Marlon arrived in 1996 as the nephew of Zak Dingle. He arrived in a red sports car and later brought his dad Albert to the village. Marlon briefly worked for Frank Tate in his decision to build a quarry. In 1997, Marlon helped out Barry Clegg, the husband of Zak's love Lisa, with his rocket and even suggested his cousin Butch to be Barry's co-pilot when Lisa refuses. Sadly, Barry's attempt to become an astronaut went disastrously wrong when Marlon cruelly told Butch that Barry never had any intention of letting him go up into space. They started to fight and Butch pushed Marlon onto the launch button and they ran out just before the barn exploded, which left Barry injured. Marlon later started working at Kathy Glover's establishment - tea rooms at day and wine bar at night, which is when he first showed his cooking skills.
1997-1999: Dingle outcast
In December 1997, Marlon, along with his cousin Sam and Billy Hopwood, hatched a plan to rip off Eric Pollard, but the plan went awry when he and Sam were beaten up. The Dingles found out that Marlon was responsible for the hi-jack and on Christmas Day, he was tried at a Dingle court, with Zak as judge, Sam on defence and Butch on prosecution. Marlon was found guilty and disowned by his family. He went to stay with Kathy for a couple of days and then had to live in a caravan, but in the days that followed, Butch began a vendetta against his cousin, hoping to drive Marlon out of the village; using various underhand tactics, such as throwing a rock through Marlon's caravan window, digging a hole for Marlon to fall into (complete with a cross) and overturning the caravan with him inside, but Marlon wouldn't budge. He looked for a room to rent with his best friend Biff Fowler, but Biff, who felt smothered by his landlady Betty Eagleton, wanted to find somewhere else to live. Biff broke into Annie's Cottage with the intention of him and Marlon to squat there, but they are thrown out by Sarah Sugden, the daughter-in-law of the cottage's namesake, after a few days. During this time, Marlon's culinary hero Nigel Hibbert was going to shoot an episode of his show in the Tearooms, but it turned out on the day of the shoot that Nigel never actually cooked his own recipes, but his Mother did, leaving Marlon disheartened.
By Christmas 1998, Zak had disowned Butch and Marlon had steered clear of the Dingles for a year since being cast out of the clan, but then Mandy asked him to talk to Butch. When he tried to reason with Butch about his behaviour and how it was upsetting the family, Butch launched a vicious attack on Marlon. Zak also reluctantly invited Marlon to a Christmas Day dinner. While there, the atmosphere was tense and during the evening, Marlon inadvertently let out that he didn't really want to come, upsetting Zak even further. The evening took an interesting turn when Lisa, who hadn't been feeling well all day, unexpectedly gave birth to a baby Girl in the Dingles' pig-pen.
When Eric and his wife Dee split up, Eric went into despair and put Marlon in charge of his business. The ambitious chef was overwhelmed by such a huge responsibility and grabbed the opportunity with both hands – even though the Dingles tried to take advantage by regularly dropping in for free food. An angered During one night in August 1998, Marlon caught Eric looking ready to burn down the business, but he managed to talk his emotionally fragile boss around. Marlon had also entered a relationship with Lyn Hutchinson, but found out at his 25th birthday party in March 1999 that Lyn had slept with Scott Windsor. An incredulous Marlon punched Scott in response. Marlon's reign as the culinary king of Emmerdale was cut short in March 2000 when Kathy hired hunky Carlos Diaz to work at the diner. Marlon was getting his feet well and truly under the table at the Woolpack anyway. Bernice Blackstock had been impressed by Marlon's cooking and let him do various nights there. The duo even shared a cheeky snog one night! But while his kiss with Bernice led to nothing, Marlon would find true love at the Woolpack.
2000-2003: Relationship with Tricia Stokes
New barmaid Tricia Stokes, a dippy girl with a heart of gold, began flirting with Marlon. After a few months of misunderstandings, the couple got together and went on holiday to Spain to celebrate that. Their relationship was severely tested when Tricia agreed to marry Jason Kirk's boyfriend, Joe Fisher so he could stay in the country. Although she was offered a lot of money, Marlon was shocked she would even consider it and they nearly broke up. Just before the wedding, they reconciled and Tricia did her bit for Marlon's business, Chez Marlon, by giving him the money as an investment. Sadly, the business failed, and Tricia left Marlon after just a few months. After spending ages trying to find her, Marlon moved on and began dating locum vet Rhona Goskirk. However, Marlon's world was turned upside down when Tricia returned and they decided to get married. When the big day came, Tricia hurt her neck and had to wear a collar. She was so upset that she called off the wedding and their friends Paddy Kirk and Emily Dingle got married instead.
2003-2004: Marriage to Tricia and becoming a widower
Marlon and Tricia did eventually get married but just a few months later, Tricia was offered the chance to star in a Bollywood film and went to India for six months. While she was away, Marlon was dreadfully lonely and had a drunken one night stand with his cousin Charity. When Tricia returned, the secret came out and she left Marlon. His desperate attempts to win her back seemed to have failed but she seemed willing to forgive him after reading a romantic list of her characteristics written by Marlon.
