Created 9th March 2003
Updated 5th September 2003

The Marsden Family

Official fan card for Aliofficial fan card for Elaineofficial fan card for Paulofficial fan card for RonnieOfficial fan card for Siobhansigned official fan card for Frances

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

  Character Actor  
Ronnie Marsden
Ray Ashcroft head of the family
Frances Marsden
Frances Marsden
Sandy Walsh Married to Ronnie
Paul Marsden
Matthew Booth eldest son of Ronnie & Frances
Siobhan Marsden
Abigail Fisher Wife of Paul
Alistair ("Ali) Marsden
Danny Tennant youngest son of Ronnie & Frances
Elaine Marsden
Samantha McCarthy 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.

Mum Frances is so smart

From Pure soap 8th March 2003

Mum Frances is so  smart


The Marsden family is arriving in Emmerdale, and it's obvious from the start that mum Frances is the smart one, says the Daily Star.
Within a few minutes she's heard to say: "I think we've made a mistake."
Son Alistair could be forgiven for thinking the same thing, as it's not long before he gets a smack in the face from Danny who's cheesed off because Alistair has been trying to win sympathy from Ollie because of a heart condition.
But that's true...and the writers could introduce a life-threatening situation into the soap at any moment

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

Meet the Marsdens, the latest Emmerdale Family


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.” 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. When Ali met Ollie

Wednesday | 12.03.03


Ali Marsden wants to win a bet and a girlfriend.
Since moving to the village the cheeky newcomer has been on the lookout and thinks Ollie Reynolds is the girl for him.

And it seems he will stop at nothing to win her heart, despite being aware she is in a long-term romance with local lad Danny Daggart.

However, his twin sister Elaine is unconvinced that her romeo brother can charm Ollie into a date and lays a bet down. This prompts her brother to pull out all the stops to get Ollie to agree to go out with him.

When she initially turns him down, Ali decides to reveal his secret to her and tells all about the heart defect which could kill him.

Ollie relents but when Danny finds out what he's been up to, Ali will have another reason to worry about his health. Beckindale Women Bond

Thursday | 13.03.03


Matriarchs Lisa Dingle and Frances Marsden are starting to bond.

The feisty females initially crossed swords as they attempted to get to know each other better but both are now thawing out.

Frances was infuriated when Cain Dingle lashed out at her daughter Elaine turning a sociable drink into an awkward silence. However, after Lisa took her on to work at Pollard's factory, they are getting better acquainted.

In fact, it's Lisa that Frances turns to as she battles her terror over a health scare. Unable to confide in husband Ronnie and unwilling to discuss it with daughter-in- law Siobhan, Frances talks the problem over with kindly Lisa.

Lisa is no stranger to health problems herself, having watched husband Zak battle testicular cancer recently, and gives the newcomer some sage advice.

With their bad first impressions behind them, the pair form a friendship which could prove to be a port in a storm for both.

Ronnie's Romance

Monday | 21.04.03


Emmerdale love rat Ronnie Marsden ignites his passionate side tonight.

The married dad-of-three will make a play for stunning landlady Louise Appleton after playful flirting leads to a full blown illicit affair.

The pair, having discovered a spark during a conversation about the upcoming football match, embark on a steamy romance after Louise falls during the game. And it begins a series of events which are bound to end in tears for the scandalous duo.

One person who doesn't approve of the burgeoning relationship is actress Emily Symons, who plays gorgeous Louise.

She says, "As far as Louise is concerned she doesn't love Ronnie or want him as a boyfriend, so she thinks no-one is going to get hurt. But I think she is more vulnerable than she'll admit.

"The whole thing is a recipe for disaster, but she isn't thinking of the consequences."

Will the lovebirds be able to keep their secret?


Louise reveals all

Monday | 28.04.03

Louise and Ronnie

Emmerdale beauty Louise Appleton is about to spill the beans.
The lusty landlady has been enjoying a passionate fling with married newcomer Ronnie Marsden and can't help sharing her secret with friends.

