Vanessa Elizabeth Woodfield is the mother of Johnny Woodfield, the half-sister of Tracy Metcalfe and the daughter of Frank Clayton. She is also a partner in Emmerdale Veterinary Surgery.

Vanessa is currently engaged to Charity Dingle.


1976-2012: Early life

Vanessa Woodfield was born on 7th March 1976. Her father, Frank, left when Vanessa was about 10 years old and unbeknownst to her had another daughter, Tracy in 1989. Once Frank had left, Vanessa mother remarried, giving Vanessa a stepdad whose surname she adopted.

2012-2014: Arrival in Emmerdale

Vanessa arrived in the village on 10th December 2012. After Rhona Goskirk fires her locum vet, she hires Vanessa, a friend from university. Paddy Kirk, Rhona's husband, has heard wild stories about her and dreads her arrival. He feels isolated as Rhona greets her friend and is annoyed to hear that she and Rhona are planning a night out. He worries about Vanessa bringing men back to the house but is forced to apologise when she overhears him complaining. Vanessa goes to Butlers Farm, where she walks in on Moira Barton and Cain Dingle kissing. She returns the next day and apologises to Moira. They sit down together, talking about each other's pasts over a bottle of wine, which is the start of their friendship.

In early March 2013, Vanessa grieves the death of her godmother and gets some time off to go to her funeral, however, following the reception, a desperate Paddy and Rhona ask her to do a callout to Home Farm. Vanessa is distraught when Katie Addyman's horse dies whilst in her care and Katie threatens to sue Vanessa, convinced that she was at fault for the wrong diagnosis but Rhona is adamant that it could have happened to anyone. Despite this, Katie tells Paddy and Rhona that she will only drop this if they agree to let Vanessa go. However, Rhona and Paddy stand by her and manages to help calm the situation down. On 3rd April 2013, after receiving a great inheritance from her godmother, Vanessa becomes a partner in the vet practice with Paddy and Rhona to help with the workload after Rhona hurts her back.

In May 2013, Vanessa discovers Rhona's addiction to painkillers, as a result of becoming hooked after having trouble with her back, after witnessing her raiding the drug cabinet at the vets. She warns her that this could endanger her career and that she should get help, but Rhona insists she can do this and make Vanessa promise not to tell anyone, She tries to help Rhona but it just keeps getting worse gets worse. In June, Vanessa confronts her about stealing painkillers from Sandy Thomas, leaving him in severe pain. Rhona denies it until Vanessa says she can have more painkillers if she admits it and she does. However, Vanessa then refuses to give her anything and Rhona slaps her. Vanessa then tells Rhona that she needs professional help for her addiction.

On 2nd August 2013, Vanessa admits to Rhona that she has fallen in love with her but Rhona rejects her, claiming her feelings are "wrong". However, Rhona later makes Vanessa think her feelings are requited, kissing her passionately, so that Vanessa will keep giving her pills. Vanessa and Rhona then begin a brief affair but Paddy catches them kissing. Rhona then admits that she was only using her to get painkillers, insulting her and throws her out. Heartbroken, Vanessa stays with Moira but soon learns that Rhona had an overdose and meets Marlon and Paddy at the hospital, where she tells them the truth about Rhona's addiction. Paddy attacks Vanessa but Marlon and Moira restrain him. Later, as Rhona starts getting treatment for her addiction and Vanessa gives the couple some space as Paddy is still furious with her. However, in early September, Paddy begs her to come back to the surgery to keep it afloat and Rhona confesses that she wants them to be friends again.

In October 2013, Vanessa buys and moves into Nikhil Sharma's former house, Victoria Cottage, after he moves to Canada. Following Cameron Murray's hostage siege at The Woolpack, she lets landladies Diane Sugden and Chas Dingle stay with her briefly until the pub is complete. In January 2014, after witnessing Dom Andrews and his daughter Gemma being cruelly evicted from their house Vanessa allows them to stay with her and later forms a close friendship with Dom. A few months later, Vanessa accompanies Dom to the hospital when Gemma is found unconscious and is upset when Gemma dies. She attends Gemma's funeral and helps Dom through his daughter's death. On 13th June 2014, Dom leaves the village without telling Vanessa.

