David Annersley is the father of Pru Annersley and was the lover of Annie Sugden. At some point prior to 1978, David was involved in a small plane crash and was the only survivor. As a result, Pru didn't leave him on his own for long.
David and his daughter Pru arrived in Beckindale for a holiday in September 1978. He watched the Sugdens from a distance, and refrains from telling Joe Sugden who he is, despite knowing the family well. Annie discovers that David has returned after being told by her irritated father Sam Pearson. David asks Matt Skilbeck about Jacob Sugden, but David is shocked when Matt tells David that Jacob is dead. David runs into Sam in the Woolpack, and Sam is livid with David when David greets him. He demands that Annie has nothing to do with David and that David leaves Beckindale. However, Annie ignores her father's demands and he is furious with her when she arrives home late in David's car. An argument starts between Sam and Annie at the dinner table, with Sam tearing into Annie and telling her that he thought she had more loyalty for Jacob, hinting that they had an affair. Annie invites David and Pru to Emmerdale Farm for dinner, but Sam tells Pru that David is unwelcome at Emmerdale Farm. Annie goes to see David about why he left Beckindale in the first place, and he tells her because there's no way she'd leave Jacob for him. David then leaves the village once again.