On New Year's Eve 2003, Tricia was injured during a storm which resulted in part of the Woolpack's roof collapsing on top of her. Tricia was found alive and rushed to hospital but suffered a heart attack. The hospital staff managed to revive her but it took a long time and subsequent tests revealed she had suffered serious brain damage. She was soon declared brain dead and the medical team asked for permission to switch off her life support machine. Marlon took some convincing to agree to her life support machine being turned off, as he was still determined that she would recover, but he finally agreed to turn off her machine on realising that there was no hope of her recovering. Trica passed away on 8th January 2004 and Marlon never really got over Tricia.
In March 2004, he ran away from home, with the intention of staying with his cousin Mandy. The Dingles grew increasingly worried when they heard nothing about him, but when Sam's chicks escaped, he found them outside Holdgate Farm. Sam heard ghostly noises emanating from the house. He rushed off to the Post Office, where he told Emily his concerns. They headed off and Emily discovered Marlon hiding in the attic. Alan arrived afterwards and demanded that Marlon came out. He spent a few more days in the attic, even building a shrine to Tricia, but then Zoe Tate discovered that the Dingles have been tapping the farm's electricity and resolves to offload the house to Tom King. When Emily explained to Tom and his son Jimmy about Marlon's situation, Tom gives Emily twenty-four hours to get Marlon out of the attic, but he wouldn't move.
In August 2004, when Nicola Blackstock was distraught to learn that her boyfriend Simon Meredith had gone to Scarborough to be with his ex Tash Abbott, Marlon advised her to fight for her man and Nicola decided to follow Simon to Scarborough. Marlon's boss Diane Blackstock had also gone there with her ex-husband Rodney for a friend's funeral. Val Lambert, Diane's sister, had suspicions when she discovered that they only had one room at the hotel they were staying at. In Marlon's car, they discovered Val, Jack Sugden and his daughter Victoria sitting in the back seat, intending to catch a lift with them to Scarborough. On the way there, Victoria needed to relieve herself and while she did her business in the bushes, Marlon asked Jack why he, Val and Victoria were heading to Scarborough. The journey immediately went wrong when Nicola accidentally closed the car boot lid down on Marlon's hand and he had to be taken to A&E, where his hand was bandaged up. While there, Marlon was left to care for Victoria while Nicola went to ensnare Simon and took Victoria to the funfair, where she won a donkey. Simon's sister Bonnie became infatuated with Marlon and followed him and Victoria to his car, where she lamped a kiss on him. Marlon later returned the favour just before he left to return to Emmerdale.
2004-2008: Relationship and marriage to Donna Windsor
The grief suffered by Marlon was prolonged close to a year until he developed a friendship with Donna Windsor. It was thanks to Donna's kind heart that Marlon moved on from his loss. He rebuffed her early attempts to snare him early in the year; he told Donna, when trying to let her down gently, that Tricia had been his one true love Eventually, Donna proved she was the woman for Marlon when she helped him look after his cousin Lilith's children when she dumped them on him. A relationship started to develop that was more than friendly.
It didn't take long for Marlon and Donna to fall in love. When he proposed to her – en route to a chef's competition in Newcastle, Donna agreed and it looked like there was a happy ending in sight. However, being so young, marriage was a big thing for Donna to consider. She'd also recently become close to Max King and his death left her absolutely devastated. A short while before their wedding, Marlon started having nightmares about Tricia. This was made worse when Donna tried on Tricia's wedding dress and was caught by Marlon, who momentarily thought Tricia had come back. Donna explained she felt like she was always being compared to Tricia. On the morning of the wedding, Donna confided in Marlon that she had developed feelings for Max while they were together. Heartbroken by this admission, Marlon wondered if they should get married but his love for Donna won over and they did tie the knot. It was a good decision and they returned from honeymoon even stronger as a couple than before.
On return from honeymoon, Marlon and Donna spent their first few months of married life living at Smithy Cottage with Paddy and Toni Daggert. Donna and Marlon were desperate to get on the property ladder but the prices at King & Sons' new development were too steep for them. So when they won the Kings River Showhome, they were thrilled but shocked to discover that they still had to pay a deposit. Donna's mother Viv offered Donna the money if Donna would be her surrogate. Marlon and Donna were stunned by Viv's suggestion that Donna gets pregnant with her half-brother or sister but agreed because they needed the money if they didn't want to lose their new home. Unfortunately, the showhome collapsed following a gas explosion, leaving Marlon and Donna's dream shattered. Donna returned her mother's money as there was no longer a house to buy and Viv didn't need a surrogate, discovering she was pregnant. Following the showhome collapse, Marlon and Donna lived in a caravan outside Wishing Well cottage, they were building an "Eco Home" but realised the land they were building on belonged to Matthew King and the local council. Donna had a major run-in with Marlon's family when she reported Shadrach to the police for theft. Called up before the Dingle Court, Donna defied Zak and Lisa, revealing she planned to join the police force. Marlon backed her up and they stand strong together.
In October 2006, two men were looking for Marlon's brother Eli and broke into the Woolpack to get Marlon to tell them where Eli was, although Marlon didn't know. The pair wrecked the pub, beat up Marlon and stole thousands from the till. The men were later arrested after Eli framed them for firearm possession.
In December, Lilith left her children with Marlon and Donna while she went to work. Marlon, Donna and the children moved into the Woolpack, following Lilith's arrest for armed robbery. This didn't work out and Marlon decided the children should live with their uncle because his and Donna's living arrangements were inadequate. Donna was very upset and the children returned after running away from their uncle. Marlon saw how miserable they were and decided they should go on the run. Marlon and Donna had to say goodbye to the children again when they were taken away by Social Services, following formalities with the police. Marlon and Donna were devastated when they saw that the room they'd prepared for the kids going up in flames. When the finger of blame was pointed at Val, Donna hurled insults at her but Val gave as good as she got, accusing Donna of being "a schoolgirl Hitler with poor fashion sense!" Donna lashed out at Val but was held back by Marlon. Donna and Marlon went to their final meeting with social services and were glowing with pride as Mrs Jenkins said they'd had a very positive report.
However, just as it was all going well, Marlon let slip that the back room of the pub had been damaged by fire. The social worker looked into it before breaking the bad news: they wouldn't get the kids until they had more suitable accommodation.
Marlon, attempting to improve his and Donna's financial problems, used their savings to place a bet. He won £1800 but the bookie refused to pay up so he and Eli came up with a plan to get his winnings. Just before Eli went into the bookie's, Marlon found he had a gun and learned Eli was planning an armed robbery. Marlon was shocked but let him go ahead. Eli was almost successful when a customer came in and a fight ensued. Marlon, who had been waiting in the car, got frustrated and went inside to find Eli struggling with the customer. Pretending not to know him, Marlon yelled at Eli to leave but he wouldn't. Marlon and the customer went to grab the gun but it went off, hitting Marlon in the chest. Marlon collapsed, telling Eli to go, leaving the customer to ring the police. Marlon was rushed to hospital and made a full recovery. Marlon is put in the paper as a hero. Marlon is filled with guilt when the grateful bookie turns up to give him his winnings and when Donna even praised him for stopping the robbery.
However, Marlon later told Donna the truth and although she was very angry, quickly forgave him. Eli started blackmailing them. He got Donna to use her position in the police force to allow him to break into a warehouse. While at the warehouse, Marlon got cold feet and warned Eli that it was a trap. Eli was angry, but Donna had informed Zak of everything that had happened and a furious Zak confronted Eli and kicked him out of Donna and Marlon's house. However, far from it all being over, Marlon set off to work only for Eli to kidnap him. Bundled into the back of a van, Eli drove him to the top of a multi-storey carpark, where he pretended he was going to throw him off the edge of the building to punish him for his 'betrayal'. Marlon was terrified, unsure of what his volatile brother was capable of, but asked what he had ever done to Eli? Eli revealed that he had always resented his older brother because everybody loved him and nobody had ever loved Eli. Marlon eventually managed to get free and the brothers had a fight which ended with Eli toppling over the edge of the building and only hanging on by his fingertips. Marlon tried to save him - offering his hand - but Eli refused to be rescued. Eventually, Donna arrived and helped Marlon haul him to safety, but Eli ran off, apparently upset at being saved. Marlon broke down in tears and later confessed to Donna that he had considered allowing his younger brother to die and he thought that made him a terrible person. He warned Donna that being with him might only cause her trouble, but Donna reassured him it would be OK.
In 2008, The Woolpack was entered in a magazine Pub of the Year competition. Val bribed Jasmine Thomas to tell her when the judge was coming. Diane, Val and Marlon went frantic with Marlon trying to create a gourmet menu. Diane reminded him that they were a traditional pub and not to get worked up about it. Unbelievably, they discovered they made it to the finals. Antony Worrall Thompson was discovered to be the celebrity judge. This coincided with Val's surprise wedding to Eric. Anthony was impressed with Marlon's cooking and asked Marlon to call him. When Marlon summed up the courage to call, Marlon was invited to a local television audition. A camera crew arrived at The Woolpack to record a programme featuring a special from Marlon. Marlon hired Jake Doland to help him in the kitchen and also had a column in The Hotten Courier. Marlon was later approached by the owner of Malt, The Woolpack's rival pub. He offered Marlon a better job with better pay but Marlon declined, wanting to stay in Emmerdale.
Donna's mother, Viv, was arrested for fraud. However, Viv had been framed by Freddie Yorke. Donna found it hard, knowing her colleagues knew about her family situation. Wanting to prove her mother's innocence, she started going on unofficial stakeouts with colleague Ross Kirk. After some time searching, they discovered where he lived. Donna tried to apprehend him but Freddie escaped but Donna followed closely at high speed. Unfortunately, she lost control of the car and crashed. Ross got them out of the car before it exploded and Donna spent months in hospital learning how to walk again. She became convinced she was a laughing stock at the station and decided to resign. Marlon was thrilled but when Donna came home, he saw she was miserable. He told her that he'd support her if she wanted to return to work.
2008-2009: Donna's betrayal
In September, Donna and Marlon attended a police comedy night. Marlon's cousin Chas, Ross's date, got into a fight with the comedian. Marlon defended her and the fight ended with Marlon and Chas being thrown out. Marlon took Chas home, leaving Donna with Ross. Donna and Ross shared a night of passion in Donna's hotel room which Donna regretted afterwards. She and Marlon decided to go on holiday. When they returned, Marlon announced he and Donna were planning to start a family but Ross tried to convince Donna that would be a mistake. He also told her that she had got married too young.