After a visit to Butlers Farm, Vanessa panics when she notices the ketamine is missing from her vet bag as Moira's son Adam Barton, has stolen it and taken a large dose. Paddy urges Vanessa to call the police and Moira is questioned. Vanessa later moves into Tug Ghyll with Katie and Leyla Harding after being thrown out of her house when Nikhil decides to instead rent it to his sister Priya Sharma's fiancé, Rakesh Kotecha.

2014-2016: Relationship with Kirin and birth of Johnny

In August 2014, Vanessa and Leyla go on a night out, ending with Vanessa having a one-night stand with a young man, which she boasts about to Leyla the following day. However, she is soon horrified to realise it was Priya Sharma's soon-to-be 17-year-old stepson, Kirin Kotecha. She confronts him but he charms her and they decide to continue their relationship in secret. However, Priya catches them and demands they end their relationship, to which Vanessa agrees. After trying to stay away from each other they decide to not let others dictate what they do and give their relationship another go. They later, decide to go public with their relationship and Kirin introduces her to Priya and his dad, Rakesh, upsetting them both. Rakesh, however, reckons Kirin will soon be bored of her and tries to convince Vanessa of this. His words get to her she decides to go away for a while with Rhona to think things through. When they return in October, Vanessa thinks Kirin is ignoring her, leading to Rhona and Paddy setting her up with another guy, upsetting Kirin. He tells Rhona that he wasn't ignoring Vanessa but just didn't see her, which leads to Rhona telling Vanessa she should give Kirin another chance and they reconcile.

In November 2014, Kirin has a row with his dad and decides to move in with Vanessa, upsetting her when he doesn't ask beforehand. She tells him that she’s not ready to share her space with him yet but he doesn’t react well and after a fight, she breaks up with him. However, Vanessa fears she overreacted and calls Kirin, asking him to come back so they can talk. Whilst driving back to her house after a night out drinking, he collides with Moira's van and sends her sliding off the road. She is rushed to the hospital and Vanessa is furious with him, but when he swears that he’s sorry and didn’t know Moira had gotten hurt Vanessa goes up to Butlers to apologize for him and convince Moira to not go to the police. Vanessa’s defence of Kirin upsets Moira and she promises not to call the police but says that from this moment their friendship is over. On Christmas Eve, Vanessa, who wants to repair her relationship with Moira, tries to get her attention at Katie’s hen night. She tells her that she misses her and apologizes for what happened. Moira forgives her and they hug and reconcile.

In January 2015, Katie decides to sell Tug Ghyll, upsetting Vanessa and Leyla who will be forced to move out. However, in February they are is devastated to finds out that Katie has died. Following her death, her husband, Andy Sugden, takes ownership of the property and chucks Vanessa and Leyla out. With nowhere else to stay, Vanessa moves into Kirin's, much to his delight. On Vanessa's birthday, Kirin notices a lump in one of Vanessa's breasts and they both fear it could be cancer. However, she tells him it's nothing to worry about but with encouragement from Rhona goes to the doctors. Kirin promises to support her as Vanessa books a hospital appointment but when he fails to go with her, Rhona takes her instead. Disappointed in Kirin, Vanessa feels that what she and Kirin have isn't enough anymore and breaks up with him. Andy later decides to let Vanessa and Leyla have their house back.

In March 2015, Vanessa has a one night stand with Moira's son Adam Barton after he is dumped by his girlfriend, Victoria Sugden. They both agree that it was a mistake and soon after, Vanessa and Kirin get back together after he accompanies her to get the results of her cancer tests and she gets the all-clear. However, Vanessa is soon horrified to learn that she is pregnant. Unsure of who the father is, she considers a termination but soon changes her mind. She tells Kirin who is ecstatic at the thought of becoming a father, however, when Rakesh finds out he is less pleased, demanding she has an abortion but she refuses. Unable to deal with the stress not knowing who the father is, Vanessa books a DNA test with only Adam present. Kirin finds out and Vanessa is forced to tell him that Adam could be the baby's father. When the DNA results arrived Rakesh got his hands on them and edited the results before Vanessa could see them. On 1st June 2015, after seeing the fake results, Kirin leaves Vanessa and she tells Adam the baby is his.

