Emmerdale bids farewell to one of its most memorable bad boys this week as twisted Nathan Wylde finally gets his comeuppance. Following the sale of Home Farm and Natasha’s sentencing, Nathan looks forward to a fresh start with Maisie, Will and his fortune - but a confrontation with Ryan soon sparks his undoing. As Nathan gloats about his attempt to frame his half-brother for murder, he’s unaware that his confession is being secretly recorded. Now holding all the cards for once, Ryan ensures that his long-time nemesis leaves the village with nothing - but is this the last we’ll see of him? Lyndon Ogbourne, who plays Nathan, recently chatted to DS about the character’s departure and his time with the soap.
How does Nathan feel when Natasha is sentenced to 21 years behind bars this week?
“I think he’s deeply upset by it. Despite how much people love to hate Nathan, it’s got to be understood that he’s gone through a hell of a lot - so I think, as much as he’s upset by it, it’s almost a relief to him that everything’s finally out there and a decision has been made. As much as it angers him that his mum still went down for Mark’s murder despite all of his hard work, I think it’ll be a huge weight off his shoulders. But he is deeply upset and his reaction when the final verdict comes out is that he’s absolutely broken by it.”
Maisie and Will both stay away from the sentencing, but Nathan is keen to be there - why is that?
“I think it’s because Nathan has seen it all from square one - he was the first person to find out about Mark, and he’s continually been the one who’s been put under a massive amount of pressure by the whole situation. It’s not in any perverse way, but I think Nathan just wants to see it through. As much as anything, despite some people thinking, ‘Oh no, he’s always been nasty’, his reason for a lot of what he’s done has been his love for his mother. It’s necessary for him to put closure on the whole thing.”
We also see Ryan finally get his revenge this week…
“Yes, basically Nathan’s desire to always be nasty and corrupt towards Ryan backfires. Nathan could so easily keep his mouth shut and let things go, but he’s just too eager to have the final word and stick the final knife in. Because of him being like that, he blurts out everything that he’s felt and done towards Ryan and Ryan’s recorded it all! Ryan then threatens to hand over the recording to the police. Basically that’s Nathan’s undoing. But it’s not the end for Nathan - I think it’s been made clear that Emmerdale are excited about the possibility of him coming back, so I think there’s always going to be a darker side to Nathan and he may eventually get his own back on Ryan. But for this moment in time, Nathan gets his comeuppance and Ryan is able to hand out a bit of justice for once!”
Ryan eventually agrees not to give the recording to the police as long as Nathan puts his fortune in a trust fund for Will - how does Nathan feel about that?
“He’s absolutely shaken by it. Often the reason why Nathan does things is based on greed or financial gain, so to finally be totally and utterly without anything after having to hand everything over means that he’s stripped bare. He has to give away his car, his possessions - everything he owns - and Ryan makes sure that Maisie and Will turn against him. He’s then sent off into the distance and disappears! It’s quite an emotional time but it’s also quite an honest time for Nathan because, for once, he’s got literally nothing.”
Were you pleased with this final storyline?
“I was! I’m obviously pleased that they’re keen to leave the door open for me. Sometimes when they’re trying to keep the door open, they just let a character slip away and that can be disappointing - but I’m thrilled with this. I think it’s necessary for the audience’s sake that we see Ryan have a moment of satisfaction as he hands out a bit of justice. I think that’s positive for Ryan and it’s good to see Nathan dethroned, because he’s spent a lot of time up on his high horse and being very arrogant. I think it’ll show a very fragile and vulnerable side to Nathan that I’m excited about. Hopefully it’ll mean that we’ve seen many different sides to him before he disappears, vowing to come back and wreak revenge!”
Were you ever surprised yourself at how evil and twisted Nathan became as time went on?
“Well, I think I’ve always tried to steer the writers’ hands - through performance and through chatting to them - to push Nathan that way. I watch it myself and I want to smack him in the face! He’s a really vile character and I’m pleased, because when I came into the show, I always wanted to make a mark on it and hopefully cause a reaction from the viewers. I couldn’t have wished for a better reaction really, as everyone really detests him - in the nicest possible way!”
How do you feel now that your time at Emmerdale has come to an end?
“I’m excited! I made the decision myself to step away - Emmerdale had been very forward about looking to encourage me to stay. So I’m sad but I’m excited. The only reason that I’m leaving is professional ambition, really - looking to do other things and to do more theatre work. But I’ve absolutely loved this job - I’ve loved playing the horrible Nathan Wylde and the atmosphere at work is amazing. And I’m also looking forward to the possibility of coming back with some exciting story in the future.”
If Nathan ever did return, would you like him to still be a bad boy, or would you prefer to see a different side to him?
“If he was to return, I think it’d be nice if he’d grown up a little bit. If he is still corrupt, which I think is an important element of Nathan, that could have almost grown up with him. I think it’d be nice to see a more rounded character - but I think it’s very important to keep that evil nature that he has, because that’s a key part of what people have come to know with Nathan. Maybe that could mean that he’d have more heart, but if he is backed into a corner, he could be more nasty and more aggressive than you’ve ever seen him before…”
More from ‘Emmerdale’ star Lyndon Ogbourne
What’s the response been like from Emmerdale fans since you announced your decision to leave?
“Well, I watch Emmerdale myself and I think Nathan is a very easy character to love to hate. He’s really got a lot of people’s backs up and I think Emmerdale fans really enjoy that - they enjoy waiting for him to walk in and kick off at somebody or cause some trouble! So the general reaction, whether it’s been from the public or on Twitter, has been very positive in as much as they seem sad to see me leave, which is a nice thing as an actor and as a person. It’s nice that people have enjoyed my performance, but I think people also understand that it’s been around two years that I’ve done on the show. They know that I’ve loved it and adored my time on Emmerdale, but I think they understand that I want to take a step back from the show for a while.”
Was there a temptation to stick with the show for longer?
“It was tempting - it was very, very tempting because, as an actor, I feel like I’ve been given an amazing opportunity with Nathan. Together with the writers, I really feel like I’ve created an absolute monster - so it’s a dream to be given the opportunity to create a character like Nathan. The temptation was to stay on, purely because I’ve enjoyed it so much. But I also have to respect my feelings and what I always said I would do when I approached this job - which was to do a couple of years and then take a step back, because I think it’s easy to become comfortable within something like this. I always knew that I wanted to venture into doing more theatre and other projects, and not stay in it for years and years and years. If that means when I settle down and have a family, or after I’ve done a few projects, there’s the possibility of returning to Emmerdale, that would be amazing because I love playing Nathan. But for now, I think leaving was the right thing to do.”
Are you happy that you can now get back to London, as that’s where your girlfriend lives?
“Well, that wasn’t behind my decision to leave - myself and my girlfriend both understand that, as an actor, you can be away for long periods of time with work, so it’s not been personal reasons why I’ve made that decision. But at the same time, I’m so excited to get back down to London because obviously friends, some family and my girlfriend are all down there, so it is something that’s exciting. I’ve had a whole life that I’ve had to put on hold to some extent down in the south.”
Are you hoping to find a role that’s very different from Nathan now?
“Well, to be honest, I’ve always enjoyed playing the bad guys! Doing Robin Hood and Spooks, I’ve always played some form of tricky character - somebody who rubs people up the wrong way or is involved in naughty activities! I think it would be interesting for me to do something very, very different - but at the same time, if opportunities came up to play more mischievous and corrupt characters, I think I’d jump at the chance. I do find them exciting to play as an actor because hopefully they’re vastly different from me! It is nice to play somebody who’s very, very different to you rather than playing the nice guy, but if I was given the opportunity to play the romantic lead or the best friend of someone, then it’d be great to show people that I am able to create likeable characters as much I’m able to create the really unlikeable ones!”
What are your thoughts on the Maceys taking over at Home Farm?
“I think we’re going to see a very different side of Home Farm that perhaps audiences haven’t seen. Often Home Farm is associated with families having a quick demise - whether it’s murders or death or whatever else! I think what the audience will now see is a very different side to it - with Declan and his father, I think it will almost be like the odd couple in the way that they’ll be bickering. Also, I think with Declan and his ex-wife, there’ll be an upbeat and almost rom-com element to this new family. I think it’s going to be a very exciting time for Home Farm as we see this different side to it. Perhaps it won’t be so bleak! There’ll be some dramas, but it won’t be so depressing!”
Can you name any particular highlights from your time at Emmerdale?
“I’ve loved working with Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain. I think some of the stuff that Nathan and Cain have done together has been brilliant - especially the recent torture storyline. Working with Amanda Donohoe has also been absolutely amazing - she’s an incredible actress to learn from. Also just working with the family - with Alice Coulthard and with Oscar Lloyd - has been fantastic.”
Who do you plan to keep in touch with from the show?
“Well, Alice and I are very good friends, and I’m also good friends with James Sutton, Danny Miller, Adam Thomas and Jeff as well. But it’s such a family environment at work, so when the time’s right I’ll definitely come back up north to visit. I love being in Yorkshire anyway, so I’ll visit the set. But as far as regular contact goes, I think that’ll be James, Danny, Adam and Alice.”
James Sutton told us a while back that you both wanted Nathan and Ryan to become partners in crime - it’s a shame we didn’t get to see that!
“I know! I think it would have been amazing to see them almost become the Kray brothers of the Dales! That’s something that could still happen in the future - maybe on the return of Nathan, they could put their differences aside, realise that they’ve been through a hell of a lot together and take the village apart together!”
Do you think Emmerdale can continue going from strength to strength in the months ahead?
“I think Emmerdale is in such incredible shape. I’ve been blessed with some incredible storylines and I think Danny Miller is doing an incredible job with his storyline. I think there’s so many elements to it which are making it a very, very strong show and I think it will just continue going from strength to strength. I feel proud to have been there as it really started to push forward.”
Would you ever appear on another soap?
“I think it would be exciting. I would never just out and out accept another soap role - obviously my heart is very dear to Emmerdale. But at the same time, it could be good if the character was right. It’d have to be a decision that I’d make as an actor and because the part was right, rather than just for the sake of being on another soap.”
Finally, will you still be keeping up your entertaining tweets after Nathan bows out?
“I will not be turning my back on Twitter! I’ve embraced Twitter and I’ve loved it! It’s been exciting, because playing someone like Nathan, people can seriously believe that you’re that character. I hope that what I’ve achieved through Twitter is to show people that I’m so vastly different from Nathan. Hopefully people will now keep an eye on what’s to come for my career in the future. I’ve really enjoyed Twitter and all of the people who support me and follow me are very dear to me. It’s a great support to have.”
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