Updated 27th May 2004

Zachariah Bartholomew
("Zak") Dingle

Played by Steve Halliwell

A Huge Big Thank you to Paul Berridge who has made various profiles and photos availabe to me. They were previously on his Beckindale site (that is no more). This page is based on some of his original material. I have inserted the green box.

See also IMDB entry for Steve Halliwell
The Official site's profile of Zak Dingle


The patriach of the family.

Left Click on this image to see a larger undestorted version.

First Appearance: 20 October 1994 (in a fight with Ned Glover)

Last Appearance: (to date) 31st December 2002

Expected back Thursday 16th October 2003

Jobs: Scrap man, Pig Merchant and general dodgy schemer.

Born: ? (he was around 55 years old in 2002, official sources suggest 19 January 1952)

Son of Peg & Jedediah

Married 1st and Divorced from Nellie;

Married 2nd: Lisa Clegg in 28 Jan 1998

6 Children


(a 7th child, early Dingle scripts referred to, however this has long since been forgotten or discarded by the writers) :-

The Original Dingles - Zak, Tina, Sam Butch & Nellie

 

Zak & Lisa with their daughter Belle

 

 

 

 

 

From 1st Marriage:

Butch (1972-2000),
Ben (1974-1994),
Sam (1977- ),
Tina (b.? around 1978)
,

Son Ben whose death bought the whole family into the series

also:-

Tina made a reference to a brother Nathan who lived in Londan and the family hadn't spoken to him in about six years in the 23rd May 1995 episode

They fell out at his wedding following a family row.

"She loves a wedding though, me Mam, there hasn't been one in our family since Nathan's about six years back...me brother that lives in London. Sutck up git! We haven't spoken to him since [Nick] why not? [Tina] Summit and nothing really, it were 'er side's fault...our Butch had too much to drink and did his white-eared elephant trick, her mother fainted and her Dad...there was a bit of a brawl."

Affair with Sister-in-law Faith

Cain (30 November 1974),

The prodigal Son

From 2nd Marriage:

Belle (25 December 1998- )

Siblings:-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At least five (possibly as many as seven)- five have been mentioned or seen in "Emmerdale" through the years, however its thought that there is more.

Ezra,
Albert,
Caleb,
Shadrach,
Zebediah (the youngest).

Soon to appear in a new Dingle video, Brother Moses.

(some sources suggest Zak is one of the oldest, others suggest that he is one of the youngest.),

 

About the Actor and the Character:-

Left Click on this image to see a larger undestorted version.

