Not to be confused with her aunt, Tracy Shankley Sr..
1989-2014: Early life Edit
Tracy Sharon Shankley was born on 9th September 1989 to Evette Shankley and Frank Clayton. One day, Frank left Evette and Tracy, and Tracy lost contact with her father. Frank's departure also caused Evette to begin developing a drinking problem. When Tracy tries to stop her, Evette throws her out, but still demands money for rent. Tracy becomes a prostitute, a regular client being Phil Webb, whom of which she re-encounter in 2018. Tracy later gave up prostitution and moved onto adult chat lines, and lost contact with her mother.
2014: Arrival and DepartureEdit
Tracy comes to Emmerdale to meet Sam Dingle, after they began talking via an adult chat line. Sam asks Tracy to stay with him, but his step-mother, Lisa, kicks Tracy out when she becomes suspicious of her. Sam and Tracy eventually move into Brook Cottage with Robbie Lawson. Tracy cons Sam out of money and leaves.
2015-2016: Return and David's CancerEdit
Tracy eventually starts working at The Grange after she reminds Val of Amy Wyatt and Val allows her to sleep in the spare room. She works there for a time and with Val's help rekindles her relationship with Sam, only to lose him to Rachel Breckle. She falls out with Val and soon begins sleeping and living with Andy Sugden, who'd just lost his wife. Andy can't cope with a relationship beyond sex, and when he accidentally hurts her during an argument, he asks her to leave. She soon comes crawling back to the Grange until she finds a job with Jimmy and moves in with him. She and Bernice Blackstock clash, with Bernice going so far as to accuse her of stealing jewellery from her but learn to tolerate each other.
In July 2015, Rodney comes back from Amsterdam with a present for Jimmy. It is a DVD, entitled Busty Cream Cake Cafe Girls, and after getting Jimmy alone, Rodney reveals the present with Tracy on the front cover. Jimmy then realises that she used to be a 'specialist' actor. Tracy explains that she was in poverty and desperate to get any money she could. When Jimmy understands, she kisses him, but he pushes her away. They continue to work together until a driver at his haulage firm is hospitalised and it comes out that he is in the country illegally. As Tracy was the one responsible for unknowingly hiring someone who has no papers, Jimmy reluctantly fires her. Tracy then has no choice but to return to the Grange, where Val rehires her, but now makes her pay for her room and board. Val dies soon after, but remembers Tracy in a video goodbye - she tells Tracy to keep her hands off Eric. Tracy tries to help Eric run the B&B as he spirals into grief, and is hurt when Leyla asks if she's taking advantage of him.
Tracy continues to live rent-free at the B&B, but when Val's sister Diane takes over part of the business, she questions the arrangement when they could easily rent out the room. Tracy brags to Carly Hope about having Eric wrapped around her little finger, unaware that Diane can hear her. Tracy is soon asked to leave and moves in with Carly and Vanessa Woodfield at Tug Ghyll in May 2016. However, Vanessa is less than happy as she is tired of Tracy making a mess and not paying rent on time.
After Eric's son David is diagnosed with testicular cancer, Eric asks Tracy to keep an eye on him. They end up having sex, but David feels betrayed when he realises Tracy knew about his diagnosis and assumes she only slept with him out of pity. Once they get over this issue, she continues to support the family, convincing David's son Jacob not to leave the village when he feels hurt over David lying to him. In spite of this, she still feels like she isn't truly a part of their family. Diane catches Tracy booking flights to Ibiza in The B&B. She calls David round, lying to him by saying that she urgently needs to see him. When David arrives, Diane locks him in a room with Tracy, but then quietly unlocks it again without them knowing. Tracy hangs out the window and screams like mad for help. Tracy fells back from the window and lands on David; they share a kiss. Tracy then gets in a taxi to get to the airport, but they soon have a flat tyre. Finn Barton and David call Ross over the radio. David asks to speak to Tracy. Tracy tells Ross to drive back to the village. She meets David in The Woolpack with everyone watching. Unexpectedly, David proposes to Tracy. Tracy accepts but feels uneasy about marrying him while he's seriously ill. David agrees to wait, but keeps proposing in hopes she'll change her mind. She slowly does change her mind, but they decide to keep waiting until he gets his test results back.Tracy encounters resistance from the people in David's life, especially Leyla, who assumes she is a golddigger. When Leyla's housemate and friend Vanessa is overheard talking with Leyla about Tracy, Tracy snaps at her, leading the two women to have a fight. Meanwhile, David tries to track down Tracy's father after she gives his absence as a reason why she's waiting to marry. He finds Frank Clayton in prison, visiting him and having a conversation about "Teeny." Tracy is hurt that David went behind her back, and even more hurt to realise the girl Frank is talking about can't be her, as he never called her that name. After Frank is attacked Tracy visits him in hospital where she finds pictures of a young Frank and her as a child. Tracy begins to warm to Frank and asks David if he can stay with them upon his release. However, Vanessa and Leyla get the wrong idea and think the man she's in contact with is a fling, leading to more tension between them. Things get even tenser when, during a visit to see Frank, Vanessa and Tracy learn they are half-sisters. After another fight, they try to make amends, but a hurt Tracy decides she'd rather Frank not stay with her. He moves in with Vanessa instead.
