Lisa Riley has delighted soap fans since she returned to Emmerdale last September and now, her character Mandy Dingle will open a can of worms when she meets someone from her past. 

The soap star revealed that viewers will see a different side to the 'in-your-face' Mandy in the coming weeks, after a chance encounter with her former boyfriend Paul, who is the father of her son, Vinny Dingle (Bradley Johnson).

Riley said: "There's no-nonsense with her, she comes across sometimes as a manipulator but she's not, she just has such a big heart - she's a survivor and she'll do anything for her family.

"If that means telling a few porky pies along the way which she does, she'll do it to survive.

"What's going to be so nice now, we're going to open up a massive can of worms, showing her vulnerable side.

"It's what people loved many years ago - she was funny, camp, in-your-face, but God she can make you cry.

"We're going to open that can of worms again."

The former Strictly Come Dancing contestant first appeared on Emmerdale between 1995 and 2001, with a brief return in 2018.

Riley said she had turned down the chance to return on a number of occasions, but this time "it felt right".

She said: "I can't get my head around it. For all those years they asked me to come back, I was like: 'No, no, no.'

"When you truly think it's the right time, wherever I go, whatever shop I'm in, the positivity is amazing.

"And if you can bring that little sprinkle for half an hour into people's lives then yeah, I feel blessed.

"I know now I made the right decision to come back.

"I get the call sheet and it's like 'Oh my God, I'm with them today' - I know we're going to have a ball.

 "Certain sets, like the Dingle house, I know it will be a lovely day.

"I work with such great people who care. They know their lines, it's a fast turnaround.

"I love the atmosphere on set. I want to get it right. I watch the show, I love Emmerdale."

The number of Emmerdale episodes to air each week during the coronavirus pandemic has been reduced by ITV, to keep the soap on-air until "at least the early summer".

Emmerdale airs on ITV and Virgin Media One on Mon, Wed and Fri at 7pm.