While Eric Pollard is the longest serving continuous character ever, having overtaken Alan Turner's duration in December 2017, Robert Sugden is the current character with the largest gap between his first appearance and latest appearance, and counting.
In November 1985, Pat Sugden had told Jack that she was pregnant again. They were delighted. In April 1986 Pat and Jack Sugden had a baby boy Robert Jacob Sugden, named after his two grandfathers. Robert was born at Emmerdale Farm. His godfather was Amos Brearly, who would one day be his step grandfather. In August 1986, Pat Sugden was killed in a road accident which left Jack a single parent. As Robert was only 4 months old when his mum died, he grew up with no memories whatsoever of his mother.
Robert was initially a quiet child and spent his early years being bought up by grandmother Annie Sugden and dad Jack. In 1989, Robert's much older brother Jackie Merrick died in a shooting incident. Jack begun dating Sarah Connolly and she became an auxillary mother to Robert. In 1993, Sarah was pregnant by Jack, meaning Robert was to have a half sister or brother. On the 30th December 1993, a plane crashed on the village and Robert's step grandad Leonard Kempinski was killed when falling wreckage forced Joe Sugden off the road. This also left Robert's gran Annie in a coma. In March 1994, baby Victoria Sugden was born, giving Robert a younger half sister.
In 1996, when he was 10, Robert became friends with Andy Hopwood. Andy was later adopted by Jack and Sarah due to his troubled background and his villainous real father Billy Hopwood. Robert was more ambitious whereas Andy was committed to helping on the farm outside school hours. In 2000, Sarah cheats on Jack with much younger Richie Carter. She found Jack too boring and did not want to become the new Annie Sugden, a farmers wife. Sarah left Jack for Richie, taking Victoria with them. Robert sided with Sarah over his father but Jack won custody, as Sarah was not his biological mother. In November 2000, Jack was cash strapped so Andy planned a fire in one of the barns so Jack could claim on the insurance. Sarah and her lover were hiding and were trapped Richie got away but Sarah, too scared to jump off the bannister, was killed.Robert later found that Andy started the fire and in May 2001 went to live with grandmother Annie in Spain. He returned in August 2001. He shows a much darker side to his character as he starts taunting Andy. In September 2001, while on a night out with Marc Reynolds, Donna Windsor and Katie Addyman, they miss the bus home and Andy steals a car to illegally drive it home. They accidentally run over their headmistress Barbara Strickland. They burn the car to cover their tracks but the truth outs and Marc is jailed. Robert and Andy recieve community service.
In 2002, now aged 16, Robert loses his virginity to older woman Nicola Blackstock. In early 2003, Robert gets drunk and sleeps with another older woman, Charity Tate. Robert leaves school and gets a job as a mechanic at Scott Windsor's garage. He sleeps with Scott's half sister Donna. He then has a disastrous romance with Elaine Marsden which ends in a car crash.
In January 2004, after dating Andy's fiancee Katie Addyman, Daz Eden catches them kissing. She dumps him and marries Andy in February. Robert and Katie resume their affair after the wedding. Andy later finds out and waits in a caravan with a shotgun to kill them both. However he accidentally shoots Jack Sugden instead. Robert and Andy reconcile at the hospital. Andy and Katie split and Robert carries on dating her.
In 2005, Robert is seduced by yet another older woman, Sadie King. Daz finds out. Katie finds erotic messages on Robert's phone from Robert to Sadie.
Durign yet another feud over Debbie Dingle, Robert and Andy feud yet again. Robert plans to go to London with Debbie, along with Max King. However, on the day that they plan to leave in October 2005, Andy finds out about Robert and Debbie's plan and forces her to tell him where she is going to meet Robert, he goes there and confronts him, and they start fighting. Max is forced to separate them and Robert tells Debbie that he doesn't care about her and was only interested in her because of Sarah and wanted to hurt Andy by taking his daughter away. Debbie leaves and returns to the village, heartbroken.
Max decides not to go with Robert and asks Andy to drive him to the railway station. Filled with rage, Robert turns the car round and accelerates, driving straight at Andy's Land Rover. Max panics and grabs hold of the steering wheel. The Land Rover goes off the road and rolls onto its roof. Robert parks his car, gets out and rescues Andy but the Land Rover explodes before he can rescue Max. Max is killed instantly and Jack arrives just after the accident and Robert tells him what happened. Jack calls the emergency services and tells Robert to leave so he won't be arrested. He tells him to get as far away from the village and never come back but keep in touch.
Jack insists that Andy tell the police that he swerved to avoid a flock of sheep. Robert gets into his car and drives away. Robert is last seen at a service station, ordering some food and tells the waitress that he intends on travelling whichever direction his car is pointing.
Almost 4 years later, in February 2009, Jack Sugden dies of a heart attack aged 61. One the day of the funeral, Robert visits Butlers Farm and reminisces. He then drives on Home Farm land and is challenged by Natasha Wylde. He says he used to live at the farm and his dad has died. Robert then goes ito the village and watches his father's funeral from The Bridge Near Smithy Cottage. Andy sees him. He begs Robert to return and help run the farm. Robert says he does not belong there anymore and drives away. Andy tells Annie, who has flown in from Spain for her sons funeral. Annie is not happy.
That night, Andy and Victoria say a private farewell to Jack at his grave. Robert is stood in bushes nearby and when the rest of them leave, Robert leaves a wreath for Jack, then walks off into the night.
In October 2014, Robert Sugden visited his father's grave and his old house, Tenant House. He then made his face known at The Woolpack to Diane and Victoria. Robert said it was a flying visit as he was there on business (selling agricultural machinery).
Robert then visits the auction open day at Home Farm to meet his fiancee, Chrissie White who has been looking around. In doing so he reveals Nicola's bluff of having Katie and Andy pose as buyers to put off Chrissie. Robert is reluctant to move to Home Farm but Chrissie is keen. After insulting Katie, Robert receives a punch from Andy just as Lawrence White arrives, Robert's boss and future father-in-law.
Later, Robert is horrified when Lawrence announces that he bought Home Farm and they will be moving back to the area meaning he will have to stay.
Lawrence saw Robert as a good investor to Home Farm but as a user. He wanted to try and oust Robert from Chrissie's life but in the end Robert staged a robbery with Aaron Livesy and Ross Barton and pretended to be the hero and "saved" a kidnapped Lawrence. He won Lawrence over, who realised he was not so bad after all.
In December 2014 Robert started an affair with Aaron, and this annoyed Katie Sugden, who knew what he was like before. In February 2015, Robert and Chrissie were due to be married and Katie threatened to spill the beans to Chrissie. The day of his marriage Aaron lured Robert to Wylie's Farm, which was due to be renovated and to be Katie and Andy's new home, he also texted Katie with the intention to exposed Robert's affair to Katie. Aaron succeed and left. Robert and Katie argued and Katie fell to her death through a rotting floor. Aaron later found out and helped Robert cover his tracks.
In January 2016, Robert took Aaron to the hospital when he collapse at the scrapyard. Aaron whimper to Robert says his dad Gordon did this before taking away by the nurse. Later Robert asks Aaron the real reason why his dad made him self-harming again but Aaron refused to tells him. The next day, Aaron running away from hospital, Robert went after him. Robert found Aaron hiding in Debbie's house. Aaron confessed to Robert, he was raped by his father when he was a child. Aaron explains to Robert that Gordon repeatedly raped him until Gordon kicked him out. The next day, Robert face to face with Gordon at the pub. Robert told Gordon that he know he raped Aaron. Robert threatens Gordon to leave the town or he will finished him off. Gordon denies the accusation but Robert believe Aaron.
In 24th March 2016, after a bitter split, Robert and Chrissie had a relatively civil divorce settlement. In April 2016, Aaron and Robert agree to resume their relationship but slowly before they share a kiss.
In October 2016, Chrissie's sister Rebecca White arrives in the village. It turns out they had a fling a few years earlier when he was engaged to Chrissie. Robert was planning to propose to Aaron but Aaron kidnapped Lachlan after Lachlan threaten to lie Robert sexually abuse him. Robert and Aaron are involved in a horrific road crash after Aaron crash his car to the lake with Lachlan still in the boot.
Birthday: 22nd April 1986
Full Name: Robert Jacob Sugden
- Born in a bedroom at the original Emmerdale Farm
- In several episodes (including episodes 7105, 12th February 2015; 7113, 23rd February 2015), Robert (as played by Ryan Hawley) is in the living room of the Woolpack standing near a photograph of Jack with a young Robert (as played by Christopher Smith).
- Likes Death Note, the Japanese Manga series of comic books. An interest he shares with Finn Barton (episode 7024).
- In February 2017, he said his full name of Robert Jacob Sugden at his same sex wedding to Aaron Dingle. Jacob being his paternal grandfather's name.
Robert to others
- “He’s been, Daddy.” An early line from Robert, announcing the arrival of Father Christmas! (episode 1415)
- “Just because I read books don’t mean it’s not work” Robert's response to Andy who has said that he and Jack have been doing Robert's share of the farm work (episode 2927)
- “You’re too busy with your stupid farm like you always are. I hate this farm. Why don’t you sell the lot?!...“ Robert to Jack. 30th May 2001 (episode 2927)
- “I can’t stay on the farm. I can’t stay in the village. I never want to see him again.” Robert to Jack about Andy, shortly before leaving for Spain (episode 2928).
- “Okay” Robert’s last line before he leaves for Spain (episode 2928). N.B. Last line spoken by Robert as played by Christopher Smith.
- “Yeah, no problem thanks. Lived around here all my life” Robert’s to a bus driver, returning to the village from Spain (episode 2976). N.B. First line spoken by Robert as played by Karl Davies.
- “Things have changed a bit, pal. Next time you have a go, you might still win. But I’ll have ya. Either when you’re not looking or when you’re asleep. I don’t care.” Robert to Andy, pointing out that he still hasn’t forgiven him for Sarah’s death (episode 2976).
- “I’ll never forget you.” Robert as he places a rose at Jack’s grave (episode 5219). N.B. Last line spoken by Robert as played by Karl Davies.
- “Diane. Victoria. Missed me?” Robert returns to the village after a five year absence (episode 7006). N.B. First line spoken by Robert as played by Ryan Hawley.
- “All I had to do was be a nasty little pooftah like you and you would have given me anything.” Robert being particularly nasty to Lawrence (episode 7025).
- “It scares me being alone” Robert thinks about the future, to Aaron (episode 7180).
Others on Robert
- “He’s got a right edge to him though, Robert. Like everyone’s picking on him all the time” Andy to Katie about Robert (episode 2976).
- “Oh my beautiful, beautiful nerd brother” Finn on discovering he has a fellow geek. And that he fancies him too! (episode 7024).
- “...He looks a lot less cocky”;
- “Still got one of those faces you still want to punch though, eh?” Andy and Adam as Robert returns to the village after recovering from his shooting-induced coma (episode 7339).
- “You can roll a turd in as much glitter as you want but it will always be the same underneath”. Chas to Robert, reminding him that despite his kind actions towards Aaron he still can't be trusted (episode 7421).
Father Jack Sugden (deceased)
Spouse Chrissie White (2015-2016)
Fiancé Aaron Dingle