TV veteran Wendy Craig to cause a major stir in Emmerdale as Sandy Thomas’ new love interest Maisie

WENDY Craig is moving to Emmerdale as Sandy Thomas' love interest.

The actress – best known for her roles in sitcoms Butterflies, Not In Front Of The Children and Mother Makes Three – will arrive in the village on Monday, and will feature in six episodes of the ITV soap.

Wendy, 86, will play fun-loving Maisie, who rocks up on a tour bus and immediately hits it off with Sandy – played by 90-year-old Freddie Jones – and the pair go on several dates.

Maisie is in the village to make a fleeting visit on a behalf of her friend Betty Eagleton, who wanted her to pass on some gifts to Sandy.

But she ends up getting along so well with Sandy, she accidentally misses her tour bus out of the village and needs to stay for a while.

However, their blossoming romance face a major obstacle when Maisie declares she's emigrating to Australia.

But she offers Sandy a ticket to join her Down Under, and he has to decide whether to leave his grandchildren behind to move to the other side of the world with her.

While we don't know if Sandy does decide to go emigrate with his new lady love, we do know that Freddie – who first appeared on the ITV soap in November 2005 – is leaving Emmerdale.

He told the Radio Times: "It’s about the balance of my life. The company generously offered me another 12 months.

"But I just thought, ‘I have no idea what I’m going to do in another bloody year!’

"The drama that Ashley’s death gave me last year was monumental. But that’s gone now.

“I travel three hours by car, book into a hotel and then get up the next day to say maybe three sentences.

"And then do a three-hour journey back. I can’t justify staying, even though Emmerdale was very generous in asking me to.”

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV at 7pm.


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