Last week, Sandra Flaherty returned to Emmerdale, and she’s up to no good.
The Joanne Mitchell-played character was last seen in the ITV soap opera last year when she met up with her daughter at a campground in Wales as her drinking problem grew worse.
During their reconnection, which happened after Liv’s relationship with Vinny Dingle struck a snag due to the death of his father, Paul, the mother and daughter shared drinks together.
However, things quickly changed when Sandra became frightened after seeing Liv have a seizure.
After learning that Liv had epilepsy from her brother Aaron, who had located Liv, Sandra felt she was unqualified to care for Liv and advised her to go back to the village.
Since that time, following a protracted struggle, Liv has succeeded in achieving sobriety and reconciling with her boyfriend Vinny; the two have since wed after eloping.
But when Sandra waltzed back into their lives in the scenes that aired on Friday night (July 8), their straightforward marriage was upended.
Vinny wasn’t persuaded despite her insistence that she wished to alter and her pleading for her daughter’s support in being clean.
While they did send Liv on her way because she seemed willing to help, Liv and her friend Gabby Thomas soon discovered Sandra intoxicated in the cemetery. Sandra managed to trick Liv, who ultimately invited her to stay with her.
Her true motivations for returning, however, were later made clear when Terry, a recent visitor, appeared as he rushed into their home and demanded payment, to which Liv offered to settle him with her own money.
Later, when Liv had paid Terry, Sandra expressed satisfaction at having him off her back and Terry admitted he was “happy to see the back of” her.
But in the end, it was proven that Sandra and Terry were working together since they divided the £4,000 between themselves.
Sandra added, “If this goes according to plan, I’ll rinse that girl for everything she’s got,” suggesting that her daughter’s con game wasn’t over yet.
Sandra may not have wanted to come back, but Joanne, who plays her, does. Sandra was originally portrayed by two previous actors before she took on the role in 2016.
Sandra was portrayed by Christine Brennan in 2006, and Janet Bamford was chosen to fill the part when Sandra made a comeback in 2008.
Joanne had previously portrayed two different roles in the Leeds-based soap opera before taking on the role of Liv’s problematic mother, so when she assumed the role, it wasn’t truly her first time in the Dales.
Before taking on the role of Susan Davies in 2009, she first appeared as DS Karen Barnborough in 2003. In 2006, she also had a recurring role as a midwife.
Joanne has also had appearances as Mrs. Turner in the old Rochdale school drama Waterloo Road as well as Doctors, Bad Girls, Holby City, Casualty, Heartbeat, and A Touch of Frost. She has also appeared in a competing soap opera.
2018 saw the 50-year-old perform in Coronation Street. In the terrifying Bethany Platt grooming plot, she played Marsha, the ex-wife of deranged cop Neil Clifton (Ben Cartwright’s character) and the mother of Kayla Clifton (Molly Winnard’s character).
She recently shared a grinning photo of herself with Lisa Riley, played by Mandy Dingle, and Isobel Steele, who portrays her on-screen daughter Liv, proving that she is clearly loving being back in Emmerdale.
Contrary to how you’ll see our characters behave on television, it’s an absolute delight to work with these two queens, she wrote, adding: “#laughing #friendship #blessed @emmerdale @itv.”
Joanne also brings a piece of home with her to the Dales because her husband is a well-known Emmerdale actor.
She is wed to Dominic Brunt, who has played Paddy Kirk in the soap opera since 1997.
The actor, 51, who is from Macclesfield, married his wife, Joanne, in 2003 after meeting her at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
They have two children together, and in 2011, they joined forces to form Mitchell Brunt Films.
When discussing their employment on the same soap recently, Joanne stated: “I haven’t seen Dominic at the studios yet since I have been back this time.”
I haven’t actually worked with him yet, but it’s fun to be on the same program as him. Due to the various lives that our characters have in the town, we haven’t had any scenes together.
When their son Danny had immediate heart bypass surgery after being diagnosed with a heart problem at the age of eight months old, the couple was frightened they might lose him more than ten years ago.
In 2018, when his son was nine years old, Dominic told the Mirror, “At the time it was horrible.
You’re in the center of a terrible storm. You believe you will lose your son.
“He was eight months old when we first met him, and we assumed that was all there was to know about him. We talked about organ donation.
Because there was a fatality rate associated with the operation, a nurse brought it up.
Although we had to talk about it, we had already decided as a family—my sisters are nurses, so that’s how we were raised—that we would all be organ donors.”
Fortunately, Danny recovered, and he even made an appearance alongside his father on ITV’s Big Star’s Little Star.