In January 2009, Donna told Marlon of her affair with Ross. Marlon had suspected it but was still devastated, especially when Donna said she loved Ross and Marlon. Hellbent on revenge, Marlon went to the police and implicated Ross in the murder of Shane Doyle. He gradually started to warm to Donna and was considering taking her back, although Zak warned him against it. After a conversation with Eli, who reminded him that Donna had forgiven Marlon for the raid on the bookies, Marlon agreed to give his marriage another go - on the condition that she never saw Ross again. Donna agreed, but she was certain that Ross was innocent and broke her promise to Marlon, visiting her ex-lover in prison. Meanwhile, the other Dingles remained hostile towards her and she got a very cold reception at Zak's birthday party. Surprisingly, Eli came to Donna's defence, for which Marlon was grateful. However, during a conversation with Eli, Donna noticed a vital piece of evidence that could clear Ross's name and she shopped her brother-in-law to the police. When Marlon realised that she had betrayed both him and his family in order to free Ross, he dumped her and later asked for a divorce. They might have reconciled, even so, had not Donna caught Marlon in a drunken clinch with his best friend Paddy. Following this, Donna departed the village - seemingly for good - leaving behind a devastated Marlon. To make matters worse, Marlon's cousin Chastity (who was in love with Paddy) also found out about the kiss and the two of them fell out for quite a while.
2009-2010: Moving on
Following a period of depression, Marlon then dedicated himself to helping little brother Eli, who had been disowned by the rest of the Dingle clan after his confession led to the arrest of Debbie Dingle. The two of them came up with several plots to try and set her free. Faced with Debbie's release, Eli went missing for a time, but Marlon eventually found him sleeping rough and managed to convince his wayward sibling to come home. The two brothers lived together until Eli's departure in 2010, along with Lizzie Lakely, a blind woman who Marlon befriended who also happened to be Lisa's cousin. Lizzie upset Marlon when she preyed on his gullibility by pretending to be a psychic, causing Marlon to spend a fortune on phone bills pouring his heart out to her. He got his revenge by tricking her into paying back his money.
His life was going smoothly until Moira Barton began to work in the Woolpack. Marlon had had a confrontation with Moira when she criticised his cooking and he didn't like her. The two argued furiously at work as Marlon felt that she was invading his domain and finding fault with his food on purpose. It reached boiling point and Moira quit, leaving behind an upset Diane and a guilty Marlon. Marlon apologised and Moira returned to work, but she immediately put her foot in it by telling him that what happened with Donna might've been the reason why he had been off with her. Marlon explained that since Donna left him, his job is the one area in his life where he felt in control and Moira had threatened that. They reached an understanding and became friends. When Marlon received a letter from Donna, saying that she had met someone else and wanted him to file for divorce, a devastated Marlon found himself turning to Moira as a shoulder to cry on. Because of this, he developed romantic feelings for her and convinced himself that she felt the same way. Going against Paddy's advice, Marlon finally confessed to Moira that he thought he was falling in love with her, leaving her shocked. She let him down and Marlon was left feeling humiliated, but after a long heart-to-heart, she convinced him that she was flattered and that he would one day meet the right woman. Alongside this, Marlon also took in his cousin Charity and her young son Noah after the family turned against her for trying to steal Cain's money. When Zak and Cain found out, they were angry and Cain punched Marlon in the stomach.
2010-2011: Rhona's return and becoming a father
In 2010, Rhona Goskirk returned to the village. She and Marlon rekindled their relationship, until Rhona expressed an interest in Paddy. She split up with Marlon, and began a relationship with Paddy, much to Marlon's despair. It was later revealed that Rhona was expecting Marlon's baby, while she was still with Paddy. Marlon was very upset and told Rhona he did not want to be the part of the baby's life. He refused to go to Rhona's first scan too. In December, it was also revealed that there is a possibility that Marlon and Rhona's baby may, unfortunately, suffer from Down syndrome. It was later confirmed that this is definitely true. Rhona decided she was going to go ahead with the pregnancy, and Marlon and Paddy backed her up happily. The trio are all now good friends again. Marlon admitted to his housemate and colleague Bob Hope that his and Rhona's baby was sadly going to suffer from Down's syndrome. Later in the evening, Marlon comforted Bob after his best friend Terry Woods and ex-wife Viv Hope died in an arson attack caused by Katie Sugden's new boyfriend Nick Henshall. Soon after this, he told his friend Laurel Thomas about the baby's Down syndrome. Marlon, Rhona and Paddy went for a scan of the baby, and this showed that its heart rate was healthy. Rhona went on to give birth to their son Leo Goskirk in May 2011.
Also in 2010, Marlon's uncle Shadrach was kicked out of the Dingle family home when he flooded the bathroom and went to stay in Mill Cottage with Chas and her boyfriend, Carl King. However, Carl became impatient with Shadrach and argued with Chas about letting him stay. Shadrach overheard this and decided to leave. After buying a bottle of wine, Shadrach staggered into the road and was run over by Marlon. Marlon accompanied Shadrach to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with liver failure and a perforated ulcer, due to his drinking, and the only thing that would make any difference was to stop drinking. Despite that, Shadrach didn't listen and continued to drink but when Marlon found out, he demanded Shadrach stop and got rid of all alcoholic drinks. Shadrach took advantage of this and moved in with Marlon. Marlon helped Shadrach realize the good things he had in his life. Shadrach gave up for a few days but on his 62nd birthday, Marlon threw him a party with the whole family invited, having forgiven him for the flooding. However, Shadrach couldn't face his family and went on a drinking binge, much to Marlon's disgust. He threw Shadrach out and told him that he didn't care if Shadrach drank himself to death. Tragically, while Shadrach went out on a walk, he bought a six pack of beer and while walking over a footbridge, he staggered in pain caused by his liver condition and dropped his cans in the river. When trying to retrieve them, Shadrach lost his balance due to another sharp pain from his liver and collapsed. He was later found face down in the river by Marlon and Rhona, and was dragged out of the water but they were unable to save him. Marlon held his uncle's body in his arms, crying.
Marlon went to tell the family that Shadrach was found dead. The devastated Dingles were further shocked when Marlon revealed that Shadrach had in fact been ill for several weeks after Zak showed no sympathy. Zak was angry that Marlon didn't tell them, but Marlon promised Shadrach that he wouldn't. Marlon wouldn't stand being blamed for Shadrach's death, leading to an argument between him and Zak; Marlon retorting that he actually bothered to take care of Shadrach unlike everyone else and stormed out after.
2011-2014: Relationship with Laurel Thomas
In Autumn 2011, Marlon's friend Laurel started developing feelings for him. This caused major problems for Laurel's marriage to Ashley, so to test her test Laurel's commitment to him, Ashley asks Laurel to renew their wedding vows. Ashley started abusing his father Sandy as a result of the stress of trying to make the marriage work. When Laurel discovered this, it signalled the final blow for the couple. With Marlon, Laurel was now maintaining a friendship with Ashley. Marlon let Ashley move in with him after he had nowhere else to go, having moved out of the marital home, where Laurel remained with Sandy and the kids.
While this was happening, Marlon became involved in a bitter row and custody battle with Paddy and Rhona, who wanted to move to New Zealand for a couple of years, with Leo. Paddy spitefully revealed that Marlon and Laurel were a couple, which Ashley was devastated to hear about Marlon discovered what they were planning through Pearl Ladderbanks. Marlon went to confront Paddy and Rhona and a fight between Marlon and Paddy resulted in a police officer getting assaulted by Paddy, and the two were arrested. Paddy urged Rhona to go to New Zealand without him and she left with Leo. Marlon then conducted some research and explained to Paddy that he must call Rhona to tell her to return, otherwise he will inform the police who will force her to bring Leo home. Paddy and Marlon resumed their friendship but kept it a secret from Laurel and Rhona. Eventually, the two couples reconciled completely and have stayed on good terms. The children struggled to cope following the recent events, particularly Gabby, whose biological mother Bernice returned in November.
In October 2013, he is attacked by serial killer Cameron Murray and is knocked out cold in the flooding Woolpack cellar during Cameron's siege at the Woolpack. Cameron later takes people hostage but eventually lets them go except for Chas and Debbie. He later escapes from the cellar and holds Cameron at gunpoint while Chas and Debbie attempt to escape. Marlon then ran to the cellar, which was by now flooding to the top, but Cameron followed. After nearly drowning the three, Cameron was electrocuted. Marlon was put in the paper as a 2nd hero after what happened with Eli and the bookie years back. He later tells Laurel the truth; she is angry but later forgave him.
2014: Donna's return and meeting April
In March 2014, Marlon celebrated his 40th birthday. Unbeknownst to him, though, Donna returned to the village just before with a little girl, April, in tow. April was nearly run over by Adam Barton while on his quad bike, but she was saved by Marlon. He was then stunned to see Donna back in Emmerdale and when he confronted her, she told him that April is his daughter. Marlon subsequently got drunk and told Donna that he wanted nothing to do with April. Marlon eventually warmed to his daughter, and as Donna and April were leaving the village in Bob's car, Marlon stood in front of them, causing Donna to hit her head on the windscreen as Bob makes an emergency stop. Marlon didn't realise that Donna returned to the village because she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer
When April fell ill, she revealed to Marlon that Donna takes pills that make her feel better. This concerned Marlon, so while he was looking after his son Leo, in Rhona's house, he searched Donna's bedroom. He found a memory box for April, with birthday cards for every year of April's life, photos of Donna and a teddy bear inside. Marlon then realised that Donna is dying, and confronted her. She revealed that she has lung cancer and only has months left to live, leaving Marlon devastated. When Donna left, he revealed to Laurel of Donna's condition. Laurel felt uncomfortable, however, after Marlon decided to bring their wedding day forward in order for Donna to be able to attend before she dies. She confided in Rhona, who urged Laurel to tell Marlon how she felt about the situation.