First, she told her closest pal Diane Blackstock about their trysts and now trusted confidante Terry Woods is next to hear the tale.

Terry and Louise have been close ever since he helped her cover up the murder of psycho ex-lover Ray Mullen. Terry fell in love with the sexy local but she made it clear they could only ever be friends - so he married someone else.

But a heart-to-heart in the Woolpack leads them back into familiar territory. Louise tells Terry all about her romance with a mystery man who happens to be married and shocks him.

Like Diane, Terry cannot understand how Louise can be so calm about the situation and also wonders if there could have been a chance for them after all.

Confusion sets in with troubled Terry, who is still struggling to settle into married life.

But fate has other ideas, and Louise is going to be the last thing on Terry's mind later this week.

The Sun 28th April 2003

Diane walks in on Louise and Ronnie


Weekdays  ITV1

DIANE hatches a scheme to stop her co-landlady Louise seeing married Ronnie. But just as she thinks her plan is working, Diane catches the couple in the pub’s cellar.

Convinced Louise’s affair will cause trouble, Diane tries to nip the romance in the bud.

“She decides to make Louise feel guilty,” says Elizabeth Estensen, who plays Diane.

Ronnie’s wife Frances is asked to babysit Ashley’s daughter Gabby in the back room at the pub. Louise is taken aback to be spending time with her lover’s wife, but sees Frances doesn’t deserve to be cheated on.

“Diane assumes her plan has worked,” says Elizabeth. “But the next day she catches Louise and Ronnie in a very compromising position.”

Diane tells Jack about the affair. “Diane is worried,” says Elizabeth. “She thinks that when it all comes out Louise will leave and she’ll be left to clear up the mess.”


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?


Friday | 13.06.03


Emmerdale star Danny Tennant has revealed he's shy with women.

The young newcomer - who plays cheeky Ali Marsden - finds it hard to get past the barrier of being a well known face.

And to make matters worse, Danny's co-star mates are very confident when it comes to charming the opposite sex.

Danny is especially perplexed by the reaction of women to his on-screen persona Ali. Ever since Ali arrived in Emmerdale he has been on a mission to enjoy the delights of the local talent. Both Katie Addyman and Ollie Reynolds have been on his hit list and, with his confident personality, Ali is never lost for words when it comes to chatting up girls.

But Danny is a much more reserved personality.

He says, "I'm really shy when it comes to girls. I daren't go up and chat them up like Kelvin Fletcher - who plays Andy Sugden - does.

"Since I've been in Emmerdale a lot of girls have made assumptions about me before they've even spoken to me, because they all think I'm like Ali."


BBC Pure Soap 16th June 2003

Danny is not like Ali at all

A look at's Soap Gossip page this week reveals that Emmerdale star Danny Tennant is shy with women.

The young actor - who plays newcomer Ali Marsden - finds it hard to get past the barrier of being a well known face.

To make matters worse, Danny's co-star mates are very confident when it comes to charming members of the opposite sex.

The popular website reports that Danny is perplexed by the reaction of women to his on-screen persona Ali. Ever since Ali arrived in Emmerdale he has been on a mission to enjoy the delights of the local talent.

Both Katie Addyman and Ollie Reynolds have been on his hit list and, with his confident personality, Ali is never lost for words when it comes to chatting up girls.
But Danny is a much more reserved personality.

He says, "I'm really shy when it comes to girls. I daren't go up and chat them up like Kelvin Fletcher - who plays Andy Sugden - does.

" Since I've been in Emmerdale a lot of girls have made assumptions about me before they've even spoken to me, because they all think I'm like Ali."

ITV.COM Woolpack it in

Wednesday | 25.06.03

Paul, Rodney, Marlon and Frances try to stop Jack and Ronnie fighting

Emmerdale's Jack Sugden and Ronnie Marsden come to blows tonight.
Jack is still in shock after his daughter Victoria's near fatal bout of appendicitis and is looking to nurse Siobhan for answers.

