Robert Beck as Harry in Emmerdale

Robert Beck returns to Emmerdale as mysterious Harry

He's been in just about every soap there is!

Emmerdale star Robert Beck arrives back in the village this week as mysterious Harry. But he’s masquerading as Simon, a new love interest for Chas.

As she shares a drink with him then takes him back home, they bond over their lost children. But it all gets too much for Chas and she ends up asking ‘Simon’ to sleep on the sofa.

He’s gracious and obliges, but when she heads upstairs, he picks up a photo of Caleb and his face darkens. Has he targeted Chas deliberately? What is he plotting?

Just what does Harry want? (Credit: ITV)

Who is Harry in Emmerdale?

Harry first arrived in the village a few weeks ago. He gave Nate some well-paid and much-needed work. But this is Emmerdale and nothing is what it seems. Because Harry is a client of the business run by Nate’s old school friend, Corey.

Harry was impressed by Nate’s work ethic and brought him on board, in exchange for keeping schtum about what exactly his new job entails.

But when Caleb found out about the dodgy dealings – and they realised they were complicit in shipping guns – Caleb stepped in. He took a beating from Harry and they believed that would be the last they saw of him. But bad boys never truly go away in Soapland…

Harry looking smug on Emmerdale
Harry’s up to no good! (Credit: ITV)

Who is Robert Beck?

But while this storyline is ramping up, we’re more interested in the actor playing Harry – Robert Beck.

Because Robert is a total soap star, who’s even been in Emmerdale before, along with Brookside, Corrie, Waterloo Road and Hollyoaks.

And his real-life wife is a Coronation Street LEGEND.

So what’s his story?

RObert Beck as Peter Harrison in Brookside
Robert played Peter in Brookside in the early 1990s (Credit: Shutterstock)

Robert Beck in Brookside

It was back in 1991 when Robert became a familiar face to soap fans, when he played Peter Harrison in Brookside.

Peter was a charming, clever and a bit posh. He was a shoulder for Diana Corkhill to cry on when she was going through marriage problems with husband Rod.

But Peter misunderstood Diana’s feelings and sexually assaulted her. The controversial storyline divided viewers’ opinions because Peter genuinely believed he was innocent.

When Gavin disappears from the bar, Bernice goes in search of him. But she and Tricia are unprepared for the sight that awaits them... Gavin and Jason embracing
Bernice and Tricia were shocked to find their men snogging! (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock )

‘My Gavin’ in Emmerdale

In the late 1990s, Robert arrived in Emmerdale playing Gavin Ferris. He and Bernice hit it off and became an item, with Gavin buying the Woolpack.

Gavin, though, was totally unable to keep it in his pants. He slept with Tricia Stokes, but Bernice forgave him and settled down to life with ‘my Gavin’ as she called him.

Tricia started a romance with Jason Kirk – Paddy’s cousin. But she and Bernice got a shock when they found Jason and Gavin kissing!

Carla Connor [Alison King] confronts Jimmy [Robert Beck] about what Tony has been up to.
We’re just pleased Carla lived to see another day (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Coronation Street villain!

Robert played Jimmy Dockerson in Coronation Street in 2009. Jimmy was an associate of evil Tony Gordon.

Tony hired him to bump Carla off! But thankfully he never got the chance – imagine the cobbles without Carla Connor?!

Fergus in Hollyoaks

Not content with his villainous stint in Corrie, Robert also played sinister Fergus Collins in Hollyoaks.

Creepy Fergus had a business installing alarms but what he was really doing was installing secret cameras streaming pictures from inside young women’s houses to his dodgy website.


Luckily Fergus’s ex, Trish Minniver, and her daughter Maxine, weren’t about to let him get away with it. Trish got him to confess, while she secretly recorded him, and when he lashed out, Maxine killed him with a champagne bottle to the head.

Robert starred in The Upper Hand alongside Kellie Bright, who now plays Linda Carter in EastEnders (Credit: Shutterstock)

More soap connections!

Robert also appeared on 1990s sitcom The Upper Hand, alongside Honor Blackman and Joe McGann. He played a character called Dan Thatcher, who was a love interest of Joanne Burrows – played by Kellie Bright, now better known as Linda Carter in EastEnders!

Robert’s real-life soap wife!

Robert is married to Corrie legend Jane Danson, who plays Leanne Battersby.

Jane had a crush on Robert when he appeared in Brookside, and once said she had a sticker of him on her pencil case!

The pair met at the British Soap Awards in 1999 and hit it off. They married in 2005, and they’ve got two sons – Harry, who was born in 2006, and Sam, who came along in 2009.

On Robert’s birthday, Jane posted a photo of the cute couple together.

“Congratulations on your Emmerdale return,” she wrote. And she added: “I owe Emmerdale a lot.”


Back in the Dales

And it’s not only Jane who’s delighted that Robert is returning to Emmerdale.

He’s looking forward to his debut as Harry, too.

“I am thrilled to be working on Emmerdale again, it’s a great show that I have followed for years, with a fabulous cast,” said Robert.

“It has always had a special place in my heart. I had a fantastic time working on the show playing Gavin Ferris, 24 years ago. The cast and crew were so welcoming and of course, I met my wife because of that job so I have much to thank Emmerdale for! I’m looking forward to getting involved and to working with such a great bunch again.”

Read more: Complete Emmerdale cast list 2023 – meet them all here!

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Emmerdale usually airs on weekdays at 7:30pm, with an hour long episode on Thursdays.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer