Emmerdale Wiki
Emmerdale Wiki

Johnny Woodfield is the biological son of Vanessa Woodfield and Kirin Kotecha although for the first few months of his life, Johnny was raised by Adam Barton after Kirin's father Rakesh Kotecha manipulated DNA test results and in 2020, after being absent for most of Johnny's life, Kirin signed over his rights to Johnny and he was adopted by Vanessa's partner Charity Dingle.


2015: Conception and Premature birth

On 27th April 2015, Vanessa Woodfield discovered she was pregnant not long after she had a one-night stand with Adam Barton, while they were both on breaks with their respective partners Kirin and Victoria. Vanessa was unsure if Adam or Kirin was the father of her unborn baby so she and Adam undertook a DNA test to determine who the father truly was. Kirin was devastated to discover that Vanessa had slept with someone else and that her baby may not be his. In June 2015, Kirin's father Rakesh Kotecha found the DNA result letter in Vanessa house before she could see it and changed the results as he did not want teenager Kirin to have the responsibility of being a father. Kirin and Vanessa split up after seeing the fake results. Rakesh's girlfriend Priya Sharma soon discovered that Rakesh had manipulated the results but agreed to keep it secret.

Vanessa and Adam visit Johnny after he is born prematurely

In September 2015 Vanessa was accidentally pushed over at Kirin's cordial business launch, causing her to go into labour later whilst walking home. The doctors tried to stop the labour but they couldn’t and Vanessa gave birth 14 weeks prematurely to a baby boy who weighed just 760 grams, with both Adam and Kirin by her side. Vanessa decided to name the baby Johnny after Adam's new wife Victoria gave her blessing despite the previous day asking her not to name him Johnny. Adam and Vanessa visited Johnny in the NICU, but Vanessa became distressed at how little her son was. Priya tried to persuade Rakesh to tell Kirin that Johnny was his son, and that Kirin should be by his side if he died, but Rakesh was adamant that Kirin should never know the truth. 

When Johnny was a few days old Adam started getting annoyed that Vanessa wasn't with Johnny but stayed at home and when he went into the hospital that day his incubator alarm when off. The doctor gave him more oxygen and told Adam that it was likely caused by an infection and that he has put Johnny on antibiotics. Adam phoned local vicar Ashley Thomas and asked him to perform an emergency baptism for Johnny. Victoria managed to persuade Vanessa to go to the hospital and Vanessa, Adam, Victoria and Adam's mum Moira Dingle, were present when Ashley baptised Johnny.

In early October 2015, Johnny's incubator alarm went off again and Adam couldn't get hold of Vanessa. When Vanessa finally arrived at the hospital, Dr Carr told Adam, Vanessa, Victoria and Moira that Johnny had necrotizing enterocolitis and would need surgery the following day. Johnny's surgery went well but Moira noticed that Vanessa was not bonding well with Johnny and tried to talk to her but she walked out of the hospital. Moira confided her suspicions in Vanessa's friend Rhona Goskirk who also talked to Vanessa who finally opened up. Rhona then told worried Adam that Vanessa was not bonding with Johnny and there was no guarantee that she would ever feel anything for him. The following day Adam asked Rakesh about his legal rights to Johnny and whether he and Victoria could get custody. Priya overheard the conversation and worried the true paternity could come out if Adam requested another DNA test but Rakesh reassured her that Adam is on Johnny's birth certificate so it was unlikely. Rakesh pretended to phone a colleague in front of Rhona and she realised Adam's intentions. Rhona talks to Adam and then Adam and Vanessa talked and he decided not to pursue custody although it gave Vanessa a wake-up-call she needed.

In November 2015, Johnny was big enough for Vanessa to attempt breastfeeding her son, although it didn't go well, as she felt uncomfortable and unnatural.

2015-2019: True Paternity revealed and extended family

On Christmas Eve Johnny was allowed to come home and he moved into Tug Ghyll with Vanessa and her housemates Carly Hope and Leyla Harding. A week after returning home, Vanessa spotted a bruise-like spot on Johnny's back. The midwife reassured Vanessa that Johnny had a Mongolian Blue Spot and it was harmless, but she raised Vanessa' suspicions when she mentioned that it's common in mixed raced babies. Vanessa ordered a second DNA test and swabbed Adam's beer bottle to get a sample.