He feels that the newcomer should have spotted his youngest child's illness and blames Siobhan for the fact that Victoria could have died.

In a fury, Jack marches into the Woolpack for a confrontation - but doesn't bank of her family's reaction.

The Marsdens are enjoying a quiet drink in the pub when Jack storms in and all rally to support Siobhan against the accusations. Father-in-law Ronnie is particularly incensed by Jack's tirade and fronts up to him.

The two men have had an uneasy friendship since Jack offered Ronnie advice about his affair with landlady Louise Appleton. But their truce is blown apart when Jack blurts out the information in front of the entire pub.

Will Ronnie let his fists do the talking?

Miscellaneous Pictures

11th June 2003It tickles Marlon (MARK CHARNOCK) that Paul (MATTHEW BOOTH) can be scared of a dog

 27 June 2003 - Siobhan is not fooled by Ronnie

THE SUN 26th July 2003


Weekdays ITV1

Donna is delighted to help new driver Robert turn his car into a passion wagon. But when Robert starts getting distracted by another woman, Donna is instantly jealous.

While Robert insists he and Elaine are just mates and he’s helping her learn to drive, Donna is not so sure.

“Donna really fancies Robert,” says Verity Rushworth, who plays the teenage temptress. “The trouble is, living in a tiny village means that there’s nowhere for them to go to be together.

“When Robert passes his test and gets a car, Donna is delighted! They head off to a quiet country lane where nature takes its course.

“Donna is thrilled, until Robert remembers he is supposed to be taking Elaine out for a driving lesson.

“Furious, Donna insists on going too and makes such a nuisance of herself chattering from the back seat that Elaine reverses into a gatepost.”

Later, Elaine tells Donna she doesn’t fancy Robert, but Donna isn’t convinced. And when Robert and Elaine are alone in the car when it runs out of petrol in a country lane, he starts flirting with her.

She reminds him he already has a girlfriend, but will temptation get the better of them?

ITV.COM Teenage Kicks

Friday | 01.08.03

Randy Robert continues his pursuit of a second girlfriend tonight.

The Sugden schoolboy has already captured the heart of Donna Windsor but has set his sights another village lovely - newcomer Elaine Marsden.

And Robert is finding his new set of wheels is the perfect excuse to lure unwitting Elaine to got out with him - even if she has no idea of his romantic intentions.

The pair embark on a second driving lesson tonight, free from Donna's watchful eyes. And Robert ensures that the car runs out of petrol miles from home so they are forced to spend some quality time together.

But Elaine has no intention of becoming another notch on his bedpost. And luckily for her, dad Ronnie, has also sussed Robert's game.

Ronnie is furious to discover that Elaine has not turned up for work, and that she is with Robert. He hunts for the pair and when he finds them, Elaine is dragged home with clear instructions not to go near Robert again.

Donna is delighted that Elaine is out of the picture but will Robert give up so easily?

The Sun 25th August 2003


Weekdays  ITV1


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.


ITV.COM Mystery Man

Thursday | 28.08.03

Emmerdale star Matthew Booth is nothing like his henpecked character.

The hunky newcomer is thoroughly enjoying his role as postman Paul Marsden but insists their personalities are very different in real life.

Since their arrival in the Dales, the Marsdens have caused mayhem. Father Ronnie conducted an affair with sexy barmaid Louise Appleton, mother Frances had a health scare and their teenage offspring have held wild parties.

But oldest child Paul and his wife Siobhan remain a mystery to Emmerdale viewers. All we know is that the young couple wed in haste in Las Vegas and that Frances disapproves of their love match.

Matthew admits that he can see why some viewers may wonder if Paul is the one who wears the trousers in their relationship.

He laughs, "Paul is a bit under the thumb, and I'd like to think I'm not. Then again, I bet every bloke thinks that! I'd probably not go for a girl like Siobhan because she can be quite a handful."

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