EastEnders star joins rival soap Emmerdale as part of dramatic new storyline

EastEnders star Martha Cope has joined the cast of Emmerdale.

The actress, 53, is known for playing Sandy Gibson, the mother of Dotty Cotton (Milly Zero) and ex of Nick Cotton (John Altman) on the BBC soap.

Martha has now swapped Walford for the Yorkshire Dales, joining the ITV soap as part of a major upcoming storyline.

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"Martha will appear later this year and kick off a huge storyline," a source told The Sun. "She’s making a guest appearance but she has an unmatched soap pedigree so she’s bound to impress fans."

Sandy arrived in Albert Square in October 2021, causing chaos for daughter Dotty.

Her alcohol addiction led her to a fleeting relationship with nasty Nick, in which she became pregnant with Dotty and originally kept it secret.

She eventually told Nick about their daughter while he was in prison and he took over custody upon his release, lying to Dotty that Sandy had died in a car accident.

Sandy, who was original played by Caroline Pegg in 2010, stuck around for 11 episodes before departing in December.

Martha previously appeared in EastEnders as Melissa Phillips, the Area Manager for the Minute Mart chain, for two episodes between 2014 and 2015.

Similarly, her upcoming role in Emmerdale won't be the first time she's stepped into the village as she previously portrayed DC Morden between 2013 and 2014.

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She headed to rival soap Coronation Street one year later, playing the role of Joanne, a woman who dated Kevin Webster (Michael Le Vell) for six episodes between 2015 and 2016.

Her Weatherfield connection doesn't end there, however, as her father Kenneth Cope also had a role in the ITV soap.

The 92-year-old played petty criminal Jed Stone in two stints, first in the early 60s before returning for a handful of episodes between 2008 and 2009.

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