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Emmerdale Wiki

Not to be confused with her aunt, Tracy Shankley Sr..

Tracy Sharon Robinson (née Shankley, previously Metcalfe) is the daughter of Frank Clayton and Evette Shankley, the half-sister of Vanessa Woodfield, the mother of Frankie Robinson and the ex wife of Nate Robinson. She is named after her aunt Tracy Shankley Sr..


1989-2014: Early life[]

Young Tracy and Frank

Picture of young Tracy and Frank

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 departure[]

Episode 6907

Tracy's first appearance

Tracy comes to Emmerdale in July 2014, to meet Sam Dingle, after they began talking via an adult chat line. Tracy, going under the name of Colleen met up with Sam who was thrilled to meet her but thrown off when she revealed her real name. 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. In September, Tracy cons Sam out of money and leaves.

2015-2016: Return, David's cancer and long lost family[]

In January 2015, Sam is shocked when he finds Tracy sleeping in the barn at Wishing Well Cottage. He also realises that she's the one who has been stealing money and vodka from the house as she's been staying in the barn for a couple of days. She then secretly stays the night at The Grange but is caught by Val Pollard the following morning. She offers to work at the B&B to pay off her debt of a room for the night who agrees as she reminds Val of her foster daughter Amy Wyatt. Val allows her to sleep in the spare room and Tracy pays the Dingles back for the money she's stolen. She works there for a time and with Val's help rekindles her relationship with Sam, only to lose him to Rachel Breckle in February. She falls out with Val and soon begins sleeping and living with Andy Sugden, who'd just lost his wife Katie. 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 King 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, Jimmy's father-in-law Rodney comes back from Amsterdam with a present for him. 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 gets tired of Tracy making a mess and not paying rent on time. 

Episode 7485

Tracy and David sleep together

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 his ex and Jacob's mother Leyla Harding, who assumes she is a golddigger. In August 2016, when Tracy overhears Leyla and friend Vanessa talking about her, Tracy snaps at Vanessa, 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 in prison Tracy visits him in hospital where she

Episode 7594

Vanessa and Tracy find out they are sisters

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.

Episode 7623

Tracy and David marry

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 to marry David with both her father and new-found sister by her side. 

2017-2018: Foray into erotic novels and charging Phill Webb[]

In January 2017, Tracy helped her friend Finn Barton with his relationship problems with his ex Kasim Sabet. To give Finn a confidence boost and help him get over Kasim, Tracy pays friend and escort Nathan to ask Finn out. Finn overhears Nathan and Tracy discussing Tracy paying Nathan to see him. He can't believe it. Tracy apologises to Finn and is shocked when he states it's only a matter of time until he and Kasim reunite.

In February 2017, Tracy got into books after she realised people saw her as a joke. She gets annoyed when even David questions she would read and insists she isn't a brainless bimbo. She decides to prove people wrong and start her own book club.  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. Her inspiration was her husband, David. By March Tracy had finished her book and decided to title it More Than Man Enough For Me and asked David to be on the cover.

Tracy book launch

Tracy's book launch

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. She shows her new book to her friends and David who is disappointed but lies that it's as good as her last one. Tracy eventually found out about David's fake accounts but started writing her own fake comments too and played along with his lies to wind him up. 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 early May 2017, she had a book launch for More Than Man Enough For Me. However, Tracy was disappointed that people were more interested in David than her. After this Tracy ended her short writing career. 

In October 2017, Victoria Barton calls Tracy that Finn has died in hospital after being shot which left Tracy very devastated. She attended his funeral on 12th October that year. 

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. 

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2019 to present: Big Night Out and death of Frank[]

Episode 8459

Tracy, Leyla and Priya promise to stick together after what happened

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.

Episode 8589

Tracy threatens Dawn

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. Tracy broke down and realised she couldn't keep accusing people like that. She then completely changed her view, now convinced that Frank actually did do it and had lied to her ever since he came into her life again. Vanessa tried to convince her that he was still their dad but Tracy no longer wanted anything to do with him. 

In October 2019, Tracy realised that her housemate Kerry Wyatt knew more than she let on and she finally confessed that she and daughter Amy were responsible for the fire and subsequent death of Frank. Tracy was horrified and tried to leave the house but Amy and Kerry tried to stop Tracy from leaving and spilling their secret so she shoved Kerry, causing her to bump her head on a rock. Kerry was transported to hospital where she luckily recovered but she and Amy used the incident to blackmail Tracy and Vanessa not to tell the police what the had done as if they did, they would then tell them that Tracy was responsible for Kerry's injury. Despite, initially wanting to tell on them anyway and take the consequences the sisters then decided against it to keep Tracy out of prison and try to move forward with their lives. The following month, Tracy had a short-lived relationship with Pete after Vanessa and her fiancee Charity got them to confess their feelings for each other, however, they soon realised they were better as friends and called it off. 

Episode 8752

Tracy finds out about Vanessa's cancer

In February 2020, Tracy started going out with Nate Robinson but they were interrupted when Charity called, desperate to track Vanessa down who they both thought had gone to Paris for a holiday but now had no idea where she was after Charity found her boarding passes still in the house. They were horrified when they realised Vanessa and Johnny had been held captive by rapist and murderer Pierce Harris for weeks. She was finally rescued and recovered in hospital. On 9th March 2020, Tracy was devastated upon discovering Vanessa was suffering from bowel cancer. She vowed to be there for her sister but confined her fears in Eric, feeling like she couldn't go through this again after how hard it was with David. 


After being kicked out by her mother at a young age, Tracy turned to prostitution and later adult chat-lines to support herself. Once she arrived in the village she quickly found work at the local B&B where she, as well as having a few other positions, has worked since returning to the village in January 2015. She was also a self-published author of erotic novels for a while but later quite as they didn't sell well. 

Employment history[]

Role Institution Duration
Prostitute Unspecified time
Adult chat-line operator Until July 2014
Guest Liason The Grange January to February 2015
Guest Liason The Grange March 2015 to January 2021
Secretary Home James Haulage May to July 2015
Shop assistant David's Shop August 2016 to March 2018


Address Duration
Brook Cottage July to September 2014
Wishing Well Cottage January 2015
The Grange January to March 2015
Tug Ghyll March 2015
The Grange March to April 2015
Mill Cottage April to May 2015
The Grange May 2015 to May 2016
Tug Ghyll May to July 2016
Farrers Barn July 2016 to March 2018
Tug Ghyll March 2018 to January 2022
Nottingham January 2022 to July 2023
Tug Ghyll July 2023 to present

Background information[]

  • 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.


See also[]