Jack Sugden

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Not to be confused with Jack Sugden, another fictional character of Emmerdale.
Jack Sugden
Jack Sudgen.png
Clive Hornby as Jack Sugden (2007)
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Andrew Burt (1972–76)
Clive Hornby (1980–2008)
Duration 1972–73, 1976, 1980–2008
First appearance 16 October 1972
Last appearance 21 February 2008
Created by Kevin Laffan
Introduced by David Goddard (1972)
Michael Glynn (1976)
Anne Gibbons (1980)
Book appearances See List
Classification Former; regular
Profile
Occupation Farmer (1972–2008)
Barman (2004–08)
Pub landlord (2004–08)
Jack Sugden 1972.jpg
Andrew Burt as Jack Sugden (1972)

John Jacob "Jack" Sugden is a long running fictional character in the British television soap opera Emmerdale. The character was originally played by Andrew Burt from 1972 to 1973 with a brief return in 1976, when he left for Italy to write a book. On his return in 1980 he was played by Clive Hornby. Hornby stayed in the role until 2008 when he was forced to take a break from Emmerdale due to illness. His last on-screen appearance was on 21 February 2008, and his absence was explained by the character visiting his mother, Annie Sugden in Spain. Hornby died of the illness without returning to the series.

Creation[edit]

Jacob and Annie Sugden’s son Jack is one of the original characters in Emmerdale. The Sugden family were the owners of Emmerdale Farm from the programme's early days. Jack and his younger siblings, Peggy Skilbeck and Joe all worked on the farm.

From the early days, Jack seems to be a very rebellious and self-righteous character, who cares little for others' views. He also has numerous flings with different women and failed marriages, due to his infidelity. Jack is also an intelligent and articulate man but shown to be secretive from his family too. As time passed and Jack became a father, he has matured much more. He has firmly secured his roots in farming, which he originally tried so hard to escape from. Jack is still a man of principles and of pride, which can sometimes be his biggest weakness

Backstory[edit]

Jack Sugden was born in 1947 at Emmerdale Farm in Beckindale. He left the village in the spring of 1964 after a row with father Jacob over intensive farming, wanting to see more of the world than Beckindale, and went to London. He had unknowingly got his childhood sweetheart Ruth Harker (also known as Pat) pregnant. She married local thug Tom Merrick that year and tricked him into thinking the baby was his, by telling him the baby was premature. Sometime in the mid to late 1960s Jack met and married Lynn Wallace. Shortly afterwards he wrote and published his best seller The Field Of Tares.

Storylines[edit]

1972–79[edit]

