By March 2013 Alan Turner had been a resident of Emmerdale for 31 years. He was the longest serving character in the show of all time until 17th December 2017 when Eric Pollard overtook Turner's exact duration, making Turner the second longest serving character of all time. Turner was played by actor Richard Thorp.
5 August 1935, Chichester, Sussex
18 March 1982
Alan Jonathan Turner was born on the 5th August 1935 in Chichester, Sussex. His father Mr Turner was a Methodist. Alan remembered the Second World War. He had a brother William who died young. Alan went to boarding school and appeared in Wisdens Almanac 1950 edition as a young cricketer. Alan met and married Jill when very young and they had two children, Terence in 1964/1965 - later altered in the story-line to 1952, and Steph - originally born in the late 1960s, later altered in the story-line to July 1953. Alan favoured Terence in their youth and was a lousy father and Steph used to be scared of him whe he lost his temper whilst drunk. Sometime during the 1950s perhaps Alan served time in the Army. From 1964 to 1966 Terence sexually abused Steph, when she was just 11 to 13 years old. Alan never knew about this. Alan and Jill became estranged by the early 1980s. Alan worked most of his life in the estate management business.
In March 1982 Alan Turner was appointed as the new manager of NY Estates at Home Farm, Beckindale. At first he was quite humble and pleasent but he soon showed his nastier side after a few months. He was inept, boozing and bullying. He was grotty to the staff and proved himself to be very unpopular. Throughout 1982 and afterwards he was quick to blame Joe Sugden for his wrongdoings. In May 1982 he blamed Joe Sugden when he organised a helicopter to spray fertiliser on Home Farm land, and some of it causing cattle to stampede. In October 1982 all the potatoes in the potato plantation died due to being sprayed with weedkiller. Alan accused Jack Sugden of being behind it until it was revealed to be Teddy Hooson, an NY Estates employee who had been temporarily transferred to Beckindale from Spalding in Lincolnshire. In November 1982 Turner sacked Jackie Merrick after blaming him for a shooting weekend on the estate going wrong, claiming he was reponsible as he organised it. Jackie retorted by torching an NY Estates caravan which was the home of the Merricks before they moved to Emmerdale.
In 1983 Turner became more and more unpleasent. He made a pass at his young secretary and even resorted to blackmail to a John Tuplin to go along with redundancies. In March 1983 he became increasingly rude to Seth, Joe and the rest of the NY Estates employees and started victimising them, giving the cowman Daniel Hawkins hard labouring, claiming he was well within his rights to give them any job he gives them. Daniel was described as a general labourer not just a cowman. Turner wanted them to clear a dingle, yes an actual dingle on Home Farm land called Primrose Dingle. (Nothing to do with the infamous family who arrived 11 years later) Joe Sugden took the workers side. Turner thought he was the most powerful man in Beckindale.In January 1984 the NY Estates managing director Christopher Meadows paid him a visit and told him to change his ways or he would be fired. Later on in 1984 his wife Jill turned up and recommended Caroline Bates to him as a secretary, and she bought out his humourous side. Alan was also having to pay Oxford University fees for his son Terence and public school fees for his daughter, Mary. In April 1985 Alan made a drunken pass at Caroline. He later accidentally ran Jackie Merrick off his motorbike in his Land Rover. But Caroline Bates bought out Turner's better side. In May 1985 his son Terence Turner turned up and left that Christmas. During his time as manager at Home Farm he made a rival in Joe Sugden who in 1986 got his job. Alan remained at Home Farm as estate manager. In 1987 Alan was involved in the protest against the proposed nuclear dump at Pencross Fell. Jack Sugden and Alan locked horns during the protest. In September 1987 the idea was abandoned. In January 1988, NY Estates pulled out of Home Farm and Alan and Joe decided to buy Home Farm together. They won in February 1988. This cemented Alan Turner's influence and power in the village as he was now the lord of the manor, alongside Joe. Turner even showed a few of his old tyrannical tactics when he said to Seth they are all "in the muck now", and will be working round the clock soon to make Home Farm work, and that a dinner break will soon be abolished.
Turner and Joe struggled to pay the mortgage, and Turner made a few cock ups on the way. Sir Charles Douglas took an interest in having some of his clients from London to do shoots at the farm but one night Turner drove home with Charles in the passenger seat and was speeding while over the limit, ahving had a few drinks. Sir Charles decided not to do business with Turner and returned to London the following morning, unimpressed. Turner was later fined. Him and Joe cut trees down to pay off the mortgage in April 1988 and employed Steve Fuller as a surveyor. In August 1988, wealthy businessman Denis Rigg tried to outdo Joe and Turner.
1991-1999 - Woolpack Landlord
When Amos Brearly called time on his tenure as Woolpack landlord after 43 years in January 1991 Alan Turner bought the pub off him. No longer in charge at Home Farm did not mean Turner would not have power and influence in the village as he was now the local pub landlord, well alongside Ernie Shuttleworth at the Malt Shovel, which was seen as the inferior pub anyway.
Henry Wilks was irritated by Alan's ways of modernising the pub. Alan even opened up a gourmet restaurant in the pubs old tap room. That year Alan switched to a different brewery and Seth lead a walkout and soon Alan was forced to switch back to Ephriam Monks. Henry Wilks died of a heart attack in October 1991. In 1993 Alan started seeing Shirley Foster. He had a wine bar built at the back of the pub but in the December 1993 plane crash, a fireball hit it demolishing it and crippling Chris Tate. On that fateful night, Alan initially thought the village was rocked by a huge gas explosion but when he surveyed the damage and saw fires all over the village and outside he had his doubts. Later that night, the cause of the destruction was found, a plane had crashed on the village. Alan helped Frank Tate and Josh remove some of the rubble which had trapped Chris until the fire brigade arrived. Alan was shocked at the devastation the plane crash had caused the village.
Alan married Shirley in February 1994 but she was shot in a hostage raid by Viv Windsor's crazed ex husband Reg Dawson in June 1994. Alan was distraught and turned to the drink. He took a long holiday. In January 1995 the brewery persuaded Turner to take on bar managers and he appointed Terry and Britt Woods much to former landlord Amos Brearly's disappointment. The infamous Dingle family also made The Woolpack their local. Turner later dated Jo Steadman.
In September 1998 his granddaughter Tricia Stokes turned up and she formed a close relationship with him. Alan even gave his blessing when Tricia married local chef Marlon Dingle and let them live with him for a time. Alan was quite biased towards his granddaughter. He went on holiday in November 1998 only to return to a burnt out pub which had caught fire after fireworks went off in the pub. Seth also returned for a holiday to find the pub burnt. Alan had it redecorated.
Tricia and Mandy Dingle, both Turner's employees, fought like cat and dog and even had a mud fight. This enraged Turner. Alan had a heart attack in 1999 and upon his return, he witnessed more bickering between Tricia and new manager Bernice Blackstock. Recent events made Turner think of quitting the pub. Now aged 63, Turner decided he had had enough of the pub and decided to sell it. Bernice Blackstock took over as landlady. Her mother Diane arrived in November that year. Alan now could enjoy retirement.
In March 2000 Alan was about to drive a minibus load of villagers out of the village when a Tate Haulage lorry with dodgy brakes careered into the minibus leaving 4 people dead. Alan, Seth, Marc Reynolds, Joseph Tate, Victoria and Sarah Sugden survived. Alan turned 65 in August 2000 and became a pensioner.
In 2002 Alan's daughter Stephanie, Tricia's mother turned up. Alans relationship with her was strained in contrast to his relationship with his granddaughter. That year Steph introduced Shelley Williams as a new love interest for Alan. Although when Tricia was killed in the Emmerdale storm on New Years Eve 2003, Alan and Steph were reunited as they shared their grief. In February 2004 Tom King recognised Alan from his NY estates days.
When Alan started getting friendly with Shelley Williams, Steph got jealous and spread rumours that she was only after his money. Shelley ended up leaving Emmerdale and Alan. He started drinking heavily as a result. One day at the B&B Alan and Steph had an argument and he fell down the stairs. His injuries left him at Steph's mercy and she began doping him. She also formulated a plan to sell his business and have him put in sheltered accomodation. Alan eventually realised what Steph was doing and managed to get word to his neighbours. Steph was stopped. Evidence of Shelley being held in the B&B cellar emerged and it looked like Steph had murdered her.
After months of waiting for news Alan accepted Shelley was dead, only for her to come to her own memorial service. He was horrified that she let Steph go to prison for suspected murder but forgave her and they developed a relationship. Alan was unable to disown his daughter even when Shelley couldn't live with Steph around. Shelley left again and Alan persuaded Steph to track her down and bring her home. On the ferry, unknown to Alan, Steph and Shelley argued and Steph threw her overboard. She returned to Emmerdale and her relationship with Alan grew stronger. He even let her take over the B&B again and she started dating local doctor Adam Forsythe.Steph later claimed she had been sexually abused as a teenager by her older brother Terence. Alan dismissed the claims, branding them "rubbish". In the spring of 2006 he regained contact with his estranged son and turned against Steph, Betty and Adam and moved into Holdgate Farm with Terence. Alan later discovered that Terence had indeed abused Steph and threw him out. Terence returned to torment Steph in April 2006 and this lead to a violent altercation between Terence, Steph and Adam, resulting in Terence's death. Adam was arrested and when Alan went to visit him in prison to demand answers he was shocked to be told Adam had hanged himself.
Adam took her on holiday and married her, the murder weighed on Steph's sanity and she was later sectioned. Terence's body was later found underneath the rubble of the Kings River showhome which exploded. Steph was later charged with hs murder. Feeling low, Alan got close with Betty Eagleton and clumsily made a pass at her. Alan was embarrassed when she rejected him. In November 2006 Alan decided to go to Australia to visit Kathy Brookman. He returned and moved into Keepers Cottage with Betty and her beau Sandy.
Alan took another extended holiday in early 2008 to visit Kathy in Australia again and returned in June that year. He organised the Emmerdale Village Fete that summer. In February 2009 he mourned the death of his old foe turned friend Jack Sugden. In July 2009 Alan's old biker friend Eddy Fox turned up and asked him to go travelling with him. Alan was reluctant but later agreed. He left the village in August 2009 to go travelling, returning in April 2010.
In May 2010 Declan Macey asked Alan for advice on how to run Home Farm which he had just bought. In December 2010 when the circumstances surrouding the death of Elizabeth Pollard in the December 1993 plane crash emerged, after Eric started recieving letters from a lady called "Elizabeth", Alan was forced to reveal all to Val Pollard about the circumstances surrounding her death and how many people suspected Eric had murdered her. When Elizabeth's son Michael Feldmann turned up Alan lent his old friend some money when he saw he was struggling. Michael left the village when he found that Elizabeth had been killed by debris from the plane. In January 2011 a fire ripped through Keepers Cottage, Victoria Cottage and Connelton View started by deranged policeman Nick Henshall. Alan temporarily moved into Mill Cottage until Keeprs was redecorated.
Turner later gave Chas Dingle advice on running The Woolpack, having once been a landlord.
In August 2011 Turner offered to mind Sandy Thomas at Mulberry Cottage while he recovered from a sprained ankle. In December 2011 he attended the renewal of the wedding vows of village vicar Ashley Thomas and Laurel. He then asked gossipy Betty not to speculate over the recent attack on hardman Cain Dingle. In late January 2012, he covered for Brenda at the cafe, his first time in a while working at the cafe.
In March 2012 Alan, having once ran Home Farm and had been a councillor, had doubts about the village festival planned by Home Farm owner Declan Macey for the summer and raised his concerns to him. On the 18th March 2012, Alan Turner surpassed 30 years in the village. At the end of March he shared his war experiences with Sean Spencer when he was doing a school project. He welcomed fellow housemate Betty Eagleton home when she returned from her cruise in July.
Alan and Betty went on a cruise in February 2013 and Alan returned on the 20th March. He attended a prize draw event at the Woolpack in May 2013. Alan's last episode was the 4th June 2013 where he joked to Adam Barton about his retirement. In July 2013, Victoria mentioned that Alan had gone on yet another biking trip to France with his biker mates. Alan arrived home in October 2013 but died that night in his sleep. He was buried a week later in Emmerdale Village Cemetery. At his funeral, a group of bikers turned up.
First appearance Episode 722 (18th March 1982).
Final appearance Episode 6569 (4th June 2013).
"You haven't forgotten me in a week have you"? First line.
"How are you enjoying your retirement"? Final line.
"Get Out Seth"!! to bothersome employee Seth Armstrong.
"You're quite right".
Memorable momentsDuring his 30 years in Emmerdale Turner has had many memorable moments such as his comic double act with Seth Armstrong and Mrs Bates.
In 1985 he mixed whisky with sherry and make a drunken pass at Mrs Bates. When she turned up for work the next day he had his tail between his legs.
In 1983 Turner first mentioned his two children. In 1984 the eldest Terence was said to be 19, as referred to by Alan and Jill his estranged wife. The younger one Mary was still at school. In 1985, 20 year old Terence turned up in Beckindale. He left that Christmas after a brief romance with Sandie Merrick. In 2006 Terece came back to the village to see his father Alan. His sister Steph told Alan that Terence had abused her as a teenager. Terence was born somewhat earlier than the 1985 version of the character. If he was 20 in 1985 he should have been 41 in 2006 but by then he was about 53 or 54. His age had been altered substantially. In 1998 Alan Turner's granddaughter Tricia Stokes turned up and was aged 22 then. It later turned out she was the child of Mary Stokes, nee Turner, but Mary was only a teenager in 1985 and would have been only a child in 1976. Due to this her age was also altered from about 1966 to July 1953 to make her the right age to have had a daughter in 1976. Such tweakings of ages are commonplace in soaps.
Birthday: 5 August 1935
Died: 24 October 2013 (Aged 78)
Full Name: Alan Jonathan Turner
Nicknames: Tubby Turner, Big Al (by Terry Woods)
In Episode 1243 (27th April 1988) Alan Turner says he was 7 when the Second World War finished (1945) but later scripts say Alan was born in August 1935, making him almost 10 when the war ended. If you go by the age he said he was in 1945 then that makes him born 1937/1938 but this was later altered to 1935.
The longest break actor Richard Thorp took from the show was from mid 2009 to spring 2010, an absence of 9 months, however this does not count as an official departure as he took a break for the show while under contract. So Alan Turner's duraton should be 1982-2013 and not 1982-2009, 2010-2013.
Father Mr Turner
Siblings William Turner
Grandchildren Tricia Dingle
Uncles Joshua Turner