Created 9th March 2003
Updated 6th February 2004

The Marsden Family

Arrived in Emmerdale on the 10th March 2003
The Family's introduction to the village doesn't get off to a good start.

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  Character Actor Appeared  
Ray Ashcroft 10 March 2003 - 3 December 2003 head of the family
Frances Marsden
Sandy Walsh 10 March 2003 - 17 December 2003 Married to Ronnie
Matthew Booth 10 March 2003 - eldest son of Ronnie & Frances
Abigail Fisher 10 March 2003 - Wife of Paul
Danny Tennant 10 March 2003 - 17 December 2003 youngest son of Ronnie & Frances
Samantha McCarthy 10 March 2003 - 17 December 2003 daughter of Ronnie & Frances

Frances, Ronnie and their children

Teletext Diary 19th/20th February 2003

Emerdale chiefs are hoping new family the Marsdens will find more favour with viewers than the Soapstars clan did 19 months ago.

Lorry driver Ronnie, his wife, 2 Sons, Daughter and Daughter-in-law debut at the end of March.

Ronnie is played by ex-Bill actor Ray Ashcroft who was DI Geoff Daly in the ITV1 Cop show for 4 years until 2000. The rest of the family will be played by virtual unknowns.

Soap forces Blades fan to support Leeds (Pure Soap)



Full story and picture here 25th February 2003

New Emmerdale star Ray Ashcroft is facing a clash of loyalties over his new role in the soap.

Ray, a Sheffield United fan by heart, has landed the role of Ronnie Marsden - a die-hard Leeds fan.

And the clash couldn't have come at a worse time for the Blades fan - the two Yorkshire sides clash in next week's FA Cup quarter final.

" Ronnie is a raving Leeds fan which is against the grain in reality," Ray told the Yorkshire Post. "I am supposed to be doing a national television interview a couple of days before the quarter final and I am determined to wear the Blades shirt.
" I suppose you could say it is divided loyalties - although as a Blade I suppose there is no such thing as divided loyalty.

" As long as I remember not to jump up if Leeds score at Bramall Lane then I should get through it."

Ray, who used to play DS Daly in The Bill, is looking forward to the regularity of working in soaps.

" I love the idea of a bit more ritual attached to the job and obviously there is the financial situation - I have got three kids and they never get any cheaper," he told the newspaper.
Ray will first appear as Ronnie on March 10 when he plays the father of the family who is moving into Angie Reynold's old house. "This seems to be well-thought out and a very well-balanced family in terms of the characters and the storyline. It is very exciting," he added.

" It is brilliant to work closer to home. I have a six-year-old son - Billy - and he is at an age when he needs to be taken to see Sheffield United very regularly."

The Marsdens meet their neighbours the Dingles

Ding(le) dong, we're your new neighbours


From Pure soap 28th February 2003

The madcap Dingle family are in for some excitment when their new neighbours - the Marsdens - arrive in Emmerdale village.

The new family are set to make a dramatic entrance on March 10, and things don't go exactly smoothly from the start.

First their removal van breaks down on the edge of the village, then they find lazy Syd and Mack still haven't finished their new house!

Added to that they'll discover their noisy neighbours are Emmerdale's demanding Dingles.
Still, Marsden Dad Ronnie should be able to sort the Dingles out - actor Ray Ashcroft, who plays the part, used to star in The Bill after all.

Emmerdale has him as a trucker, a bit of a ladies man, and a keen Leeds United fan. Ronnie is married to Frances, played by actress Sandy Walsh.

Eldest son Paul is played by At Home With The Braithwaites star Matthew Booth, and is married to Siobhan, played by ex-Hollyoaks pin-up Abigail Fisher.

The Marsden family also has a couple of troublesome teens, played by Danny Tennant and Samantha McCarthy, who promise to generate plenty of storylines in the future.

All in all March promises to be an exciting time in the lively village of Emmerdale.

