Emmerdale theory: Pearl Ladderbanks returns to village in 50th anniversary twist
3rd June 2022

Emmerdale: Brenda quizzes Pearl on her caravan holiday

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Pearl (played by Meg Johnson) made her last appearance in the Emmerdale village in March 2020 and it was assumed the character had been temporarily written out as a consequence of the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic. Although many older members of the cast for the ITV soap returned to filming some months after the lockdown lifted, there has been no sign of the actress who plays Pearl, Meg. There has been no explicit reason given as to why she left and where she is now but all questions could be answered during the show’s 50th-anniversary.

From 2003 until 2020, Pearl was a secretary at the village vets and she was involved in some of the show’s biggest storylines.

These have included being trapped in the Sugden’s house explosion and faking Alzheimer’s Diseased, as well as discovering her son Frank Bernard Hartbourne (Rob Parry) was a rapist.

Not only has she been a gossip at times, but she has also been a huge source of support to her neighbours, helping through some of their darkest moments.

She was particularly good friends with Brenda Walker (Lesley Dunlop), who she shared a scene with when on screens at the start of 2020 after an extended break.

Pearl was seen discussing her caravan holiday with her friend but it seems viewers now want to know what she’s been up to over the past two years.

The most perfect time to bring her back would be during the show’s birthday celebrations in October, to finally bring her story to an end.

A lot has been teased about the plans in place for the 50th-anniversary, with producer Laura Shaw recently giving an update.

Speaking with Express.co.uk and other media, the soap boss said: “We’re still planning for a huge 50th golden birthday in the autumn.

“We’re all absolutely giddy about it, it’s just our big chance to show everything we do best and make sure every single one of our wonderful characters in the show gets a little bit of limelight.”

Earlier in the year, executive producer Jane Hudson revealed there would be some big names returning to the village.

We’re all absolutely giddy

Laura Shaw

Jane explained her ideas to Express.co.uk and other media: “We might see some old faces returning, we’re not sure yet.

“I think there is a lot coming up – the focus is really to celebrate Emmerdale turning 50.

“Our focus at the moment is to really build those stories so when we get to our golden month of celebration, we’ve got secrets that the viewers are desperate to be revealed.”

With 50 years of history on the table, there are a lot of characters who could make a comeback, from villains to missing family members of iconic families.

However, Pearl could show her face and explain she has been travelling around the south coast of England and is making the decision to move there.

It could be a fond farewell to the character as she says goodbye to her friends in the village, telling them she is retiring.

As they throw her a moving away party, it could envision the closing of one door to the opening of another as she paves the way for a new generation of characters to come in.

The likes of Brenda, Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt), Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) and many more would be heartbroken to see her leave.

At the moment, there has been no official confirmation the character or soap actress Meg will be making a comeback.

Viewers of the show would love to see her return as they have been sharing their confusion over her absence on social media.

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Taking to Twitter, Mike wrote: “What happened to pearl? #Emmerdale just sprung to mind now…has she left? @emmerdale.”

Matt added: “@emmerdale Pearl got a mention this week but where is she? She just disappeared! #Emmerdale #PearlLadderbanks.”

“Whatever happened to Pearl? #emmerdale,” Jason posted.

“Can somebody remind me why Pearl never appears anymore in #Emmerdale??” Amy commented on the social media platform.

Emmerdale Farmer remarked: “Wondering if any of the characters in #Emmerdale have bothered to check in on Pearl who has been living alone in that caravan all through the pandemic. #RememberPearl #WhereisPearl #MegJohnson.”

As well as Pearl possibly coming back, viewers are also excited about what could happen during the 50th-anniversary episodes.

Earlier this year, the Emmerdale social media pages changed their logo to incorporate the number 50 into the iconic stamp.

A caption read: “Our birthday year has begun! Watch out for lots of exciting things happening later in the year, but for now, we’re excited to reveal our birthday logo.

Executive Creative Director of ITV Creative, Tony Pipes added: “It’s always a pleasure to be part of such an iconic brand’s history and with that, our logo nods to Emmerdale’s heritage, keeping its classic look, with an elegant celebratory 50 that timelessly spans the decades from when the show was born to this very special year.”

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV, with an hour-long episode airing on Thursdays.

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