Emmerdale’s Frank, Vanessa and Tracey

By Sharon Harvey  Posted on: 21st November 2016

I’ve said before I don’t normally review TV families but once again I’m at the point where I feel a review of this particular family unit is needed because they too deserve it.

We had already had well established characters Vanessa and Tracey settled in the village in their respective lives, just neighbours at first and sometimes friends. Or so we thought.

For a while we knew that both girls father had been in prison and had also been an absent father to each. Through very clever writing it finally became apparent – and very much a surprise to fans – when it transpired that the girls were in fact half sisters!

For me this brought a whole new dynamic to the show and the new family unit.

I preferred Vanessa (@ChelleHardwick) much more than Tracey but she was a character I could take and leave. She had had her fair share herself of dramas, like falling for a much younger man Kirin resulting in her baby son, who she had thought was a neighbours son after a one night stand and thanks to Kirin’s father meddling with the DNA results.

As for Tracey, (@amywalsh27) I was not a huge fan of hers at all. Ever since her inclusion into the show, she appeared to be a replacement for current resident Charity who at that time was in prison for fraud, because Tracey came across as being a money grabber just like Charity was and she looked just like Charity with her flowing blonde locks. She had already taken resident softie Sam for a fool and taken money off him whilst taking advantage of his hospitality and then finally ending up with Val and Eric after Val looked upon her as a surrogate daughter after the departure of her foster daughter Amy.

For several weeks we had learnt about vet Vanessa’s jailbird Dad and through excellent writing we also learnt about Tracey’s jailbird Dad which had been mentioned several times previously so that didn’t come as too much of a surprise.

The most unlikely story was her pairing with David Metcalfe (@MrMattWolfenden) who although was going through Cancer at that time, seemed hell bent on making her his wife, and Tracey was not wife material!

Because David had decided to visit Frank in prison to hopefully help mend his and Tracey’s fractured father and daughter relationship only confused matters as Frank had thought David was talking about ‘Teeny’ – the pet name he used to use for Vanessa when she was little! Thus when David mentioned to Tracey about her father

The girls going to see Frank in hospital and putting two and two together culminated in the shock realisation that Frank was both girl’s father and the biggest secret that Vanessa and Tracey who had lived in the same village for 2 years and who didn’t get on at all were in fact half sisters!!

The working of this new family unit as altered my perception now of both Tracey and Vanessa, we see now they interact with each other, not as neighbours, but as sisters and now with the added family member of a father. I honestly didn’t like Tracey, and as I said above, couldn’t understand why she was suddenly paired with David, but since marrying him we now see a whole new side to her, a more mature side, and it suits her. I’m loving this new family unit.

Frank, Vanessa and Tracey.
Frank, Vanessa and Tracey.

Now to Frank. Sometimes a character arrives and they either gain your admiration or they don’t. In this case, Frank Clayton arrived and did just that for me. There was something about this character that drew me in immediately. He was handsome and oozed charisma and perfection both as a character and as an actor. I wasn’t hard to like him and I was eager to learn more about Frank and his background. I actually would like to see maybe Vanessa or Tracey’s Mums – or both – arrive so we learn a little more about their background and more about their relationship with Frank.

Michael Praed as Frank
Michael Praed as Frank

He’s already developing great as a character and the flippant quips he came out with, you couldn’t help but love him a little more. Michael Praed who plays him, plays him wonderfully well, and this new character has gained him a new legion of devoted fans. I knew Michael from the 80’s from his smash hit show ‘Robin of Sherwood’. But it wasn’t till he graced our screens as Frank that I really began to see a different side to him and being on the more mature side shall we say hasn’t hurt him, he actually looks even more handsome. Hence the new legion of fans, including me as well as being an old one (in more ways than one!)

He’s already showing he’s a hit with the women with his flirtatious nature that women can’t help but swoon at – and over – and of course he’s in what I would call an off/on relationship (One week they are together, the next they aren’t, then they are) with Megan (@msGFaye) However, although she may be a calming influence on him I unfortunately don’t see them as a couple so it doesn’t work for me. Friends, absolutely, but a romantic couple? No, not at all (Ok, I’ll admit I’m jealous, who wouldn’t want to be in Megan’s shoes?! But no, all joking aside, it just doesn’t work for me). A disaster waiting to happen for me. If I was to team him up with anyone it would be Charity, not only because of their criminal background, but I just see them working better, they are quick thinking and seem to know how to work people. It doesn’t seem like I am the only one think they would be a good pairing either, Inside soap seems to be under the same illusion too…and the prospect that a storyline sees these two pair up soon for a scam excites me very much.


We’ve already seen he was very uneasy with the waiter while out on a date with Megan obviously issues between the two men have occurred at some point, so that and other little teasing layers need to be stripped so we can learn who Frank Clayton really is and what makes him tick.

So  who is Frank Clayton? Watch this space.

Thanks for reading, as always let me know what you think.

Sharon xx