The day the Dingles of Emmerdale faced eviction from their home brought back many heartbreaking memories for Steve Halliwell, the actor who plays Zak, head of the terrible Dingle clan. 'I had first-hand experience of bailiffs at the door,' recalls Steve, who wrote a play called All My Joy, about the decline of industry in the north-west and his own experience of abject poverty during one of his many spells out of work before joining Emmerdale.
The pressures of life with long gaps between acting jobs led to the break-up of both his marriages and the loss of his house. 'After marrying for the second time and having a child, it was a real struggle to pay the mortgage and I ended up losing the house,' says Steve. 'I sold it to pay off the taxman and the mortgage people because I'd fallen behind with the payments. Because I'd been an erratic payer, no one would give me another mortgage. Fortunately, I had a bit of money left afterwards and for £I0,000 cash I managed to buy a house in Burnley that needed quite a bit of work doing to it.
'But the acting was so thin on the ground that I started writing. I spent a couple of months on All My Joy and it was accepted by the M6 Theatre Company, based in Rochdale, which did a community tour with it. It was about a man of 50 who was on the scrapheap. I came from that sort of background and felt passionately about it. I just felt how horrendous it must be for people whove been in engineering and had acquired a skill that was no longer of any use. '
On leaving school at I5, Steve had taken his first job in the Bury papermill where his father worked. 'Although I had a far-away dream of being an actor, it was so alien to the working-class community I lived in that people didn't talk about doing that sort of thing - it wasn't on the agenda,' he says. 'I had done bits in school plays and my mother, who played the piano for the local church, was involved in the amateur dramatics society. I would watch rehearsals of pantomimes, and the shock of discovering that the dame was in fact the vicar, and the fun and surreal nature of theatre, appealed to me and made me laugh - and the dancing girls were nice to look at!
'But, as a child, I wanted to play football professionally. One other kid who was quite good at football was doing drama classes at the time, so I thought that made it all right and we did bits and pieces in panto at the age of nine.'
After six months working in the paper mill, which he remembers as 'pretty grim', Steve came to the realisation that he should have worked harder at school and decided to enrol at technical college, from where he emerged with 0-levels in art and English. He took a job as an apprentice engineer in a heavy engineering company. 'I was doing what was expected of me - getting a trade - but I was no good at it,' admits Steve. 'I lasted about a year there, then started travelling around doing different jobs. I worked in hotel kitchens in London and did seasonal jobs in Torquay. I was searching for something and sensed there was something more I could do with my life, but I wasn't quite sure what.'
It was after a summer in Torquay, spent 'boozing and chasing girls', that Steve made a decision that was to change his life forever. His father had retired through ill-health and moved to Lincolnshire. 'Then,' says Steve, 'I received a telegram saying that my father had died. He had been through the depression of the thirties and the whole work-ethic thing but, whereas my brother had joined the Navy and become a submariner, he always thought that I wasn't doing anything with my life. That made me think, "I have got to prove to my dad that there's more to me than this."
'When all my friends went back up north, I stayed in Torquay. I was sitting in the library and saw a copy of The Stage for the first time. There was an advert for part-time drama courses at Mountview Theatre School, in London. I worked for a few more months in Torquay, then went to London, found a bedsit in Camden Town, applied to drama school and was accepted. I washed up in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank restaurant by day and trained at Mountview in the evenings and at weekends.'
During the second half of the two-year course, Steve took a job as the drama school's caretaker and scene shifter, with a bedsit on the premises. On leaving, he became an assistant stage manager at the Bolton Octagon and married his childhood sweetheart. 'I couldn't really afford to,' says Sieve, 'and the marriage lasted just three years. I left acting for a short time, thinking that real people are more important than this fantasy world. But, once the bug has bitten, there is nothing you can do. So I returned to acting and worked in fringe theatre. I tried to juggle acting and marriage and, in the end, the pressure was too great - my wife and I split up.'
Steve subsequently gained experience in writer and director Mike Leighs early fringe theatre plays in London, acted in repertory theatre around the country and made his television debut in Daft Man Blues, written by David Halliwell (no relation). 'I was so entranced, thinking, "I'm a TV actor",' recalls Steve. 'It was such a big thing to me, coming from where I did. As I got off the Tube in London, I blurted out my thoughts - "Who's a TV actor?" Standing next to me was Denholm Elliott, who turned round and looked, obviously thinking, "Who's that taking the mick?"'
Although work was sporadic, Steve appeared in many television programmes before joining Emmerdale, including All Creatures Great and Small, Brookside, the nuclear-war drama Threads, Cracker and Medics. He had a regular role as social worker Peter Bishop in two series of The Practice and played four different parts in Coronation Street, including head barman Bob Cairns, working alongside Liz McDonald during her spell as manager of the Queens pub. He also had a small non-speaking part as a Russian courier in a car with Pierce Brosnan in the film The Fourth Protocol, starring Michael Caine.
Landing the role of Zak Dingle in Emmerdale was, says Steve, 'the greatest break in my professional life'. He adds, 'I was brought in as a violent nutter, then after they introduced the rest of the family this workshy, lovable rogue started to emerge, and they started writing more comic elements for the Dingles. I was sorry Sandra Gough left her role as Zaks wife, Nellie, because we worked well together, but her health wasn't good. But then they brought in the amazing Lisa Riley as Zaks niece, Mandy, so the dynamics of a household with a powerful woman remain.'
Zak Married Lisa Clegg on 28th January 1998.

Taken from the emmerdale companion by Anthony Hayward (1998)

Zak's Depature (added 11th Jan 2003)

Digital Spy: "Emmerdale's" Zak to take a rest

Posted on Saturday, 3rd August 2002 at 12:15 BST by Beth Hart

Steve Halliwell who plays Zak Dingle in Emmerdale is to leave the show for a break.

The 56 year old is quick to point out that his departure is not a protest "I have absolutely no axe to grind with Emmerdale or those who make it. This isn't about salary or storylines, it is quite simply that I'm ready for some down time and looking forward to a rest," he said.

Zak Dingle first entered the show in 1994 and has been the centre of many story lines including older fatherhood and testicular cancer.

Steve commented "I love Zak, I love Emmerdale, but I've asked for a spell out to spend some quality time with my family and friends."

An Emmerdale official said "Zak's spell away from the show would begin towards the end of the year, but the rest

Official Site: Steve takes time out
02-AUG-02
Zak Dingle actor Steve Halliwell is to take a break from Emmerdale to relax with family and friends. Read more here..

