1990-2006: Early life
Carly was born in about 1990 to Bob and Barbara Hope. Her parents split whilst she was young and she and older brother Josh didn't have much contact with Bob as they were growing up. Bob tried to get in contact with Carly and Josh over Christmas 2005 but Barbara stopped the children from talking to him, so in early 2006, Bob's ex-wife, Viv told Barbara that Bob was going blind. Barbara changed her mind and allowed Bob to see his children again whilst he was able to. She took Josh and Carly to visit Bob, but they soon learned the truth that Viv had lied, and Bob was not going blind. They left the village but returned a few days later for Bob and Viv's remarriage as Bob had wanted all of his children to attend his wedding. At the wedding, Carly and Darren Eden swapped numbers and briefly kept in touch by text message.
2011-2015: Billy's death and moving to the village
In early 2011, Josh and Barbara moved to Melbourne, Australia. Aged twenty two, Carly gave birth to a son, whom she named Billy. Billy's father Matt walked out on Carly whilst she was pregnant. Matt returned when Billy was a month old but Carly told him to do one, assuming he'd be back to try again later. Matt never did and only a month later Carly found her son lifeless in his cot. Carly moved from one man to another and got engaged five times, although never marrying. In March 2015, Carly tried to call Bob on his mobile but after he didn't answer she appeared in Bob's café in her wedding dress to ask her father to walk her down the aisle.
Bob agreed but in the limousine on the way to the venue he tried to talk her out of the marriage after hearing how she had only known her fiancé Sunil for an few months and how many times previously she's been engaged. Carly told Bob that he had no right to an opinion as he had barely been there for her and she threw him out of the limousine in the middle of nowhere. Later that day Carly turned up in the café in her wedding dress, she explained how Bob managed to talk her out of the wedding as she realised she was only going to marry Sunil for his money. She told Bob and his partner Brenda that she would be staying with them as she was homeless and penniless. Carly asked Bob for a loan but he refused so Carly unloaded her van and began trying to sell things to passers by and recruited her dead step-sister Donna Windsor's young daughter April to help her shift more stock.
Carly quickly moved on from Sunil and was set up with Ross Barton by his mother Emma. Ross and Carly were amused that Emma tried to set them up and they end up spending the night together. Ross was shocked to discover that Carly was his dead girlfriend Donna step-sister and he canceled their drink after seeing Carly with April. Two weeks after their failed wedding, Sunil turned up in the café and demanded the money back that he shelled out for the wedding. Ross stepped in when Bob punched Sunil after he had insulted Carly. Carly decided to stay around in the village after Bob offered to pay Sunil for her. Carly asked Bob to invest in her business in return for a share of the profits, which he agreed to, although Carly booked a flight to Rio de Janeiro. After her van broke down, Carly saw another opportunity to get money from Bob and told him she was leaving. Bob offered her money from Cathy and Heath's university fund to persuade her to stay on the proviso that she paid the money back. Bob took Carly van shopping at the scrapyard but whilst there he saw the booking confirmation for the flight to Rio and confronted Carly. Carly ran but she returned to the café, where she told Bob and Brenda that the flight was non-refundable, but she will pay them back every penny.
Carly enlisted the help of Jimmy King and his van to get her possessions back from Sunil's house. She broke in and took all of her things as well as some of Sunil's which she sold at a pawnbroker to pay some of the money back to Bob and Brenda. The following day Jimmy and Carly were questioned by the police. After getting into an argument with Debbie Dingle, Bob and Brenda, Bob told Carly that she was no longer welcome at their house. Leyla Harding offered Carly at room at her shared house Tug Ghyll after realising how much they had in common. Bob softened towards Carly after she fixed a broken dishwasher at the café and invited her to eat whilst Brenda was out but Brenda caught them. Bob told Carly that he couldn't chose between Brenda or her so he suggested they meet in secret from then on. Carly and Brenda called a truce. Debbie also invited Carly to her and finacé Pete's engagement party in order to set her up with Ross again.
