- Edna Birch
Infobox Emmerdale character 2
spouse = Harold Birch
nephews = Peter Birch
great nieces = Eve Jenson
first= 25 May 2000
Edna Birch is a
fictional characteron the ITV soap opera" Emmerdale". She is played by Shirley Stelfox.
In a village marred by affairs, double-crossing and sin, widow Edna Birch is a lone paragon of virtue. She first appeared in the series in 2000, but had been living off-camera in the village for many years previously.
Strong-minded and sharp-tongued, Edna is the sort of woman who will tell people exactly what she thinks of them to their faces.
So it was quite a shock when God-fearing Edna formed a close friendship with
Jason Kirk, a gay man who came between a supposedly heterosexualman and his fiancee, Bernice Blackstock.
She may have a vicious temper, but Edna has a good heart, which is demonstrated by her devotion to her friends and her beloved dogs.
As a devout parishioner, Edna was horrified when vicar
Ashley Thomasbegan dating pub landlady Bernice Blackstockand was one of a group of people who outwardly opposed the match.
A woman of contradictions, Edna was the only person to stand up for
Len Reynoldsand Pearl Ladderbankswhen Pearl's son, a convicted rapist, Frank Bernard Hartbourne, came to stay with them.
Her unwavering friendship helped them decide to stay in Emmerdale when everyone else had nearly driven them out. Len was an old friend of Edna and once it looked like a flicker of romance might be brewing between them.
In fact, Len once told Edna that he had fallen for her - only to be met with fury from the object of his affections.
Edna was nonetheless displeased when he took up with Pearl. Since the flamboyant pensioner was her absolute opposite it took Edna a long time to warm to her. But now they’re firm friends.
Edna’s closest companions in her life have been her dogs Batley and Tootsie. When Batley fell ill, Edna was absolutely heartbroken and it took a long time for her to get over his death. Tootsie has brought a lot of sunshine back into Edna’s life.
She was ashamed to learn that her grandmother was a
prostituteand for a while hid away from the rest of the villagers.
But she developed more of a purpose when she took a job working for local millionaire Tom King. An unlikely duo, Tom and Edna became pretty close pals.
Knowing he can rely on her completely, Tom trusted Edna implicitly and often turned to her for advice. Taking the King company in hand proved to be quite difficult for Edna, though.
She clashed repeatedly with the sleazy Jimmy King and ruthless
Matthew Kingand even quit the company for good when Tom retired.
Fortunately, Tom was now running Home Farm estates, he was in need of Edna’s services there and she was soon back in business.
Edna did not approve of some of his business decisions, but she believed Tom to be a good man. They became even closer friends when he discovered her secret; that she was not in fact the mother of her 'son' Peter, but her sister
Lily Butterfieldwas his real mum. However, Tom blackmailed her with the secret when she discovered his family's role in the show home disaster earlier in the year. As a result, she was forced to confess all to her son and hated Tom because of this.
Nevertheless, Edna was sad to learn of his death on
Edna is also known to almost always wear her hat. She only takes it off for special occasions, like
Seth Armstrong's funeral.
On 1 March 2007. Edna's dog, Tootsie was not feeling herself, Billy Hopwood noticed this and Edna telephoned to Hari Prasad (the Vet) Hari made a home visit and found Tootsie was in labour and close to giving birth. Edna did not know that Tootsie was pregnant till then. Later on two healthy full-term puppies were delivered. Edna was shocked.
More recently, Edna has been devastated by the demise of her beloved friend Len.
Edna's sister Lily returned to the village in 2007 and began growing
cannabis. When the police invaded Edna's home and arrested Lily, Edna was angered and humiliated and evicted Lily. Lily returned in March 2008 and during an argument, Edna admitted she'd always resented her sister for being the one who had adventures. Lily and Edna made up.
* [http://www.itv.com/page.asp?partid=3668 Edna Birch] at
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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