Emmerdale favourite Steve Halliwell is to take a break from playing the
much-loved layabout Zak Dingle. The 56-year-old actor said today: "I love Zak, I love Emmerdale but I've asked for a spell out to spend some quality time with my family and friends.
     
"After the best part of a decade with the programme, I feel that now is
the time to leave Zak behind for a little while.I'm fortunate enough to be in a position where I can choose to ask for a period away. I have talked it through with the producer and he has been really great and supports my reasons for having a break from the character and the show. It means a lot to me and I'm grateful that they have allowed me to do this.
"Talk about rows and money are way off the mark and I have absolutely no axe to grind with Emmerdale or those who make it. This isn't about salary or storylines, it is quite simply that I'm ready for some down time and looking forward to a rest.
     
"Everybody is behind me and it has been made clear that whenever I'm ready to come back, I've just got to pick up the phone and they'll write me back into storylines.

"It will seem weird not seeing the rest of the cast every day, partiuclarly Jane Cox and the rest of the Dingles, but I know I'll be seeing them again soon. I have to admit though, that for a while at least, it will be great to be known as Steve and not Zak!"
     
Zak first arrived in the Dales in 1994 and took the soap by storm with wife Lisa (Jane Cox) and the rest of the Dingle family and Steve has enjoyed incredible success as the flat-capped slacker. Emmerdale producer Steve Frost confirmed that Zak's spell away from the show will begin towards the end of the year, but the rest of the Dingle will remain firmly in place to await his return.
Steve Frost said: "Steve is a big favourite with us and the viewers and, whilst we are very sad to lose him for a time, we more than respect his need for a break. We have a large cast and it's great that we can be flexible with
storylines to allow Zak to leave for a stretch. The rest of the Dingles will continue with their usual antics and everyone will look forward to the time when Zak is back!"
     

ANANOVA: Emmerdale's Zak hangs up flat cap for a break
Emmerdale's Zak Dingle is taking a break from the show so actor Steve Halliwell can spend more time with his family.
17:34 Thursday 1st August 2002

Emmerdale's Zak hangs up flat cap for a break

Emmerdale's Zak Dingle is taking a break from the show so actor Steve Halliwell can spend more time with his family.

Halliwell says the soap's producers have been supportive of his request to take time away from the show.

He said there had been no rows or money issues behind his request.

The 56-year-old actor, who has played Zak since 1994, said: "After the best part of a decade with the programme, I feel that now is the time to leave Zak behind for a little while."

He added: "I love Zak, I love Emmerdale but I've asked for a spell out to spend some quality time with my family and friends.

"I have absolutely no axe to grind with Emmerdale or those who make it. This isn't about salary or storylines, it is quite simply that I'm ready for some down time and looking forward to a rest.

"I've just got to pick up the phone and they'll write me back into storylines."

Emmerdale producer Steve Frost said Zak's spell away from the show will begin towards the end of the year, but the rest of the Dingle clan will remain.


Story filed: 17:34 Thursday 1st August 2002

BBC Puresoap 28 November 2002

Dingle goes in search of fortune


Emmerdale rogue Zak Dingle is to skip the country and go in search of riches in one of the soap's more bizarre exits.
The former bare-knuckle boxer, played by Steve Halliwell, is to flee to South America to avoid a fine for not having a TV licence and skiving on the dole.

And according to the Daily Star, Zak discovers the legendary "Dingle inheritance" - proceeds from a big bank robber his father Jed helped mastermind on his arrival in Chile.

A source said: "[The story] is very wacky but the Dingles have always provided the comedy in Emmerdale.
"Zak's son Sam (James Hooton) finds a safety deposit box belonging to his grandfather, holding a key and a newspaper-cutting about a bank heist in Santiago.

"Zak sees an adventure and one which could see him return home as a rich man."

The Sun - Christmas Day Spoilers in Emmerdale

...There is also drama at the Dinglesí as Zak prepares for his trip to South America to search for his fatherís lost treasure. He has to disappoint Sam, who thinks he is going along, and he still has to break the news to Lisa.

Naturally, Lisa is shocked when she finds out that Zak really is flying off to Chile to try to find Jedís money. She is outraged that he is leaving her in the lurch and storms out.

Eventually, she calms down. She realises that if he finds a fortune, it will solve all their problems. Zak heads off, leaving Lisa to break the news to Sam that he is not going.

The Sun 30th December 2002

EMMERDALE

Mon, New Year's Eve, Thurs, & Fri ITV1

ZAK leaves Emmerdale to try to find the lost family fortune in Chile.