In September 2015 after Jai Sharma accidentally pushes her over at Kirin’s cordial business launch, Vanessa collapses by the road whilst walking home. Kirin finds her and gets her to hospital where the doctors tell her she's in labour. They tried to stop the labour but couldn’t and on 11th September 2015, Vanessa gave birth 14 weeks prematurely to her son, Johnny Woodfield, with both Adam and Kirin by her side. Adam and Vanessa visited Johnny in the NICU, and Vanessa became distressed at how small her son was. Vanessa said she couldn't bear watching her son in that state, waiting for him to die so she left Adam alone in the hospital. Everyone was bemused when Vanessa returned home, acting like everything was normal and Adam started becoming annoyed with her behaviour. When Adam went into the hospital that day, Johnny's incubator alarm went off and he phoned local vicar Ashley Thomas, asking him to perform an emergency baptism. However, Vanessa refuses to come, believing her son would die. Despite this, Victoria managed to persuade Vanessa to go to the hospital for Johnny's baptism on 15th September. Vanessa kept feeling insecure about her mothering skills but tried to do what she was supposed to do.

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, the doctor told them that Johnny had necrotizing enterocolitis and would need surgery the following day. Johnny's surgery went well but Moira noticed that Vanessa was acting strangely calm and hostile and feared she was not bonding well with Johnny. However, when she tries to talk to her Vanessa angrily walks off. Moira confides her suspicions in Rhona who also talks to Vanessa who finally admits that she doesn't feel anything for her son and have just been going through the motions. Rhona informs Adam who is worried and confronts her but she storms off. An upset Adam considers trying to get him and Victoria sole custody over Johnny but Rhona overhears and confronts him about it. She convinces him to talk to Vanessa again and she opens up to him about her lack of feelings for Johnny. He tells her to get help and that he doesn't want to take Johnny away from her, however, this gave Vanessa the wake-up call that she needed.

On Christmas Eve Vanessa was allowed to bring Johnny home and a week later she spotted a bruise-like spot on Johnny's back. The midwife reassured Vanessa that Johnny had a Mongolian Blue Spot which is harmless. However, she raised Vanessa's suspicions when she mentioned that it's common in mixed raced babies, so to put her mind at rest she ordered a second DNA test. On 6th January 2016, the second DNA test came back, proving Kirin was Johnny's biological father. Horrified Vanessa revealed this to a devastated Adam who struggled to take in the news. He asked for some alone time with Johnny but after Vanessa left, took Johnny and drove off with Victoria. Vanessa revealed to shocked Kirin that he was, in fact, Johnny's biological father and that Adam had taken Johnny. Adam planned to run off with him and Victoria but later that evening, Victoria calls Vanessa and reassures her Johnny is alright and that they will bring him home in the morning. Adam and Victoria return Johnny to Vanessa and she tells Rhona that the kidnapping helped her realise how much she loves her son.

Kirin wanted to be a dad to Johnny and they decided to give their relationship another try, however, in February 2016, Kirin starts getting overwhelmed with parenthood, which escalates when Vanessa gets ill he has to look after Johnny by himself. He starts lashing out when Johnny won't stop crying and Carly Hope, Vanessa's housemate, walks in and takes Johnny away from him, scared that he will hurt Johnny. Carly tells Vanessa who is furious and throws him out. Not long after Kirin leaves the village to go on the run after accidentally running over and killing Tess Harris whilst drunk driving, leaving Vanessa to raise Johnny on her own.

Following Tess' death, it soon comes to light that she and Paddy were having an affair, causing him and Rhona split up. Vanessa tries to be there for her friend but becomes wary when Rhona takes in Tess's widowed husband, Pierce, worrying it's too much for Rhona to deal with. Vanessa is suspicious of Pierce's motives and tries to warn Rhona off him. Later, he and Rhona start dating and Vanessa tries to be supportive and eventually warms up to him slightly.

2016-2017: Long Lost Family

In May 2016, Carly invites Tracy Shankley to come live with them in the spare room of their house. The two doesn't get along as Vanessa gets upset when Tracy doesn't pay her rent on time and threatens to throw her out. They make amends but their relationship remains rocky.

In August 2016, Tracy's boyfriend David Metcalfe visited Tracy's father Frank Clayton in prison in the hope of reuniting the pair so that Frank could attend their wedding. During the visit, Frank revealed he was being released early and had written to 'Teeny' about this, which David believed to be Tracy. The same day, Vanessa gets a call from Frank, mistaking her for Tracy and confusing Vanessa when he asked about her impending marriage. Vanessa told him she wasn't getting married and asked him to stop calling her 'Teeny' as he lost the right to call her that over thirty years ago when she stopped calling him dad. Vanessa then helps Leyla sabotage Tracy and David's wedding plans, as they are suspicious of Tracy's motives. When they find out a fight breaks out, making their relationship even tenser.

Vanessa and Tracy then both received phone calls disclosing that Frank was in hospital. While Leyla and Rhona convinced Vanessa to go and visit her father. They discussed Johnny and Frank saw pictures of his grandson. However, when Frank reminisced about a holiday in Skegness, this angered Vanessa, as she was not the child in Frank's story. As Vanessa went to leave, Frank's condition rapidly deteriorated. After the doctors told her he was going to recover she stormed off and accidentally bumped into Tracy and David, but didn't disclose why she was there. Vanessa later tells Leyla about Frank's seizure and tells her she is glad she went to visit her father, as he is now dead to her. A few days later, the hospital calls to tell her that they hope to bring her dad out of his coma the following day.

On 23rd August 2016, when Vanessa headed to the hospital to see Frank, she was confused when a nurse explained a woman named Tracy was also there to see him. Her confusion turned to shock when she spotted Tracy sitting at her father's bedside and she demanded to know what she was doing there. At that moment, Frank woke up and Vanessa could not believe it when Tracy called Frank 'dad'. When Vanessa angrily says that he's not her dad, Frank steps in and tells her to meet her little sister. Tracy questioned how Frank could allow her to grow up without telling her about her sister, as she'd always dreamed of having one. Vanessa admits she would've loved a little sister she could've looked after. Frank insists he would have loved them to know each other, but states that Vanessa's mother would never have allowed her near Tracy's mother. Vanessa and Tracy both storms off shortly after. Vanessa and Tracy start to argue in the pub and after Vanessa throws a pint over her newfound sister's head, Tracy reveals to the whole pub that they are sisters and suggests Vanessa is ashamed of her before storming off. After Chas Dingle encourages Vanessa to reach out and make amends, she brings Tracy some coffee and cake, apologising for fighting but Tracy orders her to go away.

In September, David tells Vanessa it's Tracy's birthday the following day and suggests it's a perfect time for them to make up, but Vanessa tells David that Tracy means nothing her and asks him to drop it, as neither she nor Tracy will appreciate his meddling. However, after Vanessa overhears Tracy telling Bernice Blackstock about a present her dad got her for her birthday only steal it back a few days later, she approaches David and tells him she's changed her mind and wants to give Tracy the best party ever. Tracy is touched when she arrives at her 90s themed 27th birthday party and learns Vanessa was the one behind it. Vanessa wishes her new-found sister happy birthday, before the pair hug. At the party, as the conversation shifts to discussing the best and worst presents they have received, Tracy comments how her best was a barbie car that was stolen and Vanessa admits Frank took it from Tracy and gave it to her, so Vanessa presents Tracy with a new barbie car. However, Tracy is not happy and lashes out at her. That evening, Vanessa phones Frank, informing him he can stay with her at Tug Ghyll upon his release, on the condition that he sorts things out with Tracy, and that he treats both of his daughters equally.

Tracy later goes to apologise to Vanessa who in turn says sorry to Tracy for them not having the same opportunities growing up. Tracy decides to throw Johnny a birthday party, insisting no member of her family will feel the way she did on her birthdays. Vanessa tries to tell Tracy that their dad is being released the next day but gets interrupted and ends up agreeing to make up for lost time by forgetting Frank's existence. The following day, Vanessa and recently released Frank head to The Woolpack where they meet Tracy who is shocked when she comes face to face with her father. Tracy can't believe Vanessa has kept Frank staying with her a secret and insists Frank can drop dead, just as Frank collapses. Frank gets better but Tracy storms off, still mad at him. David tries to convince Tracy to give him another chance, but she overhears Frank telling Vanessa he only cares about her and should forget about Tracy. As revenge Tracy frames Frank for stealing Eric Pollard’s bank card. Vanessa is furious with her dad when the police come to arrest him for theft and apologises to Tracy for not seeing him for what he was and tells her they shouldn't let him come between them as she likes having a sister. However, Tracy felt guilty and later discloses the truth to Eric who tells the police he made a mistake. They all made up and later Vanessa and Frank both attend Tracy and David's wedding.

In November 2016, Tracy and Vanessa learn the truth of how Frank landed himself in prison. Having previously told them that he was in for protecting a woman from an abusive man when in fact he was in for fraud. After being blackmailed about that information he almost steals charity money to pay the blackmailer off but when he changes his mind the blackmailers stole the money anyway. However, Vanessa doesn't believe him and says she wants nothing to do with him anymore. To Vanessa disbelief, Tracy still trusts him and lets him continue living at hers. In January 2017, after Frank admits his fraudulent past to the whole pub, Vanessa reckons he'll do a runner. However, he surprises her by staying put, and with Tracy's encouragement, she decides to give him another shot.

On 14th February 2017, Rhona and Pierce announce their engagement. Vanessa remains sceptical towards him and their relationship, thinking they're rushing into things. She also notices how Pierce starts examining possessive behaviour and is determined to make Rhona see sense and break up with him. However, Pierce sets Vanessa up to make Rhona distrust her and tries to use her past with Rhona against her, claiming she's still in love with her and just jealous. He later goes to threaten her, telling her he's her worst nightmare. Rhona gets more and more upset with her and tells her to stay away from her. Vanessa tries to make Rhona, as well as all their friends, see what Pierce is really like but to no avail. Her friends tell her to stop interfering or she'll risk her friendship with Rhona.

In April 2017, Vanessa realises Pierce lied to Rhona about deleting a sex tape the two made. Whilst trying to get proof she accidentally sends the video to Paddy and Pearl. A furious Rhona tells Vanessa she wants her out of her life, leaving Vanessa devastated. The pair eventually calls a truce but Vanessa skips the ceremony when Rhona and Peirce get married in late April. On 11th May 2017, Rhona reveals to a horrified Vanessa that Pierce raped her on their wedding day. Vanessa supports her and eventually manages to persuade her into reporting him to the police. She stands by her through the entire ordeal and is called as a witness for the trial. In late July Peirce is found guilty of rape and is subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.

2017-2019: Relationship with Charity Dingle, Suspension, & Stabbing

On 12th October 2017, at the funeral of Finn Barton Vanessa follows Charity Dingle down The Woolpack cellar to give her a piece of mind. She accidentally locks them in there and with no sign of being found anytime soon, they start talking and end up sharing a kiss. After sneaking out the next morning she goes back to tell Charity that their kiss was a mistake and that it won't happen again, but moments later, Charity kisses her and Vanessa follows her to the bedroom. Vanessa is terrified of Charity telling everyone what happened between them and in a desperate attempt to prove she's straight goes on a date with Daz Spencer. However, provoked by Vanessa and Daz's presence in the pub, Charity outs Vanessa, disclosing that they spent the night together, declaring 'Its Okay! You can be gay!'. Vanessa, feeling embarrassed and upset, storms off but later talks to Rhona about it, admitting she's not sure if she's straight or not. However, she soon comes to the realisation that she's had more crushes on women then men and that it doesn't matter if she doesn't know, she'll just have fun finding out.

Charity continues to tease Vanessa but she ignores her advances until she sends Vanessa a text asking her to come over and they start sleeping together. Their relationship continues in secret until December when Paddy walks in on them in the cellar. Rhona is apprehensive about their relationship due to Charity's reputation but Vanessa tells her 'She's fun, It's fun. She makes me laugh. I'm happier when she walks into the room, you know? My heart... it beats a bit faster'. However, in early 2018, Vanessa starts getting increasingly annoyed with Charity's immature behaviour as she starts to flirt with everyone and constantly tries to wind her up to prove they're nothing serious. Vanessa then breaks it off but Charity chases her down the street one night to apologize, telling her she actually does care about her a bit before they kiss and Vanessa invites her inside. They then become official 'girlfriend and girlfriend' on the 22nd February 2018 after they finally stop denying their feelings, following a night out at a gay bar Vanessa had, as Charity admits to feeling jealous upon seeing pictures of Vanessa and another woman.

On 12th March 2018, Gabby Thomas and Liv Flaherty go to raid Charity's alcohol stash in The Woolpack's backroom. As they are doing so, Charity and Vanessa enter and kiss on the sofa, giving Gabby an opportunity to steal a vial of ketamine from Vanessa's bag. The next day, Liv accidentally spikes Lisa Dingle's drink with the ketamine, causing her to collapse and having to be taken to hospital. An investigation is launched and as Liv and Gabby confess to stealing the ketamine, Vanessa informs the police of its disappearance. The police don't want to take it any further with her but when Vanessa updates the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons on the situation with the ketamine theft, she frets as they want to do an inspection and fears she'll have the book thrown at her.

On 29th March, whilst Vanessa greets the RCVS inspector, Martin Henderson, Paddy discovers that Martin is his old friend from veterinary school and the inspection weighs in Vanessa's favour. He agrees to put in a good word for her with the RCVS, telling her he doesn't think there'll be any need for a suspension, to Vanessa's relief. However, when Paddy accidentally makes fun of Martin's wife, he states that he's now going to play things by the book which leaves Vanessa fearing for her career. She returns to the pub, telling Charity, Frank and Pearl what happened and they try to cheer her up. Upset with the prospect of losing her job she runs out with a bottle of wine, announcing she's going to get 'quietly plastered'. Later, Charity finds a drunken Vanessa sitting in the vet surgery talking to Voldemort the snake. Vanessa suggests Charity leaves her before she brings her down as well, but Charity promises she's not going anywhere then sticks a fake moustache on Vanessa's face which raises a smile. The next morning, Vanessa goes for her hearing in London and returns with the news that she's been suspended for twelve months. Subsequently, Rhona and Paddy agree to give her an admin job until her suspension is over.

In April 2018, Charity admits to Vanessa the rape and abuse she suffered at the hands of Detective Inspector Mark Bails as a teenager. A horrified Vanessa encourages Charity to report him to the police but she refuses. Upset with what happened, despite her better judgement, Vanessa calls the police. The following day when a police officer arrives Charity is unwilling to tell her what happened and Vanessa tells the officer, who is under the impression that she was the victim of historical abuse, that she can't do this and apologises for wasting her time. Charity is furious and Vanessa begs her to forgive her but she says it's too late for that and dumps her. Charity chats up a guy at the pub but Megan sees her and calls Vanessa. She tries to get Charity to change her mind but she tells her she has a bloke waiting for her upstairs, leaving Vanessa devastated and heartbroken. The next day, however, Megan informs her that she's found out that Charity lied about sleeping with the guy from the pub, and Vanessa realises she can't give up on them just yet. Vanessa approaches Charity in the pub and concedes she shouldn't have gone to the police but tells her that she only did because she couldn't bear the thought of Bails getting away with hurting her. Vanessa tells Charity she thinks she is amazing and they both admit they still really like each other before sharing a kiss.

Vanessa is later horrified after seeing a picture of Tracy and DI Bails in the newspaper and realises that they are working together on a campaign to help sex-workers. Upset and scared for what he could do to her sister, Vanessa begs Charity to tell Tracy what he's like. Although she initially refuses, she later went on to publically accuse him of raping and abusing her on a conference. With Vanessa's support Charity makes her accusations official and Vanessa is there for her as Charity goes through the difficult court case and helps her reconnect with her long-lost son, Ryan Stocks. Vanessa's support leads to the pair growing closer and she is relieved when Bails finally gets convicted for his crimes. On 27th September 2018, Charity thanks Vanessa for being there for her and not running every time she has a crisis, admitting that she loves her, and Vanessa returns her feelings. In late November Charity asks Vanessa to move in with her and on 13th December, Vanessa and Johnny move from Tug Ghyll into The Woolpack with Charity and her two youngest children.

On the 10th January 2019, Charity and Vanessa have a row outside the Woolpack, ending in Vanessa taking Johnny and driving off. However, she soon changes her mind and drives back only to stumble upon Donny Cairn setting fire to The Woolpack in an attempt to target Belle Dingle. She confronts him and a struggle ensues. After grabbing a broken bottle Donny stabs Vanessa in the abdomen and takes off in her car, unaware Vanessa's three-year-old son is in the back. Vanessa manages to call Charity who comes running to her side but all Vanessa can think about is Johnny so Charity heads off in search of the youngster whilst Paddy and Chas tend to Vanessa's wound. Soon an ambulance arrives to take her to hospital but Tracy, who comes with her, panics when Vanessa's condition starts to worsen. Later, Charity arrives at the hospital with an unharmed Johnny and but is distressed to hear of Vanessa's critical condition. Luckily, Vanessa made a full recovery in hospital but her close call made Charity realise she couldn't imagine being without her and desperate to show her, she decided to propose.

