITV co-stars rushed in to support the star, with Michelle Hardwick, who stars as Vanessa Woodfield, saying: “Aww feel better soon Dom.”

While Lydia Dingle actress Karen Blick followed with: “Get well soon Dom.”

Most recently, the beloved soap star had a heartbreaking storyline with long-running castmate Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle. 

Marlon suffered a life-changing stroke in recent scenes on Emmerdale, with the character set to spend months in recovery. 

Viewers saw how Paddy struggled to cope with the serious illness of his best mate, but what will happen to the vet is yet to be seen. 

Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV at 7.30pm

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