Emmerdale: Mandy Dingle wakes up hungover on her birthday

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Lisa Riley has opened up about how losing a loved one has helped with tough storylines on Emmerdale. The 46-year-old actress recently lost her mum-in-law and 10 years ago, lost her own mum Cathy to cancer.

Despite her mum’s death being over a decade ago, the actress said the pain is still very much with her. 

On how she’s dealt with losing a loved one, Lisa said having a supportive family and talking to those in the same situation has helped her through tough times. 

She explained to Express.co.uk: “Especially with my family, we now know each other inside out, back to front, and with that in mind it’s taken ownership of how individual we are.

“And of course, we’re doing the grief storyline with Vinny on Emmerdale, you know what he’s going through after the storm of the storyline, so it’s lovely to portay grief on screen because we really know what we’re talking about.”

Lisa went on to say dressing up as Mandy has sometimes helped her through days where she has pretended to be OK. 

The actress continued: “Some days I can put Mandy’s wig on and put the lashes on, the full make-up and the fabulous clothes, and I can kind of live vicariously through Mandy and that helps me get though the days when, you know, I’m really struggling.

“So, I’m really lucky that I can have that, I say, ‘Oh I’m going to pretend today,’ and pretending is what I’m doing by playing Mandy, but it’s pretending I’m OK when sometimes I’m not.”

Back in October, Lisa’s character was a shoulder to cry on for her adopted son Vinny (played by Bradley Johnson), following the death of his wife Liv Flaherty (Isobel Steele).

At first, he pushed Mandy and Paddy (Dominic Brunt) away as he struggled to come to terms with her death.

Thinking she was doing the right thing, she began packing up some of his belongings so he could stay with her, but this left him furious instead.

Vinny fumed at his “mum” for messing around with how Liv left the home before her death.

He has since sparked concerns after turning to gambling through his tough time. 

In scenes set to air this week, she discovers him badly beaten amid fears he is spiralling out of control.

Can she save him from the mess? 

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Off-screen, Lisa is a part of the Sue Ryder’s Empty Chair campaign.

New research has found that three quarters of people who have experienced bereavement skip meals because they don’t like eating alone.

Three fifths of grieving people have also said that being invited over for dinner has helped with their grief.

Remembering her late mum Cathy, she said:  “I always say that mum was the oxygen in the room. Mum made me look timid and that’s not an exaggeration.

“Mum loved the colour yellow and whenever I see it, I think of her and feel her with me.

“Mum’s empty chair is felt by everyone who knows her, not just me.

“She is always missed at special occasions and celebrations, because she was the life and soul of every party.”

To support the campaign or for further information, visit https://www.sueryder.org/.

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