Jeff Hordley age: How old is Emmerdale’s Cain Dingle star?
16th June 2022

Emmerdale's Jeff Hordley says allotment 'really helped' in lockdown

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Jeff has played the character of Cain Dingle on Emmerdale for over 20 years, taking on the role as the son of Faith Dingle (played by Sally Dexter), the brother of Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) and the husband of Moira Barton (Natalie J Robb). In upcoming scenes on the ITV soap, the bad boy of the village will discover his mother has terminal cancer, allowing for some heartbreaking scenes for Jeff. Having been on the show for so long, viewers might have forgotten the character has aged in real life and he is older than his alter-ego.

How old is Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley?

According to the birth records on the show, Cain is currently 48 years old as he was born on November 30, 1974, meaning he will turn 49 later this year.

This is a few years younger than the actor really is as Jeff is 52 years old, having been born on March 7, 1970, meaning he is almost four years older than his alter-ego.

However, unlike his character, he has already celebrated his birthday this year after marking his 50th just before the pandemic struck.

It is thought he marked the occasion this year with his wife and Rhona Goskirk star, Zoe Henry, and the couple’s two children.

Aside from that, it is not known how he celebrated a few months ago as he didn’t share any updates with his followers on social media.

The actor’s career in showbiz started in 1997 when the soap star was just 27 years old but it was until his 30s that he landed the role of Cain.

Jeff was introduced to the cast in 2000 and apart from a three-year break from the show, he has been a part of the Emmerdale universe for almost 23 years.

This is a good portion of his life committed to the role and it doesn’t seem he is going to let his alter-ego go anytime soon.

As well as starring in shows on the small screen, the actor has also featured in plays on various stages across the country.

Again, this wasn’t until he was in his mid to late 30s as this is what he got up to when he made the decision to leave the soap.

I kept losing weight

Jeff Hordley

However, when he was younger, the actor had a lot to deal with as he was diagnosed with Chrons Disease when he was just 20 years old.

Speaking about trying to adjust his lifestyle, the soap star told in 2009: “Even though I tried to avoid foods that upset my digestive system, such as coffee and Chinese takeaways, I was still sick and tired and I kept losing weight.

“I was a drama student in Manchester and sometimes I had to miss lectures because I was too tired.

“I even had to drop out of my final year plays,” he explained but the actor has got a better hang of his condition now.

He also has the support of his family, who also adhere to the diet he undergoes to show him he has their support.

It was when he was still in drama school, at the age of 20, did Jeff fall in love with his future wife and mother of his children.

Actress Zoe has spoken about meeting her husband, explaining: “We got together at drama school. We’ve been together 28 years.

“With the connection on set, we were together for 10 years before that as well. We got together in 1994, I believe.

“Obviously we’ve got two kids, two dogs, we’ve got an allotment and he’s just managing all of that.

“He’s about to get busy as I sort of quiet down so we’ll swap the baton then,” she told ITV’s Lorraine, giving viewers an insight into their lives.

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The actor has also spoken about his childhood before as his mother died when he was just nine years old and still in school.

“Mum got sicker and sicker and the doctors were unable to save her. My dad tried to prepare me.

“Before she died, I was told that it was going to happen. So it wasn’t a dreadful shock, but even so, it was difficult.

“I was very much a mummy’s boy and I missed her desperately. As a little kid, I didn’t really understand why she died and, even now, I don’t know whether the sort of operation I had could have saved her life, or even if it was available back then.

“But I don’t want to hark on about what happened to me. After all, many people lose their parents through death or divorce.”

“Then they say they’ve got all this baggage and that’s why they behave the way they do. I just got on with it,” he continued before discussing when his father got remarried.

Jeff explained to The Mirror: “I was 11 when dad remarried and it was great.

“We’re so close, I don’t even refer to her as my stepmum. She’s just mum. She came in, took on two children and did a fantastic job.

“She brought us up brilliantly and always supported us. There was a time after drama school when I wasn’t getting work and thought of giving it all up.

“She kept telling me, `No, you’re good. You’ve got to stick with it and take the rough with the smooth’. I owe her a huge amount.”

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

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