A few days later Adam asked Vanessa about she and Johnny moving in with he and Victoria at Keepers Cottage for a few weeks, to help take the pressure off of her and allow him to spend more time with baby Johnny. Vanessa was unsure but agreed after realising she was being silly as she already had DNA confirmation that Adam was Johnny's father.

Adam runs away with Johnny to a hotel

However, on 6th January 2016, the second DNA test arrived and proved that Kirin was Johnny's biological father, not Adam. Vanessa tried to get to the bottom of the mistake but the DNA centre insisted the first test had also discounted Adam as the father. Vanessa told devastated Adam he wasn't Johnny's father. Adam struggled to take in the news and asked for some alone time with Johnny. As soon as Vanessa left, Adam took Johnny and drove with Victoria to a hotel. Adam was forced to reveal to Victoria he was not Johnny's father. Vanessa panicked when she discovered Adam and Johnny were no longer at Tug Ghyll and she couldn't get hold of him or Victoria. Adam's family tried to look for them but they couldn't find them. Vanessa revealed to shocked Kirin that he was, in fact, Johnny's biological father. Later that evening, Victoria called Vanessa and reassures her Johnny is alright and they will bring him home in the morning. Adam and Victoria returned Johnny to Vanessa.

Vanessa agreed to still let Adam see Johnny. Kirin wasn't happy with Adam seeing Johnny again and asked him to back off as he felt it could confuse Johnny to who his real father was, and Adam made him feel like a bad parent, that he didn't know what he was doing with his son. Vanessa wasn't happy to hear that Kirin barred Adam from seeing Johnny, although Kirin soon came round. However, Adam realised it would be easier if he cut himself off from Johnny.

Carly protects Johnny from Kirin

In February 2016, Kirin starts getting overwhelmed with parenthood and when Vanessa gets ill he struggles as he has to look after Johnny by himself. He starts lashing out when Johnny won't stop crying and Carly walks in and takes Johnny away from him. Carly tells Vanessa who is furious and throws him out. Kirin accidentally ran over and killed Tess Harris whilst drunk driving. He decided to run away but Vanessa caught him as he was about to leave and he was forced to explain he was going. He told Vanessa to lie to Johnny about his paternity and he insisted he didn't love their son. Vanessa ordered Kirin to write Johnny a letter for when he is older explaining everything. After a few days on the run, Kirin wrote to Rakesh who told Vanessa that Kirin was missing Johnny, however, Vanessa said she wanted nothing to do with him and that if he would write anything again she wished not to know. 

In August 2016, Vanessa got back in contact with her incarcerated father, Frank Clayton and subsequently learned she had a half-sister, Tracy Shankley. In September, Tracy held a birthday party for her new nephew in order to make up for lost time, insisting no member of her family will feel the way she did on her birthdays. The following day Frank was released from prison and moved into Tug Ghyll with Vanessa and Johnny. In October, Frank started bringing Johnny on playdates in means to get closer to Megan Macey who had a daughter of similar age. However, Vanessa soon realised that Frank had been using her son to woo Megan. Unimpressed, Megan told Frank he could've just asked her out. Not long after gaining a grandfather Johnny loses another one when Rakesh flees the village in June 2017

In December 2018, as Vanessa moved in with her girlfriend, Charity Dingle, she and Johnny moved from Tug Ghyll into The Woolpack with Charity and her two youngest children, Noah and Moses.

Charity arrives at the hospital with an unharmed Johnny

On the 10th January 2019, Donny Cairn (under his incarcerated son, Lachlan White's orders) sets fire to The Woolpack with the Dingles inside. Vanessa catches him in the act and attempts to stop him, however, Donny stabs Vanessa and flees in her car, unaware that Johnny is in the backseat. When he discovers this, pulls over and prepares to leave Johnny by the side of the road, only to be interrupted by Vanessa's girlfriend Charity who is on the lookout for Vanessa's missing son. Charity confronts Donny and rescues Johnny, holding Donny captive until the police arrive and arrest him. Johnny is unharmed and Charity returns him to his aunt and grandfather, Tracy and Frank, at the hospital. However, Charity is informed Vanessa is in surgery following internal bleeding. Luckily she makes it and is reunited with Johnny the following day. 

