Toni caused trouble from the moment she set foot in Emmerdale in 2005. Having met Paddy Kirk in Portugal, Toni agreed to return to Emmerdale with him and pretend to be his internet girlfriend, Fireblade. The whole scheme was designed to upset Paddy's receptionist, Jo Stiles, who had invented the sexy stranger to boost Paddy's confidence. After the joke was played out, Toni revealed herself to be the fun-loving cousin of local boy Danny and settled into life in the village.
Living with Marlon Dingle and Paddy, Toni's first task was to get a job. Sociable and talented in the kitchen, Toni impressed Woolpack owner Diane Sugden and got a job behind the bar. However, with Toni muscling in on the kitchen, Marlon's nose was out of joint and the animosity between them – though not serious – was a source of tension.
Toni soon established herself as a girl with an eye for a hunky man. After just a few weeks, Toni pulled Ivan Jones and spent a passionate night with him – much to Nicola King's fury. Both agreed it was a one-off and Toni turned her attentions elsewhere. Gorgeous vet Hari Prasad was Toni's idea of Mr. Perfect and she set about flirting with him, hoping for a date. Unfortunately, Toni didn't know hunky Hari had ruled her out as a potential love interest, knowing Paddy was mad about her. Because they were such good friends, Toni had no idea Paddy had romantic feelings for her. However, these things couldn't be hidden for long and Paddy confessed – only to be brutally knocked back. Toni thought he’d deliberately sabotaged her chances with Hari and was further incensed when he put the dampeners on her big night out with Jimmy King, who she was using to get the PA job with King & Sons. After a furious argument, Toni cooled down and forgave Paddy, restoring peace at Smithy Cottage. However, Toni would live to regret her haste in rejecting Paddy. When he started getting close to Del Dingle, Toni realised she did have feelings for him and was determined to win him back. But it was too late, Paddy was smitten with Del and didn't notice that Toni wanted him herself. Now Toni is hell bent on winning back her man and Del better watch out. Del realised what Toni was doing and stormed into The Woolpack kitchen, demanding Toni leave Paddy alone. When Toni refused, she and Del had a fight, ending in Toni getting badly burned with hot fat. It was a genuine accident but Paddy was so horrified by Del's actions that he dumped her. She and Paddy did get together eventually and even got engaged. But after realising the proposal was an accident, they tearfully agreed that they weren't meant to be and a heartbroken Toni made peace with Paddy and arch-enemy Del and left the village.