Alan Turner in Emmerdale

Alan Turner: Emmerdale’s beloved landlord and Richard Thorp’s legacy

He swapped business suits for beer when he took over the reins at The Woolpack.

Alan Turner in Emmerdale was the scheming businessman and local councillor turned friendly landlord of The Woolpack.

Alan was surrounded by friends in Emmerdale (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

He ran the legendary pub for more than two decades, seeing highs and lows in his time behind the bar.

Who played Alan Turner in Emmerdale?

Alan Turner in Emmerdale was played by veteran actor Richard Thorp. He had roles in Crossroads and Emergency Ward 10, before he joined Emmerdale in 1982.

After the death of Clive Hornby, who played Jack Sugden, he became Emmerdale’s longest-serving cast member. Richard said he knew he could have moved on, but he had no regrets about staying because he was lazy!

Richard Thorp played Alan Turner in Emmerdale for more than 30 years (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

Richard passed away, aged 81, in May 2013 and his last scenes were screened as a special tribute episode.

Alan died off-screen in October the same year.

Alan’s arrival in Emmerdale

Alan and his wife Jill came to Emmerdale in 1982. Alan was a businessman back then, who was frequently outwitted by Joe Sugden and Seth Armstrong.

His marriage to Jill broke up a few years after they arrived, and he married Shirley Foster in 1994, though he was heartbroken when she was shot in a siege at Home Farm and died just a few months later.

Alan took over the reins at The Woolpack in 1991 and immediately took to his new job, softening from his scheming past in business and local politics and instead becoming a friend to the villagers.

Alan Turner’s Emmerdale family

In the late 1990s, Alan’s grand-daughter Tricia Stokes arrived in the village. She began working in the pub alongside her grandfather and the two became very close.

Read more: Marlon Dingle in Emmerdale: Who is the real love of his life? 

A few years later Tricia’s mother Steph followed her daughter to Emmerdale.

Tricia Stokes The Woolpack Emmerdale
Tricia died tragically and Alan grew closer to his daughter, Steph, after Tricia’s death (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

She and Alan weren’t such good friends, but they grew closer after Tricia died tragically in a storm.

Alan Turner and his children

Steph’s friend Shelley arrived in the village and began dating Alan. But Steph wasn’t keen on having to share her dad’s attention. She told Alan that Shelley was only after his money and Shelley left.

Alan began drinking, and fell down the stairs. Steph looked after him but was secretly drugging him and even tried to drive them both over the edge of a quarry!

Steph was Alan’s daughter (Credit: ITV/REX/Shutterstock)

When Shelley disappeared, Steph was suspected of murdering her. She even went to prison for a while. But Shelley showed up at the memorial service, getting Steph off the hook.

She would have regretted her decision later, though, when she fell overboard from a funeral and Steph left her to drown.

Steph’s abuse

Steph later told her dad that she had been sexually abused by her brother, Terence. Alan was horrified at the allegation and chose to believe his son instead of his daughter, which was devastating for Steph.

When Terence admitted it Alan threw him out, but a row between the siblings led to Terence’s death.

Steph felt terrible about her role in another death, was sectioned for a short while and eventually confessed to both murders. She’s now in prison for life, though she returned under guard for her dad’s funeral.

Alan’s demise

After all the drama, Alan settled back down into village life. He spent some time away, travelling with his friends, and eventually headed to France on his motorbike.

He returned, unseen, and his good friend Betty Eagleton found he had passed away in his sleep.

Alan softened over the years and became popular with the drinkers at The Woolpack (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Later Betty commented that life in the village wasn’t the same without Alan and her partner Seth Armstrong.

With Alan’s two children, and only grandchild all having passed away, there are none of his relatives left to return to Emmerdale. But we’re happy that the former Woolie landlord still gets a mention every now and then.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer

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