Emmerdale’s Lisa Riley is one of that nation’s most recognisable soap stars on television.
Lisa, 45, has played Mandy Dingle on the iconic ITV soap since returning to the Dales in 2019.
The actress first joined the soap in 1995 until 2001 – before she reprised her famous role of Mandy once more in 2019.
Over the years, the star has bravely opened up about her IVF treatment – after her and her fiancé have tragically made various failed attempts to have their first baby.
Daily Star have taken a look back at Lisa’s dramatic life away from Emmerdale village.
Mum’s death heartbreak
Lisa sadly lost her beloved mum Cath back in 2012 – who passed away at the age of 57.
Lisa’s mum passed away after being diagnosed with breast cancer – and she died in her daughter Lisa’s arms at the star’s house.
Lisa told The Mirror: “It went into her ovaries, then her pelvis. When it reaches the pelvis… boom, it goes round the body like a firework. I knew then that it wasn’t good.
“She died in my arms. She was at my house.
“The entire family was there and we laughed together on the morning that she passed away.
(Image: Contact Pictures)
“That was Mum. It was wonderful. She had dignity. She was fun and smiles to the very, very end.”
Last year, poor Lisa revealed that her “world fell apart forever” when she lost her mum, and that losing her hurts more and more every day.
Taking to Instagram eight years after Cath’s death, Lisa posted an emotional tribute to her mum last year with a sweet throwback snap of the two together.
She said: “Eight years ago today my world fell apart forever…..losing mum to cancer.
There’s MUCH more where that came from! Want all the jaw-dropping stories from the world of showbiz and up to the minute news from TV and soaps?
Well, we’ve got you covered with our showbiz, TV and soaps newsletters – they’ll drop straight into your inbox and you can unsubscribe whenever you like.
We’ll bring you the inside track from telly expert Ed Gleave and soap specialist Sasha Morris. Oh, and your daily fix of Piers, Katie Price, Demi Rose and all your other Daily Star favs.
You can sign up here – you won’t regret it…
My mum Cath was everyone’s reason to happy, bringing joy and happiness to each and every person she met.
“Her electric personality radiated from her, I hope these two photos show just how much love and compassion she had for everyone, reasons the pain without her gets greater and greater by the day. Unique, different, special, fun, kind, empathetic, one of a kind.
The list could go on and on, her glow in these pictures speak volumes of her LOVE….my forever, always angel. KEEP SHINING FROM HEAVEN.”
Lisa had been trying for her first baby along with her musician partner Al, 50, when she returned to the Dales in 2019.
Her doomed IVF battle came after Lisa lost her mum Cath.
She previously shared how she was told by medical experts that despite her efforts to welcome a child, it is unlikely she will ever conceive, even through IVF treatment, due to the poor quality of her eggs.
She also revealed that she believes people treat her “differently” after the rounds of IVF failed.
However, she has said that she has now made peace that she will never have children, and that she feels happy – due to her amazing relationship with her nieces and nephews.
She told The Mirror: “I really struggled losing my mum and going through IVF but even at the end of it all I know how lucky I am.
“I have such an amazing partner who loves and supports me. I don’t have kids myself but my nieces and nephews are my world. I have a job I adore and have the most amazing friends and family.
“I feel more confident and comfortable in my own skin than ever before.”
Lisa turned to alcohol in a bid to cope with her overwhelming grief resulting from her mum’s passing, proceeding to hide her grief “behind a bottle of wine” after the loss, Lisa said.
However, she has since managed to ditch the booze in order to become teetotal.
Last year, she celebrated five years sober and told her followers how ditching alcohol has improved her life – and reduced her paranoia after nights out.
In a candid post on Instagram, Lisa said: “CELEBRATION.
“Wow FIVE years ago today I drank my last drop of alcohol.
“I wouldn’t change it for ANYTHING, my life is so much clearer, happier, gained more glow, laugh so much harder, having the life I always dreamt of, no fake friendships, needing that someone who NEVER knows when to go home, not cringing when I open my eyes (have I argued with anyone) not remembering, that’s the WORST, maybe, well not actually maybe, CERTAINLY.”
Weight loss journey
Lisa also underwent an inspiring weight loss journey – where she lost a staggering 12 stone by late 2016.
She began losing weight after she met her partner Al back in 2012
And after a number of personal tragedies – including four family members – she decided she would try to be as healthy as she could.
She cut out booze and unhealthy foods, opting for a good diet and exercise whenever she could.
After shedding half of her body weight, dropping from a size 30 to a trim size 14, Lisa also had 1.5stone of excess skin surgically removed.
(Image: Getty Images)
She said previously: “People forget how gigantic I was. With the skin removal, I lost twelve stone, one pound.
“The surgeon chopped off one stone, four pounds. Since then my weight has more or less stayed the same.”
Despite doing things the natural way, Lisa is still dogged by accusations that she had a gastric band.
“I did it through good old-fashioned willpower, driven by me finally wanting to buy nice clothes and underwear,” she proudly said.
After almost 20 years away from the Dales, Lisa returned to Emmerdale as Lisa Riley in 2019.
She first played the loveable rogue between 1995 and 2001, and she’s been a welcome addition since her return.
Recently, she’s been involved in a huge storyline which took a look at gambling addiction and abuse between a father and son.
Her husband-to-be died, leaving her heartbroken, however she was soon hit by another tragedy when she learned that he had been beating up their son.
In her time away though, Lisa was a regular face on television, as a panelist on Loose Women and in dramas such as Fat Friends and the incredibly moving Three Girls.
Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV at 7pm
For more of the latest showbiz news from Daily Star, make sure you sign up to one of our newsletters here.