Updated 31st January 2004
Robert Jacob Sugden
(September 1989 - 31 May 2001)
IMDB entry for: Christopher Smith
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). The following is one of those profiles - although this coloured box has been added.
|Amazingly, schoolboy Christopher Smith is one of Emmerdales longest-serving actors. He became the second boy to play Jack Sugden's son, Robert, in 1989, which proved to be the serial's year of the Smiths. Christopher's father, actor Richard Smith, appeared in Emmerdale in February with Alun Lewis -who played Vic Windsor in the programme - as sales reps Steve Wilson and Tony Barclay, who chatted up Dolly Skilbeck and Sandie Merrick. Then, in September, son Christopher took over the role of Robert Sugden from another Smith - also called Richard!|
|Born in Bradford five years earlier, Christopher had attended the citys Stage 84 drama school from the age of two. His mother, Gill, was choreographer there and his father had acted in programmes such as Van Der Valk and Flying Lady, as well as most episodes of The Goodies.|
|Christopher was four when Yorkshire Television visited Stage 84 looking for a new boy to play Robert in Emmerdale. 'About 50 of us were auditioned and I was picked,' says Richard. 'I was nervous when I first appeared in the programme. I had to remember not to look at the camera, which was quite difficult, being so young. But the hardest thing was learning lines, although that has become easier.'|
|By the time Christopher joined the cast, Robert's mother, Pat, had died in a car crash and jack was living with Sarah Connolly, whom he would eventually marry. One of Christopher's biggest dramas was when Robert went missing, in 1995. Although Jack and Sarah thought he had been abducted, Robert had gone off willingly with hermit Derek Simpson at a time when his father and stepmother's marriage was going through a bad patch. 'That was fun,' recalls Christopher. 'It meant I was doing more scenes and filming in about three different places.'|
|The arrival of Kelvin Fletcher as Andy Hopwood, who would become fostered by Jack and Sarah, was good news for Christopher. 'Before that, there weren't really any children in Emmerdale apart from me,' he says. 'Andy's arrival meant that Robert had someone to play with.'|
|Although he has been in the serial since 1989, Christopher is not sure whether he will make a career out of acting. 'I don't really know what I want to do,' he says. 'I will probably stay in the programme as long as I can.'|
|Christopher, who enjoys playing football and supports Bradford City, has an elder brother, Nicholas, and a younger sister, Polly. In 1991, their parents set up a wholesale sandwich business called Love Bites, which supplies many businesses, including Yorkshire Television. Since joining Emmerdale, Christopher has found greater fame as an actor than his father ever did, even getting spotted at Disney World, in Florida, and being mobbed by girls at the airport on his arrival home.|
1986 Robert was born on 22 April, but his mum, Pat died when he was just five months old after her car went over the side of a hill and crashed. His dad, Jack, was left to bring him up on his own.
2001 Robert found out it was Andy who started the barn fire that killed his mother. He couldn't stand to be with Andy so he went to stay with his grandmother Annie in Spain.
Christopher Smith's last appearence as Robert Sugden was
on May 31st 2001
Robert is now played by Karl Davies