To exclude, to expel:
Dominic Brunt is celebrating 25 years playing the lovable Paddy Dingle, but it’s only been a short time on ITV for the actor. Reminiscing about his career, the soap veteran has revealed how the Emmerdale legend helped him land a lasting role on the show
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As the lovable vet Paddy Dingle, Dominic Brunt is celebrating his 25th anniversary, but the actor revealed his role was almost over as soon as it started.
And just because of a legendary co-star, he doesn’t see himself back in the work queue.
Dominic said: “I was on eight episodes and on the last day, Norman Bowler, who played Frank Tate, asked, ‘Do you like yourself?’
“I told him I enjoyed it and wished I could have stayed a little longer. So he told me to go upstairs, knock on the producer’s door, and tell them exactly that.”
Dominic has been signed up to act as a location guard for resident vet Zoe Tate, played by the late Leah Bracknell.
He knew Paddy’s time at practice could only last as long as Zoe’s vacation.
But Dominic took the leap and followed Norman’s advice – despite fearing his bold move could easily backfire on bosses.
The 51-year-old recalls: “I was really nervous, I didn’t think that was my position. But I made it. And four months later, they wrote me back. “
Since then, Dominic’s character has certainly been busy…with the offspring of his species.
Paddy has been married four times, to Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley), Emily Dingle (Kate McGregor), Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) and most recently to Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter), where the vet changed his last name from Kirk.
Not to mention his flirtations, memorable with Emily’s boss Viv Hope (Deena Payne) and Leo’s stepchild’s teaching assistant Tess Harris (Nicola Stephenson).
Dominic said: “I’m not sure if you call it luck or bad luck in love.”
But Paddy’s longest relationship is his “friendship” with Chas’ cousin Marlon (Mark Charnock).
Their friendship will fall apart after Marlon’s stroke, as Paddy struggles to cope with his best friend’s change of heart.
Marlon’s life is changed forever after a moment of joy. After he and Rhona propose to each other, he collapses in search of an engagement ring.
Dominic adds: “The reality is that some people just can’t cope when things like this happen. And although Paddy is great at fixing animals, he can’t deal with the fact that he no longer knows his friend.
“He is in shock and failing miserably. Is he a coward or is he just getting out of his emotional sphere, having to deal with something out of the ordinary?
“We were originally written as a comedy duo, Emmerdale is more like a sitcom. There are some quirky storylines and we’ve got a whale of a time.
“Then the soap got very dramatic and we were also credited with that. We were very fortunate to have served both sides of the coin, otherwise we would have been knocked out years ago. .”
Off-screen, the pair’s “emotions” were just as strong, as horror fans got together to run the Leeds Zombie Film Festival.
Dominic said: “Mark has massively researched his new backstory, it is admirable to watch him. We have a friendship where I support him and he supports me whatever happens.
“I have worked with Lucy, Lisa and Zoe for many years. I’ve been very lucky and Mark has always been. He approached me on the first day and said, ‘Hi, how are you?’
“We have the same sense of humor and we are working-class boys from the same background.
“We live about 40 miles apart, which is probably a good thing because we spend hours together every day, more than we spend with our families.”
Prior to Emmerdale, Dominic, from Accrington, Lancs, was a welder and sheet metal worker for six years, earning money through drama school by fixing cars and working in factories.
He had roles in The Bill and Soldier Soldier before playing Paddy.
Dominic said: “I love welding and I’m happy to keep doing a bit of both, I was going to go work on oil rigs but the acting job didn’t work out.”
He hasn’t looked back and now family life for Dominic is a rural one, with wife Joanne Mitchell, a fellow actress, two children and pets, including, quite suitable for a rural veterinarian character, year of the sheep.
Dominic was asked for other people’s pet advice, admitting he didn’t have many clues despite refresher courses at a real-life vet’s surgery.
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He is often disgruntled when it comes to his impressive 25 years at Emmerdale, saying he can celebrate if the 30-year milestone is reached.
Dominic added: “I just bowed my head. I really don’t like noise.”
But he did not rule out a forced exit from the soap. Murders are rife in Emmerdale, with serial killer Meena Jutla (Paige Sandhu) finally behind bars after years on the run.
Dominic said: “I said I’d never seen Paige recently and someone said, ‘That’s probably for the best.’ However, one day it will happen, the show will end or there will be a new producer. That’s typical for a lot of soap actors.
“I still absolutely love my job, it’s one of the best jobs in the world.
“Will I stay for another 25 years? Of course. I’ve had enough bad jobs to know that this is a good job.”
* Emmerdale airs on ITV at 7:30 p.m. weekdays.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/emmerdale-legend-stepped-make-paddy-26624831 The legend of Emmerdale made Paddy Dingle a permanent character 25 years ago