Victoria (played by Isabel Hodgins) has had a very turbulent year on Emmerdale, having fallen pregnant after being raped by Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie), dealing with his subsequent death at the hands of her brother Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) and her child’s grandmother Wendy Posner (Susan Cookson) moving into the village. What with both her brothers no longer on the ITV soap and her father Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) having passed away, the expectant mother has very few family members in her immediate company. However, it could all soon change if her uncle Joe (Frazer Hines) makes a return in one of the biggest twists the weekday evening drama has ever seen.
Having appeared on the soap at various points between 1972 and 1994, the farmer faced all sorts of problems from relationships to moving away from the village for work.
However, after leaving the Dales for a new life in Spain after saving former resident Dave Glover (Ian Kelsey) from being run down by a car, the character was killed off.
On tonight’s (December 19) edition of The Big Soap Quiz which saw the cast of the Yorkshire-based drama go head to head with the stars of Coronation Street, the farmer made an unexpected return home.
Actor Frazer, 75, made a cameo comeback for one of the rounds of the show and though no official word has been given on a rise from the dead, fans took to social media to voice their delight Joe was back.
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One viewer posted on Twitter: “It’s so good to see @WhoFrazer #Emmerdale @emmerdale #TheBigSoapQuiz.”
Another added: “Frazer Hines on #thebigsoapquiz #emmerdale,” whilst a third commented: “Whoo I guessed it was Joe #thebigsoapquiz.”
Of course, the cameo was a throwback treat for longtime fans of the soap, but could a return be in the pipeline?
As she tries to adjust to life with her new baby, could Victoria gain the support of her uncle who makes his way back after news his late brother has a grandchild?
It’s so good to see @WhoFrazer
Former soap star Frazer has himself spoken out about a reprisal for his character after Joe’s death took place off-air, giving some wiggle room for a return.
“Fans say ‘because it was the Spanish police investigating, it might not have been your body,” the actor told The Mirror.
He hinted if a comeback were devised, however, he wouldn’t want to commit to the show’s heavy schedule during the week.
“I just don’t want to do five episodes a week, on a treadmill all the time. I have a great life.”
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Could it be Victoria even envisions her uncle as a ghost?
Her brother Robert conjured up a figment of the late Val Pollard (Charlie Hardwick) when he was hit by a car over the Christmas period two years ago, so there is a way Joe could return.
Even if her father’s brother doesn’t make a comeback, the new mother is going to have a lot on her hands as she tries to get a grip of motherhood.
Executive Producer Jane Hudson teased the character’s future after the New Year birth.
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Speaking with press, including Express.co.uk, the soap boss said: “We’ve gone wild and not had it on Christmas Day. But it’s not long after Christmas Day that Victoria’s going to have a baby.
“Victoria has then got to come back home. We’ve got Wendy in the village and she’s torn over what everyone believes her son did.
“Is she going to get to the point where she accepts what he did? Does she have to get to that point in order to have a relationship with her grandson?
“There’s battles going on. Victoria is a good person but she can’t be around somebody who’s effectively calling her a liar.”
Emmerdale continues Friday at 7pm on ITV.
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