ITV Emmerdale: Moira actress Natalie J Robb’s off-screen life – co-star relationship, strange coincidence and where you’ve seen her before


Emmerdale’s Moira Dingle has become a favorite of the soap since she came onto the scenes in 2009.

The feisty character, played by Natalie J. Robb, has been embroiled in some of the most scandalous storylines, from her rollercoaster relationship with Cain Dingle to John’s tragic death.

Moira has been caught up in two steamy affairs – one with her brother-in-law James Barton and a second with her stepson Nate Robinson – and even this week had viewers doubting if she was going to fall for Cain’s rival Al Chapman.

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The farmer’s wife and her family were brought in by series producer Gavin Blyth as part of an overhaul of the long-standing show, reports LeedsLive.

They were described as being “sexy, modern and contemporary” – and Natalie says being part of a modern-day farming family is what drew her to the role of Moira.

The 41-year-old actress was nominated for ‘Best Newcomer’ at the 2010 Inside Soap Awards and the following year, was shortlisted for ‘Best Serial Drama Performance’ at the 16th National Television Awards.

Here’s everything we know about Natalie J. Robb’s life off-air:

Moira Dingle arrives at Butlers and tells Cain Dingle she wants to move back in

The Scottish actress and singer was born on December 3, 1974 as the youngest of three – with an older sister and brother.

Natalie became close to her mother after her parents split when she was 15-years-old.

Her mum currently lives in Spain, and Natalie has a life-long ambition to make a film telling the story of her mother’s life.

As a child, she attended weekend drama groups in Glasgow, where she was discovered by director Alan Macmillan, later studying at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

At the age of nine, she made her screen debut starring in an STV docudrama alongside Tom Conti.

By 13, she had been awarded the BBC Young Entertainer of the Year award on kids’ TV show, Going Live!

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Natalie was cast in the role of Trish McDonald in the Scottish soap opera Take the High Road a year later, which thrust her into the limelight and kick-started her TV career.

Before finding fame on Emmerdale, Natalie tried her hand at being a pop star with a band called The Kinky People.

In 1997 she released a single called Keep Your Love with dance group Partizan, singing on trance track I Will Be There with artist Absolutely the following year.

In July 2006, Natalie appeared in EastEnders as Max Branning’s mistress, Gemma Clewes.

And her soap career doesn’t end there, as she has also previously appeared in Doctors and The Bill.

When it comes to her love life in real life, Natalie was previously dating Emmerdale co-star, Jonny McPherson, who plays Liam Cavanagh on the ITV soap.

Emmerdale’s Natalie J Robb and Jonny McPherson

The actors shocked fans when it emerged they had moved in together during the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020.

Jonny previously spoke about how lockdown had helped his romance with Natalie blossom, telling The Mirror: “We had to make a decision as lots of couples did. We decided to move in together and so, yes, lockdown did fast forward our relationship.

“We get on so well. We come from quite different backgrounds but we are essentially the same person. We are both a pair of big kids. We have exactly the same stupid humour.”

The 40-year-old added: “There is nowhere to hide during lockdown. It’s a real test of whether you do get on with a person and thankfully we got through with flying colours.”

However the pair called it quits last summer. Sources later revealed that the former couple parted ways after their year-long relationship ran its course.

Som Emmerdale fans have questioned Natalie’s relationship with co-star Lawrence Robb, who plays cheeky with artist Mackenzie Boyd and is the younger brother of her character Moira.

While they share the same surname and they’re both Scottish, the actors are not siblings in real life.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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