David throws Tracy a big birthday party, and Vanessa gives Tracy a gift. Her good intentions are marred when Tracy realises that when she was a little girl Frank took one of her toys and gave it to Vanessa for a birthday present. David tries to convince Tracy to give him another chance, but she overhears Frank telling Vanessa he only cares about her. Tracy, wanting revenge, makes it look like Frank stole Eric's bank card. David is disturbed by her actions and tells her he now wonders whether it's a good idea to get married after all.
David's test results show that he is clear of cancer, and he and Tracy move toward a wedding day. Tracy manages to get the charges against Frank dropped, but still wants nothing to do with him. On the day of the wedding, Frank kidnaps Tracy to make her change her mind, leaving an unaware David to assume she's stood him up. Vanessa finds them and they make peace, but their cars don't work, nor do their phones. They manage to get a ride back on a tractor and Tracy makes it to the church just in time.
2017-2018: Foray into erotic novels and charging Phill WebbEdit
Tracy first got into books after she realised people saw her as a joke. After a few unsuccessful weeks of a book club where Tracy failed to read anything, the group's attention turned to a more 'romantic' genre of books. Tracy branched into the other side of the book industry - writing. She recruited Pearl Ladderbanks to write the more factual stuff whilst Tracy herself wrote the smut. As of now, Tracy has written one novel and one novella, entitled More Than Man Enough For Me and Pandora's Box, respectively. Her inspiration was her husband, David.
Weeks went by and, not wanting to see his wife disappointed, David and various villagers set up fake accounts online, lying by sending out comments of encouragement. Unknowingly, Tracy was spurred on by the comments to continue writing, sack Pearl and write a novella, Pandora's Box. Tracy eventually found out about David's fake accounts but started writing her own fake comments too. Her books were sent to various bookstores and businesses, including the café and the shop. Due to this, Tracy entered Leeds Literary Festival and had an article in the paper. In May 2017, she had a book launch for More Than Man Enough For Me.
In 2018, Tracy reveals her past as a prostitute and reports her former client, Phil Webb, who had been blackmailing and harassing her. David starts acting weird and Tracy comes to the conclusion that he is ashamed of her. Upset by his behaviour she considers splitting up with him and finally makes her decision to go through with it when it's revealed David has cheated on her and eventually the pair gets divorced.
Phil was charged and in April 2018, he was found guilty and sentenced to four years imprisonment. Phil's conviction made the news and Tracy watched the segment with Charity Dingle, the girlfriend of Tracy's sister, Vanessa. Tracy became a spokesperson for The Hotten District Campaign to support Sex Workers and held a speech at the lanch about her past as a prostitute and how to help sex worker.
2019-: Big Night Out and death of FrankEdit
In March 2019, Tracy starts taking an interest in Billy Fletcher as they flirt. However, Tracy is upset when Billy is targeted by a racist woman in a park and reported for acting suspiciously. Tracy goes for the woman but Billy tells her to stay out of it. Later, Billy attacks his younger brother Ellis, after he reveals the incident to their family, disgusting Tracy who claims she wants nothing more to do with him. In late April 2019, Tracy is involved in the Big Night Out and attacks paedophile teacher Maya Stepney following the revelation that she had been grooming her student and Tracy's former step-son, Jacob Gallagher throughout the end of 2018 and start of 2019. She along with Jacob's mother Leyla Harding and Priya Kotecha attempted to cover up the teacher's supposed "death" believing that they had killed her. However, it was later revealed she had survived and she was later put on trial for her crimes.
In early August 2019, Tracy went to the factory to meet up Billy after some flirting in the pub. However, unbeknownst to her the lock on the door of the closet she was waiting in was broken and a fire soon broke out. She panicked as she couldn't get out and started having problems breathing in the smoke. However, Frank luckily arrived and managed to bring her out safety but then rushed back in to retrieve an engagement ring that he brought for his girlfriend Megan Macey. Vanessa and Billy rushed to Tracy's side as she emerged from the factory, but Vanessa and Megan soon panicked when they realised Frank was still inside. To their initial relief, Frank soon walked out of the factory safely but a sudden explosion threw him against a van and left him in a crumpled heap on the ground. The arriving paramedics instantly tried to revive him as Tracy and Vanessa watched on in horror. They soon announced that Frank was dead and Tracy rushed to him, refusing to believe it. She told them to try harder, but Vanessa took her sister in her arms, announcing that he was gone. In the following weeks, Tracy was horrified as people's suspicions turned towards Frank, believing that he was responsible for the fire and robbery in which charity money had disappeared from the factory's safe. Tracy was sure her he would never do that but struggled to convince anybody else as even Vanessa stated to doubt their father's innocence, causing friction in their relationship.
On the day before Frank's funeral, Tracy finds a receipt for an engagement ring in Frank's coat pocket dating to the day of the fire and becomes more convinced than ever that he didn't do it. She teams up with Pete Barton and sets out to prove Frank's innocence. Tracy became more and more desperate in her attempts to prove Frank wasn't behind the fire and even went as far as breaking into the Sharmas house in search for evidence and attacking Dawn Taylor when she believed her to be the culprit.
- The idea to make Tracy and Vanessa half-siblings was presented to producer Iain MacLeod by the actresses, Michelle Hardwick and Amy Walsh. Michelle and Amy felt they looked similar and pointed out their characters both had an unknown father in prison.