Emmerdale comp image: Bob Hope looks worried on the Emmerdale background

Bob Hope: Emmerdale’s most-married barman and father figure

He's got a lot of skeletons in his closet!

Bob Hope in Emmerdale is the hapless, funny Woolpack barman who has somehow earned the title of the most married man in Soapland!

He’s currently grieving the loss of his son, Heath, after a car accident ended in tragedy. But Heath isn’t the first offspring Bob has lost. In fact, he has lost one other biological child and one stepdaughter.

Bob’s been at the heart of a lot of drama including marriage, divorce, financial troubles, and adultery, since he first sauntered into Emmerdale back in 2000. But it’s now that he’s gone from the joker to finally proving his acting chops.

Bob Hope is Emmerdale’s most-married character (Credit: ITV)

Who plays Bob Hope in Emmerdale?

Bob Hope in Emmerdale is played by Tony Audenshaw. When he joined the soap in 2000 as Bob, it wasn’t the first time he’d been in the Dales.

Back in 1996, he played Frank Tate’s security guard Acky, who hit Betty Eagleton over the head with a stick!

Tony is a keen runner and has completed more marathons than most of us have had hot dinners.

He holds the world record for the fastest time in a marathon by a runner dressed like a baby!

And in 2018, his two worlds collided when he ran the Brighton marathon and was heckled by supporters who weren’t impressed by Bob having an affair with Laurel Thomas on screen in Emmerdale.

Emmerdale's Viv Hope to return from the dead?
He married Viv twice (Credit: ITV)

When did Bob Hope arrive in Emmerdale?

Bob Hope rocked up in Emmerdale in 2000 selling tights for the company Naughty Nylons.

He hit it off with Viv Windsor and decided to settle in the village. The pair tied the knot a year later.

By the time he came to Emmerdale, Bob had already been married and divorced four times and had five children.

Emmerdale Brenda and Bob get married in a handfasting ceremony officiated by emotional Gennie
Bob married Brenda twice – once unofficially and once for real (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

How many times has Bob Hope been married? How many children does he have?

Bob is Emmerdale’s most-married character.

He’s been married and divorced seven times to five different women, but he’s actually walked up the aisle eight times.

He married his first wife, Jean, twice and they had two children – Dawn and Jamie.

His second wife, Barbara, is mum to Josh and Carly, while Bob’s short-lived fourth Las Vegas marriage to his third wife Vonda Lockhart resulted in the birth of Bob’s daughter Roxy.

Bob married Viv twice too. They had twins Cathy and Heath together.

Bob also became a father figure and stepdad to Viv’s daughter Donna, whose biological father is Vic Windsor. Bob was also stepdad to Scott Windsor, Viv’s son with Reg Dawson, and Kelly Windsor, Viv’s stepdaughter thanks to her marriage to Vic Windsor!

Donna died in 2014 and left her daughter April in the care of her father Marlon. April calls Bob her grandad.

Altogether Bob has seven biological children.

And his most recent marriage was to Brenda Walker.

He and Brenda first had a handfasting ceremony in 2013, in which they exchanged vows without a recipient.

They then married for real in 2018, but he was in love with Laurel at the time and Brenda told him to be with Laurel at their wedding reception!

Dawn Woods in Emmerdale smiles in her wedding photo
Dawn’s tragic death rocked the village (Credit: ITV/Comp ED!)

How many of Bob’s children are dead and what happened to them?

Bob has now buried two of his children and one of his stepchildren. Dawn Woods was the first of his children to die in July 2006.

Jimmy King was indirectly responsible for death after he opened his new King’s River development despite damage caused to it be Cain Dingle. Jimmy patched the damage up and went ahead with allowing people into the show home.

Dawn was one of the visitors and Jimmy’s bodge job came back to haunt him when the house exploded. The explosion killed three people – including Dawn, who was dragged from the rubble in front of her horrified dad.

Donna Windsor, Bob’s stepdaughter, then died in 2014. After a five year absence from the soap, police officer Donna returned with Marlon’s secret daughter, April. She then revealed a terminal diagnosis. Suffering from mesothelioma, she only had a few years at best to live.

But she ended up sacrificed her life five months following her comeback when she flung herself off a multi-story car park while handcuffed to villain Gary North.

Emmerdale's Heath is injured in the car
Heath died on impact (Credit: ITV)

Who was driving the car when Heath died?

Bob’s most recent loss came on New Year’s Day 2024 when son Heath tragically lost his life in a car accident. Cathy and her twin, plus Angelica King had stolen Wendy’s car to get to a party.

But it went very wrong when the car crashed and Heath died on impact.

Since the smash, devastated Bob has blamed Cathy, who he believes was driving. But Cathy is adamant Angelica was driving. However, Angel says otherwise.

For now we don’t know who is telling the truth, but Bob definitely doesn’t believe his daughter. As their relationship reaches “rock bottom” can Bob ever forgive Cathy for Heath’s death?

Bob and Laurel had a steamy affair (Credit: ITV)

Bob’s affairs

Love-rat Bob Hope in Emmerdale isn’t just a fan of walking down the aisle, he’s also done a fair amount of cheating in his time!

He had a drunken one-night stand with Brenda’s daughter Gennie.

And he and Laurel Thomas had a controversial romance when Bob was preparing to tie the knot with Brenda Walker.

Laurel had recently lost her husband Ashley Thomas to early onset dementia. Ashley had been Bob’s best friend and the romance was definitely born out of grief on Laurel’s part.

When Bob left Brenda for Laurel on their wedding day, Laurel was stunned.

Things soon unravelled between them though when he became too much for Laurel, who realised she didn’t love him and was just missing Ashley.

Bob ended up homeless and sleeping on a bench (Credit: ITV)

When was Bob homeless?

After Laurel threw him out and Brenda spurned his desire for a reconciliation, Bob was left living in the B&B.

But struggling to pay the bills, Bob got himself into a lot of debt. He ended up homeless and almost died when he slept on a park bench in freezing temperatures.

Harriet Finch discovered him and called an ambulance. Bob got back on his feet with lodgings at the Woolpack.

Bob’s latest love is Wendy (Credit: ITV)

Who is Bob Hope dating now?

Bob’s in a relationshgip with Wendy Posner. Things haven’t all been plain sailing however. Wendy thought Bob had lost interest in her when in fact he was suffering from impotence.

Wendy looked elsewhere and ended up having an affair with younger doctor Liam Cavanagh. Bob found out and despite the fact he had also been tempted to cheat with Bernice Blackstock, he said he loved Wendy.

The stress then caused Bob to have a heart attack. He and Wendy reconciled and he is on the road to recovery.

Is there any way back for Cathy and Bob? (Credit: ITV)

Bob and Cathy

Relations between father and daughter were already strained due to Cathy’s recent health crisis. She has been diagnosed with PMDD, which causes her to lose her temper, feel angry, irritable, out of control and depressed before and during her period.

Despite Bob trying to support her, Cathy has felt completely alone and has struggled to control her symptoms.

Now Bob has lost Heath and he blames Cathy, so can they ever repair their relationship?

Read more: Emmerdale cast for 2022 – meet them all here!

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Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer