Isabel Hodgins as Victoria Sugden (2012)
|Portrayed by||Jessica Heywood (1994–96) |
Hannah Midgley (1996–2006)
Isabel Hodgins (2006–)
|First appearance||Episode 1856 |
31 March 1994
|Introduced by||Mervyn Watson|
|Occupation||B&B assistant |
Hannah Midgley who played Victoria from 1996 to 2006
Victoria Sugden (previously Barton) is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played since 12 October 2006 by Isabel Hodgins. The character as a young child was played by Jessica Heywood for two years since the character's birth, then Hannah Midgley from 1996 until July 2006. Victoria is currently the longest serving female character on the show and has featured in storylines such as surviving an explosion which she causes leading to her being put in psychiatric care; being bullied at school; falling through ice; romancing with her step-brother Daz Eden (Luke Tittensor); marrying Adam Barton (Adam Thomas); accidentally running over Ashley Thomas (John Middleton) with a car; coping when Adam goes on the run for murdering his biological father's ex-wife Emma (Gillian Kearney); falling in love with Adam's transgender brother Matty (Ash Palmisciano); and being the victim of rape during her night out in May 2019 and becoming pregnant.
Victoria is born on 31 March 1994 to Jack Sugden (Clive Hornby) and Sarah Connolly (Alyson Spiro). When she is only days old, her crying brings her grandmother, Annie (Sheila Mercier), out of the coma she has been in after being injured in the plane crash. In May, Jack and Sarah marry. Weeks later, Victoria stops breathing, due to a hole in her heart and needs an operation but makes a full recovery.
Andy Hopwood (Kelvin Fletcher) visits the farm with other children from a care home and becomes friendly with Victoria's brother, Robert (Christopher Smith) and the Sugdens eventually adopt him. The Sugdens struggle financially so Richie Carter (Glenn Lamont) becomes their new lodger. Sarah and Richie begin an affair and she left Jack for him, moving into Pear Tree Cottage together. Jack and Sarah battle for custody of the children and Sarah wins custody of Victoria. Sarah later dies in a barn fire started by Andy for insurance reasons. Jack is in the frame for arson and murder but is cleared.
Victoria later has an imaginary friend called Walter Todd and refuses to go out unless he could come too but grows out of it, like many children. Victoria later collapses and is rushed to hospital and is diagnosed with a ruptured appendix. Times are difficult for the Sugdens but life is made easier by Jack's relationship with Woolpack landlady, Diane Blackstock (Elizabeth Estensen). When Diane had discovers she has colon cancer, Victoria supports her and tells the congregation at Jack and Diane's wedding and is bridesmaid at Andy's wedding to Katie Addyman (Sammy Winward). Victoria later catches Katie and Robert in bed together and Robert threatens her into keeping quiet, only communicating via a dummy, Alfie. Jack loses patience and smashes Alfie and the truth is eventually revealed.
Victoria befriends Kayleigh Gibbs (Lily Jane Stead) at school and helps get her father, Martin Crowe (Graeme Hawley) together with Louise Appleton (Emily Symons). The girls misbehave, gatecrashing Jamie Hope's (Alex Carter) rave and starting a campaign of terror against pensioner Edna Birch (Shirley Stelfox), culminating in Edna slapping Victoria. They also tell Aaron Livesy (Danny Webb) about Carl King's (Tom Lister) one-night stand with Del Dingle (Hayley Tamaddon). Victoria (now played by Isabel Hodgins) returns from Annie in Spain, later than expected, prompting Jack and Diane to worry but returns safely. Victoria and Kayleigh go clubbing but Kayleigh leaves early. Victoria flirts with an older boy and he tries to force himself on her but Billy Hopwood (David Crellin) stops him and rescues her. Billy drives her home but his brakes fail, due to Kelly Windsor (Adele Silva) sabotaging them, and they crash into a lake. Victoria almost drowns, only escaping as Jack, Andy and Daz arrive. Jack blames Billy until Victoria told him that Billy had saved her life. Victoria's fear of water returns to haunt her on a canoeing trip where she freaks out and hits her instructor, Christian Schwarz and is suspended as a result.
Victoria searches for the truth about Sarah's death but no-one will discuss it. Jack is evasive but Jasmine Thomas (Jenna-Louise Coleman) shows her an article in the Hotten Courier about Sarah's death seven years earlier. She then investigates after Jack becomes more and more evasive. She tracks down Richie who tells her Jack was not responsible but she doesn't believe him and on her return to the village, she steals a can of petrol from the garage and douses the house with it, threatening to set the place alight unless the truth is told. Andy confesses but when Jack tries to clean Victoria's bloody head after a fall with water from the hot tap on a flannel, it makes the house explode. The Sugdens escape, assisted by Billy and Jonny Foster (Richard Grieve). Victoria is charged and placed in psychiatric care, which gets her bullied at school. Andy is arrested and jailed for three years but eventually freed.
When Andy begins beating his new wife, Jo (Roxanne Pallett), Victoria refuses to have anything to do with him. On Christmas Day 2008, while messing around with other local teens, Victoria falls through the ice and nearly drowns. While under the water, Victoria finds a corpse which is later identified as missing police officer Shane Doyle (Paul McEwan). Annie informs the family of Jack's death in February 2009, leaving them devastated. This means Victoria had lost both her parents before she turned 15 (her mother Sarah had perished in a barn fire in 2000.) Daz admits he will always be there for her and resultantly they begin sleeping together, despite the fact Daz is dating Scarlett Nicholls (Kelsey-Beth Crossley). Victoria is hurt when Daz decides to remain with Scarlett and tells him she is pregnant but it turns out to be a lie. Scarlett soon finds out the truth when Daz jealously attacks Aaron (now Danny Miller), after catching him and Victoria together.