Donna collapsed in Paddy and Rhona's kitchen which confused April, but she was found by Paddy, who helped her recover. The next day. Marlon accompanied Donna to a hospital appointment, where they were told that her cancer had spread; now into stage-four and that her life expectancy is a matter of weeks. This devastated Donna, who broke down in Marlon's arms. During a heart-to-heart with Donna, Marlon kissed her, but they both instantly regretted it. Donna began to worry that Marlon and Laurel will split up over the kiss, but they swore one another to secrecy. Donna then asked Marlon to help her make a video message for April. Marlon eventually told Paddy about the kiss, and Paddy warns Donna to give Marlon space. During a day out with Marlon and April, Donna collapsed again in the park, and is aided by Paddy as Marlon rushes April home before she is able to see Donna ill.
While out on a job with Ross Barton (for the last several weeks, Donna had been enlisting Ross' help in burglaries into order to secure April's future), Donna handcuffed herself to a criminal named Gary North and plunged off the roof to her death, taking Gary with her. Donna's colleague PC Stone broke the news to Bob and his partner Brenda Walker that Donna fell off the roof while chasing a suspect and is now dead. A devastated Bob broke the news of Donna's death to Marlon in the Woolpack. Bob was further shocked when Marlon informed him that Donna was dying of cancer and only had weeks to live, something that Bob had never known. Bob started taking his grief out on Marlon saying he should have told him about Donna's cancer so they could prepare April and blamed him for ruining her life. Marlon was then faced with the impossible task of telling April that her mummy had died. Marlon and Laurel explained to April that Donna had gone to be a superhero in the sky.
The aftermath of Donna's death also saw Marlon become at odds with Ross. Ross taunted Marlon with the news that Donna was bent and helping him carry out robberies. He added that he was there when she died and that they were more than just partners in crime and were planning to run away together with April. Marlon threatened to call the police, but didn't after much convincing, especially after his cousin Chas told him that her son Aaron Livesy got caught up in it. When April went missing, Marlon blamed Ross for her disappearance. Ross had eventually found April sitting in a car at the garage. Ross had threatened to tell Laurel about Marlon kissing Donna and they also got into a fight at Donna's funeral when Ross tried to attend. During the funeral, Marlon was unable to control his emotions while reading Donna's eulogy. As a result of Marlon's level of grief, Laurel was unsure she can marry Marlon as she didn't think his heart was in it. Two weeks later, Marlon watches Donna's video message for April.
2014-2015: Laurel's alcoholism
On the day of their wedding, Laurel admits that she kissed Ashley, but Marlon understood and confessed that he did the same with Donna. They forgave each other and got married. Laurel was disappointed after looking forward to her wedding night with Marlon and found him asleep with April on the sofa. The following day, Marlon warned Ashley off kissing Laurel again but Ashley turned the tables on him and advised Marlon to stop taking Laurel for granted if he wanted their marriage to work. Marlon then surprised Laurel with a holiday to Cornwall.
Towards the end of the year, Laurel slowly descended into alcoholism after she couldn't cope with everything that had happened to her, Marlon and Donna over the recent months. She manages to keep her addiction secret for a number of months but Marlon eventually discovered the extent of his wife's addiction. Laurel lied and said that she has only began drinking because she couldn't cope with looking after the children all of the time and said that she would stop drinking once she and Marlon take a short holiday away from the village. When they returned, it became apparent that Laurel hadn't stopped drinking, and continued to down alcoholic drinks when Marlon was at work.
At breakfast, she spikes her orange juice with vodka, which April drank. Laurel took April to hospital, where they were told that April will be fine, but Laurel manipulated her into not telling Marlon about the incident. A number of weeks later, Marlon realised that Laurel had not stopped drinking after she choked on her vomit and had to be rushed to hospital. While Laurel was in hospital recovering, April revealed to Marlon about the orange juice incident, which infuriated him. When Laurel is discharged the following week, Marlon confronted her and he gave her some harsh home truths, leading to Laurel punching Marlon in the face. He appeared to be fine, but the next day he collapsed and claimed that he couldn't see. He was taken to hospital and was told that Laurel has detached his retina in his eye when she punched him. Marlon's concerned cousin Cain ordered Laurel to leave Marlon and the children, but she refused and got drunk yet again. She left the house, unaware that she has left the front door open, leading to Marlon's beloved dog Daisy escaping. When Marlon was discharged from hospital following an operation on his eye, he was furious to discover that Cain had told Laurel to leave and they went to find her. They discovered Laurel's car crashed into a tree and her pleading with Marlon not to come any closer. Cain and Marlon were unnerved to find his car parked off-road near the Ford. As Marlon went to investigate, he was horrified to find Laurel attempting to bury Daisy, having clearly hit her while driving the car. Marlon arrived home weeping and cradling Daisy in his arms; Daisy having been the last remaining memory of Tricia. Laurel tried to apologise and promised to buy Marlon a new dog. She also tactlessly said that Daisy's death was a good thing as it could've been the key to sorting herself out. Disgusted, he grabbed her and threw her out.
2016-2017: Relationship with Carly Hope
2017-2019: Relationship with Jessie Grant
In November 2017, Rhona and Marlon were supposed to meet with headteacher Jessie Grant to discuss the redundancy of Leo's teaching assistant, Chris Greenway. In March 2018, Jessie moved to the village and after a few awkward encounters and mishaps, finally agreed to go on a date with Marlon the following July. She saw photos of his exes in his home and used that as an excuse to leave, but later told him that she can't move on from her late first husband.