On 17th January 2019, as Charity overhears that Megan is planning an over-the-top proposal for a client at Home Farm she sees her chance and heads over there, looking the client in a cupboard. When Vanessa arrives, the two get into the horse and carriage and Charity soon hastily proposes to Vanessa who is in awe until she realises that she has hijacked some else's proposal and turns her down. A distraught Charity gets drunk at Home Farm while Vanessa heads back to the village, however, she returns after talking to Tracy, and tells Charity, who is convinced she isn't good enough for her, that they are both good enough and in fact perfect for each other, encouraging Charity to re-propose. With just the two of them, Charity proposes again, this time Vanessa says yes just as the fireworks go off and the two enjoy them together. The next day in The Woolpack, Charity and Vanessa announce to their friends and family that 'she put a ring on it!'.

In March 2019, Vanessa worries Charity is taking on to much when she agrees to help Robert Sugden land a haulage contract with Mike Anderson. However, Vanessa's worry soon turns to jealousy and annoyance as Charity flirts with Mike in means to get him on side and even agrees to accompany him to the Sustainability Awards the following day. At the awards, Vanessa overhears Mike telling an acquaintance that he was just playing them for information to set up his own company. She informs Charity and comes up with a plan to steal back the documents from his car but panics when Mike approaches and drives off, ultimately dumping the car in a field. They manage to get the car back but are caught by Mike who vows revenge. To make amends, Vanessa later agrees to be his vet on call and look after his 12 dogs for free indefinitely, not doing the veterinary practice any favours as they are in financial difficulty. In April, Vanessa and Paddy reluctantly agree to make Kim Tate a partner in the business after Rhona informs them she is planning on opening up her own practice which could put them out of business.

On 1st August 2019, Vanessa received a phone call from Laurel Thomas, informing her that Tracy might be trapped in the burning sweet factory. She along with Charity and Megan hurried over there and arrived to see Tracy emerge from the smoke-filled building. However, they were horrified to learn that Frank was still inside. Frank soon walked out of the factory safely but the family's relief soon turned to horror as a sudden explosion went off throwing Frank against a van, leaving him in a crumpled heap on the ground. Vanessa and Tracy watched as paramedics rushed to his side but were devastated when they announced he had not made it. Tracy runs over with Vanessa behind her. As Tracy refuses to believe it, Vanessa announces that he is gone and puts her arms around her sister as they mourn over his lifeless body.

Relationships and Affairs

Rhona Goskirk

Rhona is Vanessa's old friend from university who invites her to Emmerdale to work as a locum vet after her husband, Paddy Kirk is suspended. In August 2013, as Rhona gets addicted to painkillers, Vanessa realises that she has fallen in love with her. The two later start a brief affair as Rhona makes Vanessa think her feelings are returned in means to make her keep supplying her with pills. However, it all comes crumbling down after Paddy catches them kissing and Rhona later admits she was just using Vanessa. She later has an overdose after a heartbroken Vanessa leaves her alone. Rhona starts getting help and she and Vanessa rebuild their friendship.

In January 2014, Rhona and their other friends take Vanessa to a gay bar as she is confused about her sexuality. Vanessa confesses that the night made her realize she fell in love with Rhona for who she is and not because she's a woman. Rhona tells her she will always love her but only as a friend to which Vanessa replies that she would rather have her as that than not at all and they hug it out.

Pete Barton

In May 2014, Vanessa helps Moira prepare for her wedding day to Cain. After Moira's nephew, Pete Barton has a bust-up with his girlfriend, Debbie Dingle, he confides in Vanessa and they kiss. They both regret it but Debbie sees them hugging.

Kirin Kotecha

Vanessa meets Kirin Kotecha after a one-night-stand in August 2014. However, she is horrified when she realises he is only 17-years old. Despite the 21 year age gap they decide to continue their relationship and in December 2015, Kirin tells her he loves her and although she says she's not quite there yet she later admits she also loves him in March the following year. They have a sort of on-off relationship until June 2015, when it is revealed that Adam Barton is the father of Vanessa's unborn baby and consequently Kirin breaks up with her. However, unbeknownst to them, the baby was actually Kirin's but his father, Rakesh changed the DNA results as he did not want his son to be a father yet.

In January 2016, Vanessa takes another DNA test which reveals her son's true parentage. Following the reveal, Vanessa and Kirin decide to give their relationship another go but their happiness is shortlived as Kirin flees the village in February 2016, after accidentally running over Tess Harris, causing her to her death. He tells Vanessa he can't cope with being a father and that he doesn't love Johnny, and she tells him to go to hell.

Adam Barton

In March 2015, while taking a break from her relationship with Kirin, Vanessa has a drink with Moira's son Adam Barton as they are both upset with their respective partners and have a drunken one-night-stand. They both regret it the next morning and agree to keep it a secret, not wanting to risk hurting Kirin and Adam's girlfriend, Victoria Sugden. However, soon after Vanessa discovers she is pregnant and after seeing a false DNA test, Adam was believed to be the father of her son, Johnny, for the first few months of his life.

In April 2017, after breaking up with Victoria again, Adam confides in Vanessa and tries to kiss her. She pulls away and he apologizes before leaving.

Charity Dingle

In October 2017 at the funeral of Finn Barton, Vanessa ends up locked in The Woolpack cellar with Charity Dingle, leading to a romantic moment as Charity kisses Vanessa, leaving Vanessa confused about her sexuality. After months of teasing and denial of having feelings for each other, they become official 'girlfriend and girlfriend' in February 2018. When Vanessa faces a suspension from her job Charity is there for her and reassures her she's not going anywhere and later as Charity goes through a particularly difficult court case, Vanessa is constantly supportive and the two become closer. In late September 2018, Charity admits she loves Vanessa - who feels the same and in December Vanessa and Johnny move in with Charity and her children at The Woolpack.

After Vanessa is stabbed by Donny Cairn and nearly didn't make it in January 2019, Charity realises she couldn't cope without her, causing her to propose the following week. However. upon discovering that Charity had hijacked someone else's proposal she turns her down but later accepts when she asks again with just the two of them present. Charity supports Vanessa following her father's death in August 2019. In November 2019, Vanessa dumps Charity after it is revealed that she was involved in a casino scam with Mandy Dingle and lied about it to her face. However, after multiple failed attempts at getting her back, Charity lays it all out there and promises to never lie to her again so Vanessa decides to give her another chance.

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.


"Uh, well now you don't have to" (First line, to Paddy Kirk)

"Go to hell" (to Kirin Kotecha)

"She's fun... it's fun, she makes me laugh, I'm happier when she walks in the room y'know... my heart... it beats a little bit faster" (to Rhona about Charity Dingle)

"I'd say, what have you done with my girlfriend" (to Charity Dingle as they become official)

"Well, I'm in for the duration so, bring it on" (to Charity Dingle)

"Vanessa Woodfield, local vet" (to Kim Tate)

"He's gone, sweetheart. He's gone" (to Tracy Metcalfe as their father dies in front of them)


  • Vanessa arrives in Emmerdale in December 2012
  • Vanessa admits to Rhona that she's in love with her
  • Rhona kisses Vanessa to convince her to keep supplying her with pills
  • Vanessa confronts Paddy
  • Vanessa and Kirin in September 2014
  • Vanessa feels a lump in one of her breasts
  • Vanessa and Adam at the hospital after giving birth to Johnny prematurely
  • Vanessa opens up to Adam about her struggles with parenthood
  • Vanessa finds out Kirin is Johnny's father in January 2016
  • Vanessa and Tracy have a food fight The Woolpack
  • Tracy and Vanessa visit Frank in hospital and realise they are sisters
  • Pierce Harris threatens Vanessa in March 2017
  • Vanessa protects Rhona from Pierce
  • Vanessa testifying at Pierce's rape trial in July 2017
  • Charity and Vanessa's first kiss in the Woolpack cellar
  • Charity and Vanessa kiss in the street in January 2018
  • Vanessa supports Charity through her trial against DI Bails
  • Charity and Vanessa say 'I love you'
  • Vanessa is stabbed by Donny Cairn
  • Charity's first proposal to Vanessa
  • Charity and Vanessa get engaged in January 2019
  • Vanessa fears she is going down for stealing Mike Anderson's car
  • The vets partner up with Kim Tate to save their practice
  • Vanessa is kept in a cell overnight after accidentally hitting a nurse
  • Vanessa's first cast photo

See also

Current characters
Eric Pollard | Kim Tate | Victoria Sugden | Zak Dingle | Sam Dingle | Mandy Dingle | Jamie Tate | Marlon Dingle | Paddy Kirk | 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 | Pierce Harris | Liv Flaherty | Dotty Thomas | Lydia Hart | Isaac Dingle | Leanna Cavanagh | Dawn Taylor | Ryan Stocks | Manpreet Sharma | Billy Fletcher | Bear Wolf | Will Taylor | Nate Robinson | Andrea Tate | Millie Tate | Al Chapman | Eve Dingle | Theo Metcalfe | Harry Sugden
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