In May 2015, Carly decided that she wanted to buy the local shop David's after owner David Metcalfe decided to sell up and move to Portugal. Bob was delighted at the thought of Carly buying the shop as it meant she would be staying in the village but Carly was refused a bank loan. Bob suggested to Brenda that they help Carly buy the shop but she flat out refused. Chrissie Sugden offered to buy the shop for Carly and install her as the manger for a percentage of the profits as David refused to sell to her, due to her son Lachlan assaulting David's wife Alicia. Carly offered David the full asking price for the shop but Brenda was suspicious about how she got the money. Brenda later overheard Carly and Chrissie talking about the shop and broke the news to David and Alicia that Chrissie was behind the shop sale so he called the sale off. Bob suggested he could invest in the shop and use the café as security on the loan without Brenda knowing and David accepted her new offer. The bank needed Brenda's signature for the loan, so Carly and Bob tried to come up with an idea how to get round it but came up with nothing. David's step-mother Val Pollard overheard Carly and offered to dress up as Brenda to secure the loan, which she and Bob were able to do. Carly renamed the shop Hope for the Best and re-opened in June 2015. Bob became annoyed at the amount of money that Carly was spending on the shop needlessly, but told him to back off or she would tell Brenda how she was able to afford the shop. Carly soon became frustrated with the mixed signals from Ross. After refusing to shell out money for a plumber, Carly fixed a leak herself but herself, but when she returned to the shop the following morning it was flooded, and she had forgotten to insure it. Carly tried to blackmail Val into paying for the damages but she refused. To cover the cost of the repairs, Carly stole for Brenda's daughter Gennie's memorial fund, but Bob demanded that she put it back. After the plumber refused to start work without payment, Bob sold his car and gave Carly the money but she turned to Ross for more money quickly. Together they hijacked on of Home James Haulage's trucks with a load of televisions in the back but Carly was sickened by the violence Ross used against the driver. Ross dumped Carly soon after.
Bob told Carly that he was going to tell Brenda the truth as he could not stand lying to her any longer. After Bob confessed to Brenda she called the police on him and he and Val were arrested. Val dropped Carly in it with the police and they called round at Tug Ghyll but Carly pretended her name was Vanessa and made a run for it. Brenda hired private investigator Harriet Finch to try and track Carly down after Bob's bail was revoked however Harriet wasn't getting anywhere until April mentioned that Carly had a friend that she used to work on the markets with. Harriet and Brenda discovered Carly and they tried to explain how bad the situation looked for Bob. Carly told the court how he only committed fraud to make up for the times he wasn't there for her in the past and how he intended to pay all the money back. Bob was let off with a suspended sentence but Carly was arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud. Marlon Dingle hired Carly to be April's child minder later that month and she moved back into Tug Ghyll and supported Vanessa as she to bond with her premature son Johnny.
2016-: Relationship with Marlon Dingle
In March 2016, Emma discovered bruises on April's arm and immediately suspected Carly of wrongdoing. Emma told Marlon her suspicious and despite April insisting Carly wasn't responsible, Marlon couldn't risk Carly looking after April any longer. Carly continued to protest her innocence when a social worker got involved, although Marlon soon realised Carly wasn't responsible for April's injuries when Carly confided in him about Billy, the first person she had ever told about her son. April later admitted it was her younger brother Leo who caused the bruises.
At the end of June, Carly heroically ran into the burning Mill Cottage and dragged unconscious Ronnie Hale out, with the help of Rakesh Kotecha. Carly and Marlon spent the night together on what would've been Billy's birthday. After sleeping together, things became awkward between the pair, even more so when April told Carly she'd like her to be her new mummy. Whilst out looking for missing Belle Dingle, Marlon fell and injured his groin, so Carly carried him home. Whilst nursing his injury with a frozen lasagna, Marlon told Carly they should be friends and she should resume looking after April. Carly admitted that she wanted more as she was in love with Marlon. After a second night together, Bob learned of Marlon and Carly's relationship, and disapproved, although soon came round with a bit of encouragement from Brenda.
"Let's go" - final line, to Matt.
- In December 2014 it was announced that Carly would be returning to Emmerdale. The following month it was revealed that Gemma Atkinson would be taking over the role from Rebecca Ryan.
- During Atkinson's time as Lisa Hunter in Hollyoaks, Alex Carter played her onscreen brother Lee Hunter. Carter had previously appeared in Emmerdale as Atkinson's on-screen brother Jamie Hope although the pair have never shared any scenes in Emmerdale.