Who plays Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale and what happened to her?

10 February 2022, 08:59

Meg Johnson played Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale
Meg Johnson played Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale. Picture: Getty Images/Alamy

What happened to Pearl in Emmerdale and where is Meg Johnson now?

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Emmerdale fans will remember Pearl Ladderbanks joined the soap all the way back in 2003 as a receptionist at the vets.

She has been part of some huge storylines since, including being trapped in a fire during the Sugden house explosion, developing a gambling addiction and faking Alzheimer's disease.

But Pearl has been seen less on the ITV soap over the past few years. So where is she?

Pearl Ladderbanks is played by Meg Johnson in Emmerdale
Pearl Ladderbanks is played by Meg Johnson in Emmerdale. Picture: Alamy

What happened to Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale?

Emmerdale fans have noticed that Pearl has appeared less in the soap, only occasionally featuring in scenes.

Meg took an extended break from her role as Pearl during 2019, with Pearl last appearing on 18 July 2019.

Pearl stayed off-screen until January 2020, when it was revealed she had been away on a caravan holiday.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Meg was no longer allowed on set due to her age, so her last appearance was on 30 March 2020.

Who played Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale?

Pearl is played by 85-year-old Meg Johnson.

Meg bagged her first acting role when she was aged 24 in a series called Family Solicitor and her early career included credits in The Referees (1961) and Here's Harry (1961–1964).

What else has Meg Johnson been in?

Meg previously appeared on Coronation Street as Brenda Holden, before she was given a permanent role in Eunice Gee in 1981.

From 2000 to 2003, the actress played Brigid McKenna in the Channel 4 soap opera Brookside as before landing her role as Pearl in Emmerdale.

Meg has also had a long theatre career and in 1997 she appeared in the West End revival of Chicago as Mama Morton, as well as starring in production of Follies and Gypsy.

The star is married to the former Granada Television continuity announcer, Charles Foster.

He appeared on Coronation Street in two minor credited roles in 1975 and again in 1999, as well as making an appearance in Emmerdale.