Jessie managed to get a job at Hotten Academy, and Marlon was sad to see her leave Connelton Primary. At her leaving party, Jessie found herself becoming increasingly jealous as Marlon was spending a lot of time with her co-worker Daphne. When Daphne questioned Marlon's marital status, Jessie told Daphne that he was taken, causing Daphne to rage at Marlon. Jessie comes clean to Marlon about what she told Daphne and why, and the pair are soon kissing. However, Daphne comes back the next day, having overheard Marlon's daughter April Windsor tell Daphne's daughter Matilda that Marlon is single. Jessie catches Daphne kissing Marlon in The Woolpack kitchen and Marlon tells Jessie how Daphne lunged at him so Jessie storms over to Daphne and warns her against trying it on with Marlon. Jessie and Marlon then decide to give their relationship a shot. In September 2018, Jessie's son Ellis arrives in the village and he admits that he's decided not to go back to university to do his PGCE. Marlon is then disappointed to learn Jessie wants to take things slowly now that Ellis has moved into Tall Trees Cottage with Marlon. Ellis also warns Jessie that Marlon will find out her secret, that her other son, Billy Fletcher is in prison for GBH. Ellis gets upset when Jessie keeps insisting Billy is innocent after she goes to visit him. Marlon walks in on them arguing and Ellis angrily tells him that Jessie was in jail this morning visiting her "psycho" son. Jessie states she didn't want Marlon to find out like this and walks out. Things are awkward between Jessie and Marlon.
On 26th November 2018, April convinces Marlon to start putting up the Christmas lights. However, Jessie is horrified when she comes home and Marlon has spelt out "I love you" with the lights on the wall. Marlon is heartbroken that he's made a mistake but Jessie confesses that she never really got over her first husband after his death and that he's done nothing wrong. She also reveals that she's kept his ashes by her bedside since he died but decides it's time to move on. She and Marlon scatter the ashes together and she finally reveals she loves him. In December 2018, Jessie wants to show Marlon how much she loves him and starts making plans. She asks Marlon's daughter April for permission to marry Marlon and is delighted when she says yes. After doing some research, Jessie discovers you can't have a surprise legal wedding but agrees to a surprise non-legal wedding. April declares this will be the best Christmas ever. Jessie enlists friend Lydia Hart to help with the wedding they find the perfect wedding venue - a barn at Wishing Well Cottage.
On Christmas Day, Marlon is fooled into going to the barn, believing the wedding to be for his cousin Sam but is shocked to arrive to see Jessie in a wedding dress and faints. After he regains consciousness, Jessie and Marlon married in a non-legal ceremony with Jessie's aunt Bonnie acting as registrar. They get teary-eyed as they say their vows and exchange rings. Everyone cheers as they are pronounced husband and wife. After Ellis makes a speech, Billy appears the wedding much to Jessie's delight. Jessie suggests she and Billy could move into Tall Trees Cottage with Marlon now. Marlon is unsure about Billy moving in but agrees. On 7th January 2019, Jessie and Marlon finally legally marry with Harriet Finch performing the ceremony. In March 2019, Marlon and Jessie go on a honeymoon to Belfast after Marlon revealed the place due to there being a Titanic museum there. Jessie is touched that he has remembered her favourite film. However, their plans are ruined when Marlon's best friend Paddy and Kerry Wyatt hijacks the trip, both having things to attend to in the city. Marlon helps Paddy meet with his real father, wrestler Bear Wolf. While Jessie and Marlon are busy helping their friends they end up missing the most of their trip together.
In late April 2019, Billy puts the family in danger when he falls in with one of his old accomplices Max Garrick and he starts making threats towards their family. When Ellis is stabbed during a night out Jessie and Marlon are convinced that Max is behind it. In June, Billy started working with the police to set Max up, without the rest of the family knowing, but Max and his gang found out and planned revenge. On 25th June 2019, Jessie and Marlon arrived home and came face-to-face with Max who had broken in. Max orders Marlon, Jessie and April to sit down. Marlon and April do but a defiant Jessie would rather stand. Max instructs Jessie to call Billy home. When Jessie refuses, Max pulls out a gun so Jessie does as he says. Billy doesn't answer the phone so an audibly terrified Jessie leaves him a voicemail. Jessie begs Max to let Marlon and April go so Max demands £40,000 to leave. Jessie explains they don't have that kind of money. She goes to call Billy again but instead she calls 999. When Max realizes the police have been called, he is infuriated and raises the gun, pointing it at Jessie. Max instructs Marlon and Jessie to close all the curtains and lock the doors. Whilst Marlon locks the front door, Billy, who has received Jessie's message, sneaks in via the back door. He lets April out and reveals his presence to Max. A struggle ensues but Max accidentally shoots Jessie who is later taken away to hospital. She luckily recovered but Marlon blamed Billy for Jessie's injuries. Billy finally explains to Jessie that everything that's happened that caused him to end up in prison and she forgives him. However, this causes some tension in her relationship with Marlon who isn't as forgiving and believes she's putting April's safety in danger.