 

The Sun's Weekly Guide to the Soap's 8th March 2003

Meet the Marsdens, the latest Emmerdale Family

EMMERDALE

Weekdays  ITV1

NEW family the Marsdens move in to the village and quickly have the residents rallying round.

The newcomers’ removal van slides into a ditch and head of the family Ronnie recruits the locals to help shift their furniture. He thanks his new neighbours by getting the drinks in down at The Woolpack.

The Marsdens have three children - 17-year-old twins Alistair and Elaine, who live with them, and older son Paul, who lives in Hotten with his nurse wife Siobhan.

“Ronnie is an easy-going guy,” says ex-Bill star Ray Ashcroft, who plays him. “He’s a lorry driver who works hard for his family. They mean the world to him.

“His wife Frances is not too impressed when Ronnie decides he’s buying drinks all round, though. She was planning a nice meal to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.”

Frances has a secret she’s keeping from her husband - she fears she has breast cancer and is waiting for the test results. She gets a job at the factory and opens up to Lisa about her worries when she gets the all-clear.

Lisa explains how Zak’s illness brought them closer and says Frances should talk to Ronnie. “He is shocked,” says Ray. “He admits he’d be totally lost without her.”

The family soon get into the swing of village life with would-be stud Alistair quick to check out the girls.

“He is being a natural charmer,” explains Danny Tennant, who plays him.

“He definitely doesn’t think it will take him long to get a date. He’s so confident, he bets his sister he will be first to get off with someone and sets his sights on Ollie - which doesn’t go down too well with boyfriend Danny.”

ITV.com: The Marsdens Move In

Monday | 10.03.03


Emmerdale's newest residents crash into the village in style tonight.
The Marsdens get off to a shaky start when their moving van overturns as they arrive at their new home causing chaos.

However, the family soon finds that living in a small community has its advantages as the locals rally round to help them.

And in return the newcomers ingratiate themselves at the Woolpack.

The Bill veteran, Ray Ashcroft, plays patriarch Ronnie Marsden. He explains how the truck disaster proves to be a great introduction to the village. "The Marsdens are a very sociable family so it doesn't take them long to start making friends with some of their new neighbours - especially after Ronnie buys everyone in The Woolpack a drink to thank them for their help."

And it won't take long for the Marsdens to make an impact on the dales. With a six-strong family - including dad Ronnie, mum Francis, eldest son Paul and his wife Siobhan, and young twins Alistair and Elaine - there will plenty more drama to come.

ITV.COM Marsden Madness

Wednesday | 28.05.03


Emmerdale's newest family have been settling in behind the scenes.
The six-strong Marsden brood have made a huge impact by playing in some significant storylines. And things are spicing up off-camera too.

Samantha McCarthy, who plays mischievous daughter Elaine, reveals that the relationship between the actors is like that of a real family - and it leads to some hilarious moments.

And the person on the receiving end of much of the humour is star Danny Tennant, who plays Elaine's troublesome twin Ali.

Samantha laughs, "I don't bully him. But he's so easy to wind up! Me and the rest of the family do it all the time.

"We tell him they've added a new scene and he panics thinking they haven't sent him the script."

The Marsdens may be having a riot in real life, but on-screen things have been far more dramatic.

Father Ronnie's passionate affair with Woolpack barmaid has left wife Francis furious and Ali's heart defect keeps the whole clan worried for his health.

Will life in the Dales continue to be so stressful for the popular newcomers?


The Sun 25th August 2003

EMMERDALE

Weekdays  ITV1



STRIFE OF THE PARTY

RONNIE and Frances throw a Seventies party and as the drinks flow it seems that romance is in the air for some of the revellers.

Laurel takes a drunken Ashley back home and tells him she loves him - but by then he is asleep on the sofa. And with Donna away, Elaine and Robert share a kiss.

But there is no happy ending for either couple.

" Laurel is besotted by Ashley," says Charlotte Bellamy, who plays the lovelorn Miss Potts. "Nicola tries to warn Laurel not to make a fool of herself but Laurel thinks she can make Ashley happy."