Victoria befriends Hannah Barton (Grace Cassidy), daughter of the new tenants at Butler's Farm but Kayleigh does not like her and begins bullying Hannah. Eventually, Victoria tires of this behaviour and cuts Kayleigh out of her life. She also makes friends with Amy Wyatt (Chelsea Halfpenny) and they soon become close friends. Alex Moss (Kurtis Stacey) the new farmhand at Butler's Farm arrives and they become a couple. Alex's incessant flirting with other women drives Victoria to dump him. When she feels she has made a mistake, Victoria tries to get Alex back but is horrified to discover he is involved with Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb). During this time Victoria buys Betty Eagleton's (Paula Tilbrook) house on the condition that she and Alan Turner (Richard Thorp) stay on as tenants and Victoria agrees. Victoria begins a relationship with Adam Barton (Adam Thomas) but it breaks down when she find he is involved in illegal activities with Robbie Lawson (Jamie Shelton).
Victoria later provides Val Pollard (Charlie Hardwick) with a shoulder to cry on when she discovers that she may be HIV positive. Victoria tries to urge Val to tell her husband Eric (Chris Chittell), but it takes a few weeks to actually tell Eric. Victoria is later stunned when she discovers that Diane and Eric slept together after Val reveals their secret to the regulars of The Woolpack. Victoria, however, sticks up for Diane. She and Eric later rush to the scene when Val sustains a fall in the village and cuts her knee.
In January 2014, Victoria befriends newcomer Finn Barton (Joe Gill), who reveals that he is gay and has feelings for David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden), who owns the local shop. Victoria celebrates her 20th birthday in March, making her one of the longest continuously appearing characters on the series. Robert (now played by Ryan Hawley) returns to the village in October with fiancée Chrissie White (Louise Marwood), her father Lawrence (John Bowe), and her teenage son Lachlan (Thomas Atkinson) in tow. Initially, Victoria is, like a majority of the village, bitter towards Robert, but as time passes, she warms to him again and comes to accept his return along with Andy. Victoria then restarts her relationship with Adam as he attempts to get her back by buying her a puppy, and cooking naked in The Woolpack kitchen. She spends New Year's Eve with Adam. In February 2015, Victoria attends Robert and Chrissie's wedding, but it ends in tragedy when Andy discovers Katie's deceased body at Wylie's Farm; she had been pushed on to some loose floorboards by Robert. Victoria supports Andy as he attempts to commit suicide only hours after Katie's funeral. She pleads for him to see hope, along with Diane, Chrissie and Robert. Andy later goes to stay with the Whites at Home Farm.
Victoria is heartbroken in June 2015 to learn that Adam has slept with local vet Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick) and has impregnated her. She goes on a downward spiral, and slaps Vanessa in the street when she sees her. The following day, Adam notices Victoria attempting to drive her car, knowing that she has not passed her driving test and does not have a provisional license, and tries to stop her. She does not listen, and as she drives off, she runs over Ashley Thomas (John Middleton). He appears to be fine, however, he later collapses and is comatose. Victoria is terrified she will be imprisoned, so Adam gives her a false alibi. However, Ashley's alcoholic ex-wife Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) drunkenly announces that Ashley has died while in hospital, unaware that he is still comatose. Victoria cannot deal with her guilt and hands herself in to the police, and she is arrested. She is later released, and is delighted to hear that Ashley is alive. Ashley later learns that he now has epilepsy following the accident. Adam and Victoria rekindle their relationship and decide to run away and get married, with the help of Aaron. Robert and Andy are furious to discover this, but Adam and Victoria leave before they can stop them.
In June 2016, Victoria was attacked at the scrapyard by Holly Barton's (Sophie Powles) drug dealer, Simon, but she fought back. Her attacker escaped. Victoria's attack left her shaking. A week later, Victoria accidentally sprays Finn after mistaking him as the attacker. In August 2016, Victoria finally discovers Holly was involved in her attack after spotting Holly with Simon. Victoria supports Robert when he begins a relationship with Aaron. In October 2016, Robert tells Victoria that he is going to asks Aaron to marry him and shows her the ring. The next day, Robert was planning to propose Aaron, but Aaron kidnapped Lachlan. They later get involved in a car crash, which results in their car falling into a lake. Robert eventually frees Aaron who was trapped behind the steering column. Adam and Victoria arrive at the scene and help Robert revive Aaron, and Adam accompanies Aaron in the ambulance with Victoria and her brother following behind in her van. In early 2017, Victoria and Adam decide to try for a baby.
Victoria was horrified to find a man had broken into her Diddy Diner truck, and even more so when the culprit knew her. She was shocked but pleased when the man turned out to be Hannah Barton, who had transformed into a man and went by the name Matty Barton (Ash Palmisciano). Matty revealed that Moira was unaccepting about the change and threw him out. Victoria tried to convince Matty that he should give Moira a second chance as she's bound to be shocked, but the pair are disgusted when they walk into Butlers Farm to hear Moira insulting Matty. Matty makes the decision to return to Manchester, despite Victoria's offers to allow him to stay with her. She drops Matty off at the train station when Cain fails to convince him to stay. After being beaten up, Matty decides to come back and stay with Moira at Butler's farm.
The accident involving Victoria and Billy was nominated for "Spectacular Scene of the Year" at the 2007 British Soap Awards.