As the Sugden and Skilbeck families gather for the funeral of Jacob Sugden, Jacob's eldest son Jack returns to Emmerdale Farm for the first time in eight years. Jacob has left Jack the farm in his will and this has caused bad feeling amongst the Sugden children - Peggy and Joe. As the family attend the funeral, Jack wanders around the farm. There he meets Marian Wilks, the daughter of Henry Wilks who has just bought the adjoining land to Emmerdale - Inglebrook. After the funeral is over, Jack makes his return known to the family. He is given a frosty reception by his sister Peggy. Jack, Joe and Peggy's mother, Annie, tells Jack that he's welcome to stay but he must help around the farm. When Jack finds out Marian's father was a partner in a company that was responsible for killing fish, he accuses him of doing it deliberately and she storms off. Jack visits The Woolpack and sees Marian talking to her friend, Alec, and joins them but they leave. Matt makes Annie aware that Peggy thinks she's being too soft on Jack. Jack seems to have no intention of helping around the farm. Henry finds out that Jack is the legal owner of the farm and decides to tackle him about the right of way problem. A tractor breaks down on the farm. Jack tells Peggy that she can have the farm if it will make her happy and stop the family nagging at him. Annie tells him it's his duty to stay and make the farm work. Marian questions Joe about his brother, she seems very interested in Jack. Jack seems interested in the old Millhouse, he learns it cannot be demolished as it has a preservation order on it. He asks Annie if a letter has arrived for him, she says no. Jack and Henry have a confrontation about access to land. Jack tells Joe that Peggy's pregnant. Annie asks Jack to make some decisions about the farm. Jack receives two letters in the post - one is from Henry's solicitor arranging a meeting to discuss the right of way, the other from London. Jack tells Peggy that he intends to restore the old millhouse and divide up the farm. Jack goes for a walk and chats to a few village elders whose conversation gives him food for thought. Joe and Marian go for a drink in The Woolpack where they run into Jack. Joe mentions that Annie wants a word with him about replacing the hens. Jack says if it was left to him they would not be replaced as he doesn't believe in imprisoning animals. Annie has waited up for Jack to arrive home for a private talk with him. She tells him that she persuaded Jacob to leave the farm to him. She says that his father was a drunk who ran the farm from The Woolpack. She pushes him for an answer on whether he will stick around to run the place, but he can't give her one. A stranger turns up at the farm and whisks Jack away. He turns out to be Wallace, a friend of Jack's from London who tries to persuade Jack to arrange a meeting with a mystery woman, Lynn. They arrange a meeting at The Feathers Country Hotel in Connelton. Marian calls around to the farm to have a word with Jack but he's not in, she wants to have a word with Jack about the right of way before he meets with her father. Marian runs out of petrol and is rescued by Jack. The family discuss Jack being whisked away, clearly not wanting to be seen. As it starts to rain Marian and Jack seek shelter in Jameson's barn and become closer. Marian arrives home after her encounter with Jack. Henry is suspicious, but says nothing. Amos tells Joe that he saw Marian and Jack holding hands, this upsets Joe. Jack visits Marian at Inglebrook. Annie goes to The Woolpack in search of Joe, she tells Amos not to spread gossip about Jack and Marian. Marian quizzes Jack about his past and he tells her that he left Emmerdale Farm eight years ago after rowing with his father about keeping battery hens as Jack was against it, preferring animals to have their freedom. Joe causes a scene at Inglebrook as he is jealous of Marian's interest in Jack.

Marian tells her father Henry that she had Jack over for lunch to thank him for helping when she ran out of petrol the other day. Jack tells Matt he doesn't like work. He asks Matt about hiring labour to do his share of the work on the farm, he refuses to help him. With Peggy showing an interest in going fishing, Jack tells Matt to use Joe's rod saying that she won't notice. Henry visits his solicitor for background information on Jack, he tells him to speak to Amos who is the village gossip. Jack arrives for the meeting with Henry, he tells him that he does have right of way over the Emmerdale Farm land, but that there is also a public right of way through Inglebrook land. Joe overhears Jack on the phone making arrangements to meet a woman at The Feathers on Wednesday; he then sees Marian meeting him for a drink again. Henry tells Marian about what happened over the right away, he states he was embarrassed but was impressed by Jack's manner. Peggy is curious to know what Jack has been doing in London as he seems to be quite well off. Henry suggests inviting Jack up for a drink inconspicuously so he can talk to him about the right of way. Ruth Merrick, an old flame of Jack's asks Joe about him in The Woolpack. Jack expresses his discomfort of sleeping on the sofa, Sam offers him his bed for the night. Jack pays Matt and Joe's wages in cash. Marian invites Jack for a drink. Henry tells him that he's changed his mind over the right of way but insists the entrance to Inglebrook House by the main road is dangerous. Jack receives a phone call from Annie and rushes off. Henry wants to take Marian to The Feathers tonight. Jack receives a telegram and rushes off to The Feathers.Henry spots Jack going upstairs at The Feathers with a woman - when he enquires who she is the receptionist tells him she is booked in as Mrs Sugden. Tom quizzes Ruth on Jack, he apologises for his behaviour in The Woolpack. He mentions she should visit Jack at the farm. Henry is quick to get Marian out of The Feathers, not wanting her to notice Jack and his wife. Tom quizzes Amos on Jack. Marian mentions to Tom that Jack is looking for a casual labourer at the farm. Joe is annoyed when he realises that Marian did not see Jack with the other woman at The Feathers. Peggy thinks Annie should be harder with Jack. Marian mentions to Jack that she's told Tom to call up the farm for the labourer job; he also arranges a date with Marian for a drink in The Woolpack that night. Henry advises Marian to find out if Jack is married before she gets involved with him. Joe ventures to The Feathers and asks to see Jack, he finds out that he and a Mrs Sugden left earlier. He rushes off back to the van. Henry leaves for The Feathers. Marian telephones Jack at The Woolpack and informs him that there has been a terrible crash outside of Inglebrook House.

Tom taunts Ruth about the accident pretending that Jack was involved. Annie and Jack return and tell the family that Joe and Henry are both seriously ill after crashing their cars into each other. Peggy and Jack fall out over Henry. Jack helps Matt on the farm. Jack decides to hire Tom Merrick. Ruth and Tom return to the village from Leeds with their children and Jack hires Tom as a farmhand but Tom is lazy and Jack fires him. Tom retaliates with blackmail, threatening to tell Marian that Jack is the biological father of his son, Jackie. Tom's suspicions come from Jackie's likeness to Jack, sharing the names John Jacob and knowing of Ruth's past relationship with Jack. Jack refuses to give in and fires Tom. Marian finds out and the Merricks leave.

When Jack comes into some money, the family are suspicious of its source and discover Jack wrote a successful novel while in London. Marian is curious and enjoys the book but is ultimately unimpressed with the sexist views. Jack battles with Henry over a piece of land that Harry Jameson (John Glyn-Jones), an old friend of Jacob's, is selling. Harry tries to get them to increase their offers but Jack knows Harry is desperate and he accepts Jack's offer. Jack plans to move into an abandoned mill and renovate the place. He consults a solicitor and has the farm shared between Annie, Joe, Peggy and their grandfather, Sam Pearson (Toke Townley) but Sam, not wanting the responsibility, sells his share to Henry.

1980–2009[edit]

After Peggy dies from a brain hemorrhage, Jack leaves for Italy in October 1973, a year after returning and returns in May 1976 as he was suffering from writer's block and after some words of wisdom from Annie, he leaves the dales once again. He returns in February 1980, vowing to stay for good as he wanted to settle down. Ruth, now calling herself "Pat", returns to the village with Jackie (now played by Ian Sharrock) and her daughter, Sandie Merrick (Jane Hutcheson) after leaving Tom for good and reunites with Jack. During this time, Jackie discovers that Jack is his biological father and takes the news badly and there is an unease between the two. In October 1982, Jack and Pat marry but less than two years into the marriage, Jack begins an affair with local newspaper reporter, Karen Moore (Annie Hulley). Pat finds out and demands Jack chooses between her and Karen and He chooses Pat and they reconcile. In 1985, Pat learns she pregnant and gives birth to Jack's second son, Robert (Richard Smith), on 22 April 1986. Jack is left devastated when Pat dies in a car crash four months later, leaving him to bring up Robert on his own.

Clive Hornby as Jack Sugden after the recast and when he returned in 1980.

After a lengthy period of grieving, Jack begins dating again when he meets mobile librarian, Sarah Connolly (Madeleine Howard), in 1988; Sarah also becomes a mother figure to Robert. Jackie dislikes Sarah at first and feels she is trying to replace Pat but warms to her thanks to intervention from his wife Kathy (Malandra Burrows). Jack is left bitter and angry when Jackie dies in a shooting accident in August 1989 and Sarah is there for him. The couple move in together in 1990, and Jack often proposes but she keeps turning him down. Sarah falls pregnant in 1993 and gives birth to a daughter in March 1994, Victoria (Jessica Heywood) whose crying wakes up Annie, who had been knocked comatose following a plane crash in which Jack became one of the heroes of the hour by helping rebuild the destroyed Skipdale Bridge. Jack and Sarah marry in May 1994 and in the same month the village is renamed Emmerdale.

