Emmerdale Samson star’s life – real age, replacement sacked and co-star ‘family’

Emmerdale’s Samson Dingle has been through plenty in his young life – from a scandalous paternity twist with Amelia Spencer to the loss of his mum Alice.

Fans saw Samson transform into a bully after trying to get baby Esther taken away from her mum, insisting she needs a better life than his – away from the village.

In real life, Samson has been played by the same actor, Sam Hall, since 2009.

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But before that the role was played by a variety of different actors – the first of whom was Bradley Milnes, when Samson was just a baby from 2006 until 2008.

It was then taken on by Ben Shooter in 2007 and 2008, and Charlie Pell in 2008 and 2009.

Controversial sacking

Ben, tragically, was controversially sacked from his Emmerdale role for crying too much after becoming distressed while filming.

Reports in 2008 said soap producer Anita Turner decided the toddler had to go after becoming upset while filming a Dingle family row.

He returned to set days later but refused to go anywhere near James Hooton, who plays dad Sam Dingle, without crying.

Sources told Mail Online at the time that Anita was nicknamed ‘Turnoff’ by the cast after sacking three people within months of securing her job.

Ben’s mum Emma branded bosses “cruel” for the decision, telling The Sun: “He got very upset when his screen dad was confronted by police and the Dingles.

"There was a lot of shouting going on. I had to take him straight home to calm down."

Emma claimed her son was treated like a “prop”.

An Emmerdale spokesperson said at the time: “We frequently re-cast babies and small children if necessary as the child's welfare is our primary concern."

Despite that, Ben didn’t give up acting entirely, as the youngster also appeared in a television advert for Iceland.

Real age

In Emmerdale, Samson is just 16 years old and already a father.

But in real life, actor Sam Hall is two years older than his soap character, and turned 18 earlier in 2022.

He was born in Bradford in West Yorkshire, so his natural accent fits right in at the ITV village.

Co-star ‘family’

Sam has often spoken out about his Dingle clan, who welcomed him from the very first day.

The young actor told Metro: “From the day I started everyone was so supportive and kind. Being in the Dingle family meant growing up with characters like Lisa, Zak and Sam who are as great off screen as they are on screen.”

He added: “I’ve enjoyed every minute of working there and look forward to the rest. I love being a Dingle, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

“It’s great every time I get to film with the family. In fact after filming with them for so many years, it doesn’t feel like work at all.”

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