Emmerdale actress Sandra Marvin talks about Jessie Dingle’s infidelity with ex-Al Chapman after being discovered by Mandy Dingle.

Emmerdale's Sandra Marvin talks Jessie Dingle's infidelity
Emmerdale’s Sandra Marvin talks Jessie Dingle’s infidelity

Let’s be honest, none of us saw Marlon and Jessie Dingle going the distance. Since their whirlwind marriage at Christmas, there’s been one obstacle after another for the pair – including Jessie’s sons Ellis and Billy. The latest obstacle is Jessie’s ex husband Al Chapman, which added to Jessie losing her job, causing ructions for the doomed couple. Actress Sandra Marvin gives an insight into Jessie’s turmoil.

How is Jessie coping in the wake of resigning and now running an after school kids club?
Its really difficult for her, I mean she’s been at Connelton High only for a year and she doesn’t really know what’s next. I think she kind of felt that her hand was forced into resigning to save the fact that if somebody goes to Connelton for a reference afterwards it wouldn’t be favourable so she’s in a very strange position because she doesn’t actually have a plan as to what’s next for her.

What about Al’s arrival, how is she feeling about him being back on the scene?
I think they parted not under the best terms and obviously Ellis was thrown out of his house, and came to live with her because he’d left his training course, so I’d say they are not in the best place these two, and she’s not particularly happy to see him at all.

Does she have any residual feelings for him, is there a sense she doesn’t trust herself with him?
No, not at all. I think she just doesn’t trust him, she’s been with him for a really long time, I think it’s like 20 years they’ve been together so she can trust herself around him but she knows exactly what Al is like.

How has his arrival affected Jessie’s relationship with Marlon? Is Marlon threatened at all by him?
It does stoke the fire I guess, because they are already on dodgy ground after ‘drunkgate’, so they are already on dodgy ground and then the whole thing, with her losing her job, her not necessarily feeling he’s supporting her as much as he could do. I think that Marlon’s just, for a long while, been questioning things and the relationship and unfortunately Al comes in with his alfa maleness and is continuously finding ways to drop little digs, to make you know, further make Marlon feel vulnerable.

Does Al destabilise Marlon?
Yes, he does, he destabilises him to try and make him feel less worthy than us, so that makes it all very difficult.

With Jessie set to leave, Marlon looks to get his heart broken again…

Al suggests a job in Dubai and he’s arranges an interview for her. How does Jessie react?
It’s really mad actually because obviously she looking for something in the area whether she’s looking for teaching jobs, headmistress jobs, managerial jobs, hospital management jobs, anything so she can stay in the area. It’s not even a thought and then he pops up with “there’s a private school, someone that I know that really want to see you, I’ve talked to them about you and they want to see you”.  I think initially she’s excited because it’s a possibility, because it’s a reputable school that wants to speak to her, but I don’t think she actually intends to go through with it. I don’t think she expects them to say yes, I don’t think she has any intention of actually taking the job either. I think it was more of an ego boost for her as well to show that “no I can still do this” and  because she is feeling a bit down and on the floor about her abilities, her relationship, and it was more of an ego boost for her to do this, to feel and to get her confidence back at work…

It doesn’t go down well though because unbeknownst to Jessie, Marlon has found out via Al, and then walks in on her doing an interview at home. How does that go down?
Well he’s furious because obviously Al has implied that she’s taking this huge move that will be moving her out of the country completely and Marlon feels that she’s doing something behind his back, and not just behind his back, but behind his back with Al so he’s highly offended about it and again its something that makes him question their marriage really going forward.

This tension between Al and Marlon carries on on the football pitch so these two don’t get on at all do they?
You know when it’s a smile behind bared teeth, there’s a lot of testosterone flying around on the pitch and yeah there’s an accident

Was it fun watching it being filmed?
It was and it was a gorgeous day. The sun was out, we were all sitting on the sides commenting and doing little football chants as well, it was a really fun day but yeah something happens but was it an accident or not?

Later, Al and Jessie are reminiscing about old times at the cricket pavilion and there’s a kiss. What happens?
It’s a funny one in that obviously they have a lot of history they have many many years that they can reminisce about. This is probably one of the first times that they have actually sat and just had a laugh, and caught up without there being like an air around it all, so they do reminisce and Al sees it as an opportunity to take things a little bit too far.

Thurs 12 Sept 2019 – 8pm: Al moves in for a second kiss and Jessie Dingle reciprocates but suddenly Jessie recoils in horror when the door bursts open…

Does Jessie feel guilty afterwards, is there a sense that Al has got her hooked back in again?
I think that when it happens initially, for a second she gets drawn in and doesn’t immediately pull away, but then she like “what the hell are you doing?” She’s fuming and confused as to “what the heck you know this is not where I want to be” and it really is just a reflection of how confused, how down she is, and how everything has gone wrong with her and Marlon because she’s allowed this to happen. It’s not that she wants to be with Al at all so its quite unfortunate but first time round she puts him in his place…

Second time around she doesn’t and back at home, Al  moves in for a second kiss…
Its just too much reminiscing isn’t it? He knows what buttons to press. They start talking about their history. The problem that Marlon and Jessie are having is that essentially they don’t know each other. They have individual plans for their future, but they’ve not sat and worked this out before they got married.

There’s April, the boys moving back in, so they haven’t really got to know each other alone together for very long…
Yeah not at all, so you know while Marlon is saying no you can’t, I don’t support that and he doesn’t feel comfortable with certain aspects of what she wants to do. Al on the surface is very supportive – he knows what to say to reassure her, to encourage her, and also realistically to be honest they have a history where he has supported her career in the past so him bringing all of that up, it just highlights how shaky things are with Marlon.

Thurs 12 Sept 2019 – 8pm: It’s Mandy Dingle! What will she do with the knowledge? Is this the beginning of the end for Marlon and Jessie’s marriage?

As they kiss, the door flings open and its Mandy Dingle!
I mean she’s always bursting in isn’t she? She burst in on their wedding, now she’s bursting in while she’s having shenanigans, I mean she’s always in the wrong place!

Was it fun filming it with Lisa Riley?
Yeah, it was it was fun seeing her again , it’s quite raucous having her back as well. It’s really good.

Are you surprised by Jessie’s behaviour because up to now she seems fairly level headed doesn’t she?
I think prior to this she’s been fighting for her sons and she’ll always fight… but all of a sudden the key things for her she’s lost her career, now she’s losing herself. She doesn’t really know who she is, you know, she’s feeling like Marlon is quite happy for her to work in the shop, work in the prison as an administrator, do anything…

He’s not that ambitious for her is he?
Not at all and I think she’s feeling like she’s lost, losing herself so I think that’s why…

Are there going to be consequences for their marriage do you think?
I think so. You don’t do what she’s done and get away with it…

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