Jack faces more grief when he learns of Joe's death in a car crash in Spain in June 1995 and is inconsolable and is unable to attend the funeral due to a bad back. Jack and Sarah's marriage is tested when Jack has a fling with Sarah’s friend and Jack's former stepniece, Rachel Tate (Glenda McKay) but they reconcile. The Sugdens adopt Robert's school friend Andy Hopwood (Kelvin Fletcher). By the end of the 1990s, Jack and Sarah's marriage is in trouble again when Jack suggests Robert and Andy work on the farm rather than attend school and money problems worsen. They take in a lodger, Richie Carter (Glenn Lamont) and Sarah, feeling neglected begins an affair with Richie and leaves Jack. Andy sets the barn on fire to help Jack claim on the insurance but the plan goes wrong when Sarah is killed and Jack is arrested as the chief suspect. Andy comes clean to Richie about the fire and begs him to change his statement and he agrees, resulting in Jack's freedom.

Jack later begins dating Woolpack landlady Diane Blackstock (Elizabeth Estensen). When Andy discovers Robert's affair with his wife, Katie (Sammy Winward), he waits for Robert in his caravan with a shotgun, intending to shoot him but accidentally shoots Jack instead. Having almost died, Jack initially disowns Andy but they reconcile and Jack and Diane plan to marry but she reveals that she had colon cancer and undergoes chemotherapy. The couple married and enjoy a honeymoon in Las Vegas while Diane recovered. Further drama ensues when Jack learns Andy is the father of 15-year-old Debbie Dingle's (Charley Webb) daughter, Sarah, but supports Andy when he said he wanted to be a hands-on father, impressed with how responsible Andy had become. After a revenge attempt against Andy for killing Sarah backfires, resulting in the death of Max King (Charlie Kemp), Jack banishes Robert from the village.

Jack and Diane assume responsibility for Andy's half-brother, Daz Eden (Luke Tittensor), as they did with Andy a decade earlier. Andy and Daz's father, Billy (David Crellin), Andy and Daz's real father, is released from prison and returns to Emmerdale much to the Ire of various residents, having robbed the Post Office and killed Vic Windsor (Alun Lewis) on Christmas Day 1998. During this time, Billy works to prove he has changed and begins an emotional affair with Diane. Diane, riddled with guilt, confesses and she and Jack separate but late reconcile following Victoria's discovery of the truth about her mother's death. Jack visits Annie in Spain and remains for several months until Annie informs the family of Jack's death of a heart attack, leaving them devastated.

Diane brings Jack's body back from Spain while Val (Charlie Hardwick) and Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) arrange his funeral. Jack is buried next to various family members. Andy, Daz, Sam (James Hooton) and Zak Dingle (Steve Halliwell) are pallbearers. Just before the service, Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) recalls to Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook) a conversation where Jack had told him about the events of Jacob's funeral. Diane reads a letter Jack had written for Andy, Victoria, Daz and Robert during the service, telling them that he loved them and wanted them to live together as a family and reveals that he knew in his last weeks that he would not live to see the village again. Andy breaks down in tears and flees the church. As Jack is laid to rest, Diane places his chequered cap onto the coffin. Andy sees Robert, who is watching from a distance and drives away. Robert leaves a flower on the grave before leaving again. That afternoon, Val put a framed photo of Jack up next to the pictures of Amos and Henry Wilks in the pub. Andy, Diane, Daz and Victoria visit the grave that night to say a last goodbye. As they walk away, Diane looks back and sees a vision of Jack next to the grave. He smiles at her and she smiles back and realises that Jack will always be with her and the children and would be looking down on them.

Book Appearances[edit]

External links[edit]