Emmerdale Mr. and Mrs. with McCain Sweethearts

Real couples have real differences, like Steve and Jane. We whisked them away to the set of Emmerdale to discover more about their differences...

Helen and Cliff

Step aside Chas and Paddy – Emmerdale superfans Helen and Cliff are the ultimate fiery but strong couple! “We’ve been together 40 years and I still fancy him like mad,” Helen says. “I was a single mother of four and a barmaid when I met him when he came in to play darts. He was a batchelor but he took on my kids and raised them like his own.“We’ve had our ups and downs – we’ve been evicted from properties, battled life-changing illnesses, made and lost our fortune, but we’ve come through it and are stronger together.Sometimes it seems like Helen’s life IS actually a plotline from Emmerdale! Six years ago she battled breast cancer and following gruelling treatment, opted for a radical mastectomy. “I survived and I’m not a victim,” she says. “Cliff and I used to joke that I wasn’t good enough for Heaven and Hell wouldn’t take me! I got better and he supported me throughout.”

Last year Helen returned the care when she saved Cliff’s life following an aneurism that nearly killed him. “Cliff has always been an ox of a man,” she said, “a hardworker who never got sick and the strongest man I ever met. We were originally told that Cliff only had a few weeks left to live, but after the operation he pulled through. He lost four stone and couldn’t even lift his legs to get into bed. He’s a proud man, so being incapacitated afterwards was hard for him, but now he’s fully recovered and we’re looking forward to a future together.”“Helen is just like Chas,” Cliff says. “Strong, fiery, upfront and loving. She saved my life – if she hadn’t been there when my body went into shock, I would have died. She’s my rock and I adore her.”Despite the similarities between Helen and Chas, it’s Cliff who is the Emmerdale superfan out of the two – for his 70th birthday Helen organised a helicopter ride over the Emmerdale set. “He’s that obsessed with it,” Helen laughs. “If we go on holiday we have to record Emmerdale. But we’ve never been to the set.” In another funny turn of fate, Helen and Cliff used to work with one of the stars before they became an actress, employing her as a carer and helping her get her NVQ.So after a stressful 2019, will Helen and Cliff be relaxing in 2020? Not likely. Despite all this and being 73 and a glamourous grandmother, Helen’s still working full time as a manager of an events company: “I tried to retire once, but I got bored after two years,” she laughs. “I think took on a friend’s business, turned it around and I’m still there 9 years on. I don’t see myself slowing down any time soon!”

Stephen and Breesha

Real couples have real differences – and in the case of Stephen and Breesha, these differences made them stronger rather than tearing them apart.“There’s a 10 year age gap between my wife and I,” says Stephen. “She was 18 and I was 28 when we met, and a lot of people said that we were too different, and too big of an age gap, to last.” Sadly, the couple listened to the doubters and split up, Breesha moving back to the Isle of Man, while Stephen stayed in Ormskirk. “I was miserable and thought about her every day,” Stephen said. However, in a soap opera like twist, the one thing that had in common brought them back together…“Both Breesha and I were massive Beatles fans,” Stephen says. And one night, two years after their break up, on a pilgrimage to the Cavern Club he spotted a familiar face! The couple chatted through their differences and got back together, agreeing to start up again but long distance. Stephen eventually managed to convince Breesha to move to Liverpool so that they could be together. One proposal at Edinburgh Castle, five years and three children later, the couple are happier than ever! “Differences and distance shouldn’t get in the way of true love,” Stephen says. “Despite the age gap and our differences, I love her to bits! I appreciate all the sacrifices she’s made for us.”Another thing the couple can agree on is Emmerdale! Both are massive fans and watch it every night. “It’s the characters that draw you in,” says Stephen. “It’s become part of our lives.”

Jeanette and Mark

Childhood sweethearts Jeanette and Mark have a story that wouldn’t be out of place in an episode of Emmerdale! The couple met when they were 13 and 14 while auditioning for parts in a children’s production of Alice in Wonderland. In a move that was pure soap, when Mark saw that Jeanette was set to be Alice, he auditioned to be the White Rabbit in order to spend time with her!

“It was love at first sight,” said Mark. “I saw fireworks, and just thought ‘she’s so beautiful’. I used to write he love letters while she was on stage. It took me a while to get her to go out with me, but we started courting at 14 and were engaged by 17.”

Not that it was all smooth sailing: Mark was involved in a car accident when the pair were 16. They were on their way to the cinema when a driver ran him over, leaving him with a bleed on the brain and in a coma for two weeks. “The ambulance crew covered him over with a sheet when they arrived because they thought he was dead,” said Jeanette. “He was in that bad of a state. I used to travel all the way to Manchester to visit him in the children’s hospital, and despite everything he went through, the accident brought us closer together.” Jeanette was so affected by the accident that she actually went on to become a children’s nurse, inspired by the hard work of the doctors and nurses who saved Mark’s life.

Although deeply in love, like many soap couples, Jeanette and Mark are fiery and have been through many rocky patches: “Our friends and family have been certain that we wouldn’t last at time,” says Jeanette. “Our relationship has always been passionate and we’ve had a few arguments! However, we believe that love conquers all. Love and learning to compromise!

“We’re very different people. Mark says I’m posh and I say he’s a scruff! He’s gun ho but I like to plan. But Mark gives me confidence and we compliment each other.”

Mark agrees: “We even went to see a solicitor to talk about splitting up a few years ago,” he said. “Walking away would have been easy, and staying together and working through our differences has been hard, but I adore my wife and I would marry her again tomorrow.”

So why do Jeanette and Mark want to visit the set of Emmerdale? “We’re huge fans of the show,” Jeanette says. “Despite all our differences – it’s the one thing we can agree on!”

Joanne and Scott

Sometimes, with all life’s ups and downs, life can look like an episode of Emmerdale! Joanne and Scott’s life is no different: the couple have been married for 15 years and have had more than their fair share of dramas and differences!“Our 27 year marriage has had its ups and downs, but Scott has always been there for me,” says Joanne. “Most importantly, when my health started deteriorating 10 years ago due to fibromyalgia. When I was first diagnosed, I couldn’t walk and Scott had to push me around in a wheelchair. We went from being an active couple with two young girls to being stuck at home all the time. It could have been frustrating, but we pulled together and even managed to have a laugh now and then – like the time Scott had to take our teenage daughter shopping for shoes THREE TIMES because they couldn’t agree on what was fashionable vs sensible! He could have walked away from me but he took his vows, ‘in sickness and in health’ seriously.“We’ve also had our fair share of sadness – like the loss of Scott’s mum six weeks after our wedding, and my dad’s ill health with dementia and pneumonia, But we’ve faced life together and I’d be lost without him.“However, we’re very different! He has a dry sense of humour and is very laidback, whereas I’m a worrier! Despite this, he’s my rock, which is why I’d love to treat him to a trip to Emmerdale.”“I’m an Emmerdale fanatic,” Scott confesses, “I love Cain and Mandy. The character’s ups and downs keep the show fresh and even though they have their problems, it’s not depressing, Emmerdale gives me life!”