Louise mentions she is going to try her luck at speed-dating, a night of five-minute mini-dates, in the hope of finding a new man. Lonely Ashley takes an interest, so Laurel instantly wants to come too. The evening goes slowly until Ashley and Laurel finally have their mini-date.

" They have a great time," says Charlotte. "But I don’t think he thinks of her as a possible partner. They go back to the Marsdens’ party afterwards and by then Ashley has really had too much to drink. Laurel takes him home and, as she settles him onto the sofa, she whispers to him that she loves him. But by then Ashley is fast asleep!"

Meanwhile, Robert and Elaine share a tender kiss but Elaine is instantly wracked with guilt over Robert’s regular girlfriend, Donna.

Robert coolly says that no-one need know, which only upsets Elaine further and she rushes off in tears.

 


 Ananova: 

Emmerdale's Marsdens to be axed

Emmerdale family the Marsdens have been axed after just nine months on screen.

Trucker Ronnie Marsden, his wife Frances and children Paul, Alistair and Elaine arrived in the Yorkshire Dales in March.

Ronnie was soon at the centre of a steamy storyline when he embarked on an affair with Woolpack landlady Louise.

But bosses at the ITV soap have decided to give the family their marching orders.

Only Paul and his wife Siobhan have survived the cull, which will see the family written out in December.

Their final storyline will involve Ronnie (Ray Ashcroft) cheating on his wife (Sandy Walsh) yet again - this time with devastating consequences.

They will leave Emmerdale along with twins Alistair and Elaine, played by Danny Tennant and Samantha McCarthy.

Producer Steve Frost said: "The Marsdens have got a great story to play through the autumn, but unfortunately this culminates in them leaving the village.

"However, Paul and Siobhan Marsden will be staying on and the young couple have got some trying times ahead."

Emmerdale family the Marsdens have been axed after just six months.
Trucker Ronnie Marsden, his wife Frances and children Paul, Alistair and Elaine arrived in the Yorkshire Dales in May.
Ronnie was soon at the centre of a steamy storyline when he embarked on an affair with Woolpack landlady Louise.
But bosses at the ITV soap have decided to give the family their marching orders.
Only Paul and his wife Siobhan have survived the cull, which will see the family written out in December.
Their final storyline will involve Ronnie (Ray Ashcroft) cheating on his wife (Sandy Walsh) yet again - this time with devastating consequences.
They will leave Emmerdale along with twins Alistair and Elaine, played by Danny Tennant and Samantha McCarthy.
Producer Steve Frost said: "The Marsdens have got a great story to play through the autumn, but unfortunately this culminates in them leaving the village.
"However, Paul and Siobhan Marsden will be staying on and the young couple have got some trying times ahead."
The move spells disappointment for Ashcroft, who previously played Detective Sergeant Geoff Daly in The Bill.
The Sheffield-born actor was axed from the police show in 2001 after five years and was delighted to land the Emmerdale role.
He said in May: "I feel very lucky to have another regular role in a high-profile show, especially one that's so close to my home up North. And I've got a good feeling about Ronnie. I hope he's going to stick around for a long while."

ITV.COM

Marsden's To Leave

Thursday | 18.09.03

Emmerdale's Marsden family say goodbye to the Dales this Christmas.

The only members of the family to remain in the hit show will be eldest son Paul and his feisty wife Siobhan.

In December viewers will see father Ronnie cheat on long suffering wife Frances once again and the results of his extra-marital fling will rock the foundations of the whole clan.

Ronnie - played by former Bill star Ray Ashcroft - has already caused a stir in the Dales after conducting a passionate romance with Woolpack landlady Louise Appleton.

Teenage twins Ali (Danny Tennant) and Elaine (Samantha McCarthy) have also caused altercations among the villagers - most recently when Elaine stole pal Donna Windsor's boyfriend Robert Sugden.

Producer Steve Frost says, "The Marsdens have got a great story to play through the autumn, but unfortunately this culminates in them leaving the village.

"However, Paul and Siobhan Marsden will be staying on and the young couple have got some trying times ahead."

 


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