In August 2019, at April's birthday part, Jessie's ex-husband, as well as Ellis' father, Al Chapman turns up at their house. His arrival makes things difficult for Marlon and Jessie as Ellis starts to warm up to him and Marlon is worried Jessie will fall for him again. Later in the month Jessie informs Marlon that she has quit her job, convinced she would otherwise be fired. Marlon, however, is furious that she did this without consulting him and worries for their finances.
In September 2019, the drift between Jessie and Marlon grows wider and wider and Al starts to get into her head. He reveals he has a job for her as a headteacher in a school in Dubai. She is reluctant but decides to do the interview and is thrilled when in goes well. However, Marlon finds out and is less happy, upset that she didn't talk to him and questions how she could even consider it. Jessie reveals she got the job but turned it down, despite this, things grow increasingly worse with the couple. Following a fight between Jessie and Marlon, Jessie sleeps with Al after he flatters her but she instantly regrets it. She admits her infidelity to Marlon who is crushed. She insists he's the one she loves and wants to be with but he decides they are over and takes off his ring. When he won't change his hind, Jessie decides to leave the village for the job in Dubai. After a tearful goodbye of both Marlon and April, she drives out of the village, leaving Marlon devastated. Billy and Ellis start considering moving, thinking it would be complicated to stay at Marlon's. However, after some persuasion from Marlon and April, who they have both come to see as a little sister, they decide to stay and turn on Al, both taking Marlon's side.
2019-: Wrongful imprisonment and heart attack
Marlon developed a great dislike towards Graham Foster after he began to date Rhona in late 2019 and Rhona wanted to introduce him to Leo. Marlon was apprehensive due to Graham's shady past and violent tendencies. He eventually gave in but kept being skeptical of the relationship. On Christmas Day, things escalated when he overheard Graham telling the Tates that he and Rhona planned to leave the village for France and take Leo with them. Marlon was furious and attacked Graham, warning him to not take his son away from him. The couple thus soon changed their plans to leave to Marlon's relief but he still didn't like Graham's presence in Leo's life and things turned even more heated when in January 2020, Rhona accused Marlon of stealing Leo's passport, resulting in him questioning why she needed it in the first place. However, she still denied that their plans to move were back on.
On the day of Hawksford Outdoor Pursuits opening, Marlon and Graham had a bust-up again after he drove April and Leo. Marlon was enraged and attacked him, almost hitting him with a torch and warning him again to stay away from his children. Later that day, Marlon was devastated and furious when Rhona revealed that not only was she planning on moving to France with Graham and Leo but that they were leaving later that night. In the evening, Marlon asked to meet Graham in the woods, but he never showed up. The following day, Marlon was shocked to hear Graham had been murdered and even more so when he was taken in for questioning. The police informed Marlon that they knew about his and Graham's fight the dag before and had CCTV footage showing Graham going into the woods shortly after Marlon did but only Marlon coming out, making him their prime suspect. After finding the murder weapon, the same torch he threatened Graham with the day of his death but now covered in Graham's blood, in his house he was charged with the murder. He was devastated when he was denied bail and had to stay in prison awaiting his trial in June.
Whilst awaiting his trial, the Dingles became determined to get him out and started a "Free Marlon" campaign whilst Rhona wanted to find the real killer and clear Marlon's name. Marlon struggled to cope in prison and told his family to lie to April, saying kids weren't allowed in prisons as he couldn't deal with her visiting him and seeing him like that. However, on 4th February 2020, April learned the truth and ran away from home. Mandy Dingle told him what happened and he was beside himself with worry, desperate to get out to find his daughter. The following day April was found and returned home, but Marlon's cousin Sam visited him in prison, convincing him that he had to let April visit, to which he eventually agreed. April finally got to see him and he promised he'd never keep her from seeing him again. Marlon continued to struggle in prison and didn't get much hope despite the Dingles hard work on their "Free Marlon" campaign. On 26th February 2020, Marlon was relieved when he was told he would be released the following day as another suspect has now risen with enough evidence to let him go. He was finally reunited with Leo and April the following day but struggled to cope with what he'd been through.
In March 2020, Marlon's struggles got worse as he realised April had been bullied in school because of his imprisonment. He felt guilty for her struggles but started blaming his family after Mandy had invited a reporter to welcome him after his release and Rhona revealed Charity and her son Ryan had stolen Graham's money the night of his death which he originally stole from Kim Tate, meaning they'd sat on evidence which could have pointed towards another suspect. Marlon decided he was done with his family and wanted them all out of his life, even quitting his job at the Woolpack as it was run by Chas and Charity. On 19th March 2020, Marlon had a small heart attack which puts things into perspective for him. He decided to turn his life around and forgave his family, returning to his job and focusing on Leo and April.
- Marlon is the character with the most appearances to date, appearing in over 3100 episodes.
"Hey, what about me gear?" (First line, to a girl who drives him to the Dingle homestead)
"I don’t want to be your consolation prize, Jessie. I think… I am worth more than that. Our marriage is over." (to Jessie Dingle)
"Special forces, Navy SEALs, I don't care if you were a samurai. But if you play any part in taking my boy away from me, the only place you will be is in the ground." (to Graham Foster)