After Frank passes away in early August 2019, Vanessa struggles with telling her son that his granddad has died. However, a week later when she finally decides to tell him she is shocked to discover Johnny already seems to have caught on after being told by Charity's son Moses who presumably overheard Vanessa and Charity discussing it. Soon after, the mixed family moves into Jacobs Fold after The Woolpack started to feel too crowded.

2020-: Vanessa's cancer and adoption

In February 2020, Johnny was kidnapped for the third time in his life when Pierce Harris, old nemesis of Vanessa and murderer of Graham Foster, grabbed him and ran in order to lure Vanessa into Mulberry Cottage where he held them both captive. Pierce kept Johnny in a room upstairs whilst having Vanessa tied up downstairs and refused to let her see him. Vanessa was later horrified to hear that Pierce had been drugging Johnny in order to keep him calm but he insisted he was fine. On 25th February 2020, the hostage situation finally came to an end when Rhona Goskirk managed to save Vanessa and Johnny and take Pierce down. Vanessa was finally allowed to see Johnny and he was allowed to go home where he was happy to be reunited with Moses. Meanwhile, Vanessa had discovered she was suffering from bowel cancer and struggled with the prospect of leaving Johnny and not being able to see him grow up. In March, Vanessa told Johnny and Moses she was ill and would need to go away for a bit but promised she would get better.

In late April 2020, Vanessa decides she needs to sort Johnny's guardianship in case she doesn't make it through her cancer and tells Charity she would want her to have him if she died. However, Vanessa gets upset when Charity hesitates and instead asks Rhona, believing Charity doesn't want him. A few days later, Charity kicks off at Rhona and when Vanessa confronts her she tells her that she loves Johnny and sees him as her own. Later, they make amends and Vanessa asks Charity to adopt Johnny. In late October 2020 the adoption went through and Charity officially adopted Johnny.


Address Duration
NICU at Hotten General 11th September 2015 to 24th December 2015
Tug Ghyll 24th December 2015 to 13th December 2018
The Woolpack 13th December 2018 to 13th August 2019
Jacobs Fold 13th August 2019 to 11th November 2019
Tug Ghyll 11th November 2019 to 20th November 2019
Jacobs Fold 20th November 2019 to present

Additional Information

  • As Johnny was born so prematurely, he was too small for a real baby to play him so he was played by a lifelike jelly doll. Luca Hepworth then took over in November 2015.


See Also

Current characters
Eric Pollard | Kim Tate | Victoria Sugden | Zak Dingle | Sam Dingle | Mandy Dingle | Jamie Tate | Marlon Dingle | Paddy Dingle | Bernice Blackstock | Belle Dingle | Diane Sugden | Cain Dingle | Charity Dingle | Bob Hope | Rodney Blackstock | Nicola King | Rhona Goskirk | Gabby Thomas | Laurel Thomas | Chas Dingle | Pearl Ladderbanks | Aaron Dingle | Jimmy King | Noah Dingle | Sarah Sugden | Samson Dingle | David Metcalfe | Cathy Hope | Heath Hope | Arthur Thomas | Brenda Walker | Leyla Harding | Moira Dingle | Matty Barton | Angelica King | Jai Sharma | Priya Kotecha | Jacob Gallagher | Amy Wyatt | Elliot Windsor | Leo Goskirk | Amelia Spencer | Rishi Sharma | Dan Spencer | Kyle Winchester | Kerry Wyatt | Vanessa Woodfield | Archie Breckle | Harriet Finch | Liam Cavanagh | April Windsor | Amba Metcalfe | Tracy Metcalfe | Carl Holliday | Moses Dingle | Johnny Woodfield | Liv Flaherty | Dotty Thomas | Lydia Dingle | Isaac Dingle | Dawn Taylor | Ryan Stocks | Manpreet Sharma | Ellis Chapman | Billy Fletcher | Vinny Dingle | Bear Wolf | Will Taylor | Nate Robinson | Andrea Tate | Millie Tate | Lucas Taylor | Wendy Posner | Al Chapman | Eve Dingle | Theo Metcalfe | Harry Sugden | Meena Jutla |Mackenzie Boyd | Charles Anderson | Ethan Anderson | Frankie Robinson