Patrick “Paddy” Frederick Kirk is played by Dominic Brunt. Paddy demonstrates the dedication of the soap’s writers towards maintaining a comedic tone in plotlines. While he has appeared at the centre of some grave storylines, Paddy is often a manifestation of the faintly ridiculous. His bumbling ways and perpetual ill luck act as an amusing antithesis to the sometimes traumatic incidents which befall those around him.
When Paddy Kirk first came to work as a locum for Zoe Tate at the vet surgery, he saw his time in Emmerdale as temporary. He was drawn to Mandy Dingle and they were smitten from first sight, but problems got in the way, including his mother.
When she discovered her son was in love with a girl she felt was tarty, she was absolutely horrified. She offered Mandy money to marry someone else which she did, marrying her cousin, Butch Dingle.
Paddy felt lonely and depressed. The following year, he took Bernice Blackstock to the Vet’s Ball in an attempt to take his mind off Mandy but failed. He proposed marriage to Mandy that night, and Mandy agreed. They married the following year but over the next two years, Mandy was away a lot. She was helping to look after her father and missing Paddy but being so far, began an affair with her father’s carer, Neil.
A heartbroken Paddy became close to Emily Dingle, who had, like Mandy, been married to Butch, with Butch leaving her a widow. They began dating, and on the day they were due to attend Paddy’s best mate Marlon and Tricia’s wedding, the bride got cold feet and Emily and Paddy stepped in.
At first Paddy and Emily seemed blissfully happy and even started fostering children. Unfortunately, over time, the marriage lost its passion. While Emily tried to make it work, Paddy was drawn into an affair with his wife’s boss, Viv Windsor.
The affair was revealed when Viv joked with Paddy over the phone that she had told Emily about their affair, and Paddy, who didn’t realize Viv had been joking, rushed home and confessed.
In the aftermath of the revelation, Paddy saw a very different side to his meek and mild wife. Throwing his belongings at him in the Woolpack, Emily announced her husband’s betrayal to the shocked audience and left. A mortified Paddy tried to keep a low profile, but after Emily left the village with baby Sarah, Paddy decided it was time he did something to improve his life.
When Paddy’s employee, Jo Stiles, played a practical joke by pretending to be his Internet lover Fireblade, he went to Portugal for a rendezvous. However, once there, he realised he’d been tricked and came back with brassy babe Toni Daggert. A horrified Jo thought Toni only wanted Paddy’s money, and was relieved when Paddy and Toni revealed they were paying her back. Paddy later developed feelings for Toni but she told him she didn’t feel the same way about him, so he moved on.
When Paddy found stray dog Titch, he started getting closer to Del Dingle – whom he persuaded to adopt the adorable pooch. The fun-loving pair started to fall in love, much to Toni’s horror, who had realised she did love Paddy. Toni tried unsuccessfully to split them up, but eventually Paddy admitted to Del that he still loved Toni. Sadly, their relationship ended when Toni discovered Paddy didn’t want to marry her.
On 1 April 2008, Paddy’s cousin Ross Kirk, hungover and driving to work with Paddy, accidentally hit a woman on a moped. Genesis Walker seemed fine at first, and Ross, afraid of losing his job, convinced Paddy to say that he was the one behind the wheel. Genesis, or Gennie as she called herself, soon collapsed and went into intensive care.
The next day, when Ross refused to come clean, Paddy went to the police station and told Shane Doyle what had really happened. Unfortunately for Paddy, Shane wanted a favour from Ross, which meant he had to keep Paddy quiet. Shane convinced Paddy he’d get time in prison for perverting the course of justice if he came forward. Furious, Paddy stayed silent, but his relationship with Ross grew further strained as the year progressed.
When he found out Ross was cheating with his best mate Marlon’s wife, he punched Ross and convinced Marlon’s wife, Donna, to try to save her marriage. He threw Ross out of his home.
Throughout 2008, Paddy began to fall for his employee at the vets, the mouthy Chastity Dingle. He couldn’t work up the courage to tell her. At Christmas, he planned to give her a very expensive bracelet, but was going to do so anonymously. Marlon wrote a note from Paddy to go with the box, but a mixup occurred and the bracelet, along with the declaration of love, went to a very confused Edna Birch. Chas, meanwhile, somehow got a roll of loo paper, which she lobbed at Paddy in anger.
In early 2009, when Chas and her rebellious teenage son Aaron Livesy were kicked out of the Dingle home due to Aaron’s behaviour, Paddy took them in, and even went as far as to hire Aaron at the vets. Aaron began telling Paddy that Chas fancied him and he should ask her out on a date. Just as Paddy was about to believe him, Aaron pulled the rug out and told him Chas would never want someone so pathetic or ugly. Aaron continued to wind Paddy up, and finally went as far as to sell some of Paddy’s expired drugs in the vets when he thought Paddy was away.
Around the same time as Paddy discovered Aaron’s dealing, Marlon confessed that he’d kissed Chas the previous night. As Chas packed up to move back to the Dingle homestead with Aaron, Paddy finally plucked up the courage to tell her how he felt about her. She brushed him off, saying she didn’t have time for this from him. The next day she asked if they could just be friends, and a hurt Paddy agreed. However, when Paddy saw Chas and Marlon being flirty at an event Marlon was catering, a drunk Paddy ruined the evening, destroying much of the food and trying to damage Marlon’s reputation. Marlon and Paddy had a huge row, although within a few weeks they made up.
When Paddy told Chastity how special she was, Chas was so happy to have a man praise her that she impulsively kissed him. The next day, Paddy told her the kiss didn’t have to mean anything, but Chas told him she cared for him and they spent the night together. They began dating, and soon Chas and Aaron moved back in to Paddy’s home.
A recurring theme during Paddy’s relationship with Chas was his insecurity about her feelings for him and his image. He tried to make himself over and to be more adventurous, especially as his 40th birthday neared. He wrote a poem for Chas, ending in a proposal, but decided to throw the poem away. Aaron fished the poem out of the bin and read it to everyone at Paddy’s birthday party. A humiliated Paddy tore into Aaron for being so cruel after Paddy had done nothing but help him, and told Aaron he was nothing. The next day, both men apologised to each other for what they had done. Meanwhile, sensing that Chas didn’t want to get married, Paddy convinced her he’d only been joking about the proposal.
In September 2009, Paddy and Carl King got in a heated discussion about Chas, and Carl revealed whilst Paddy had gone away one night he and Chas had slept together – whilst Paddy was still dating her. At first Paddy refused to believe Carl, thinking that he was just stirring things between them, and he knew Carl still held a torch for her. Upon realising he was telling the truth Paddy proceeded to finish his relationship with Chas – and throw her and her teenage tearaway son Aaron Livesy out of his home, following the revelation of Chas’s deception.
He later let Aaron move back in, and they have since created a special father-son bond. Paddy plays a big part in Aaron coming to terms with his sexuality.