It's a devastating time for Lisa and Sam as Zak goes off alone. Lisa can't believe Zak is really making the trip, while Sam is shattered because he thought he was going too.

"Zak doesn't really want to go," says Steve Halliwell, who plays the reluctant treasure hunter. "But the family is in real financial trouble.

"Zak is not sure whether to believe that his father Jed left a fortune from a long-forgotten bank raid in a Santiago bank. But there's a chance it's true, and Zak is an optimist."

When Lisa realises Zak is not joking about his trip, she is dead against it, telling him he is selfish.

Zak tries to convince her the money could be their only chance to save the family, but Lisa doesn't agree and she admits to Sam that she is afraid Zak won't come back.

Poor Sam believes he will be going with Zak. "But Zak knows he has to do this alone," says Steve. "He doesn't want to hurt Sam and leaves him a note explaining that in his absence Sam is now head of the family.

"Lisa comes round a little as Zak says an emotional goodbye to her and little Belle. They might be an odd couple but I think Zak and Lisa love each other very deeply. Leaving her is hard for him."

Sam is shocked to find his father gone, but is boosted by being appointed new head of the family. He and Cain look in an atlas and trace Zak's journey.

Lisa, however, misses Zak very much and is hurt when Cain says it looks as if he has dumped her.

But Cain stops sneering as whispers begin that Zak has walked out on the family. He tells The Woolpack that the Dingles are very much united.

 

BBC Puresoap 17th December 2002

Soap Psychic... in Emmerdale
24 Dec - 06 Jan: it shall come to pass

Tearful farewell.
We're saying farewell to Steve Halliwell, who as Zak, is off to discover Dingle treasure. Lisa'll be gutted (especially as she's left with a Shetland pony to care for!)
Zak
That's a funny looking Shetland Pony!
That's a funny looking Shetland Pony!
© Yorkshire Television 2002


 Ananova: 

Zak Dingle set for Emmerdale return

Zak Dingle is to return to Emmerdale in the autumn.

Actor Steve Halliwell announced he needed to take a "break" from the weekday soap last year.

The head of the Dingle clan will be back in October at the height of a series of plots which will include the departure of Chris Tate.

Halliwell said: "I'm delighted to be re-joining Emmerdale after a relaxing six-month break and looking forward to seeing what the writers have got in store for Zak.

"He's a fantastic character to play and always seems to cause havoc in one way or another."

He was last seen in December heading to South America in search of hidden treasure.

During the absence his screen wife Lisa has been propositioned by Zak's brother, Shadrach.

Producer Steve Frost said: "Zak's antics will no doubt have viewers hooked in no time."

Troubled teenager Ollie Reynolds, played by 20-year-old Vicky Binns, will leave the show later this year, bosses add. She has decided to move on after four years in the soap.

 

ITV.COM

Zak’s Back!

Monday | 07.07.03



Emmerdale’s Zak Dingle is making a return to the Dales.

Viewers last saw the Dingle patriarch heading off to South America in search of the family’s fortune – much to wife Lisa’s dismay.

Scriptwriters came up with the temporary exit for Zak after star Steve Halliwell announced he needed to take time off.

But now Steve has spent some quality time with his family he is ready to make his small screen return.

He says, “I am delighted to be rejoining Emmerdale after a relaxing six-month break and looked forward to seeing what the scriptwriters have in store for Zak.

“He’s a fantastic character to play and always seems to cause havoc in one way or another.”

And Zak will have a lot to contend with when he arrives back in the village. Wife Lisa is reportedly going to get closer to boss Eric Pollard and son Cain may rediscover his passion with former lover Charity.

One thing’s for sure, life in the Dingle household is never dull.


ITV.COM Bringing Up Baby

Thursday | 04.03.04

Emmerdale rogue Zak Dingle is contemplating becoming a father again.

The bearded patriarch is horrified that jailbird niece Charity Tate is planning to put her newborn baby son up to be adopted.

Although Charity is unsure whether the baby belongs to her late husband Chris or cousin Cain, Zak is convinced the baby must be a Dingle - as he has fought to stay alive despite being three months' premature.

And in an effort to change Charity's mind, and placate her devastated daughter Debbie, Zak offers to bring the baby up himself.

However, as actress Emma Atkins - who plays the reluctant mum - explains, Charity is not keen on the idea.

She says, "The idea of a Dingle bringing up a newborn baby is just preposterous and Cain might not even be the father, which doesn't seem to be something Zak has thought about.

"Charity thinks Zak must be joking. As far as she's concerned it's her baby, she's putting it up for adoption, and there's nothing anybody else can do about it."

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