We strayed out of the 1980s and into 1991 recently to pose the question: "Why did Dolly Skilbeck move to Norfolk?" It was known in 1991 that Jean Rogers, who had played Dolly since 1980, was unhappy about one of her final story-lines - Dolly having an abortion after an affair with the thoroughly unpleasant Charlie Aindow. Dolly had started work at the Beckindale playgroup in 1980 after a miscarriage, had been blessed with the birth of a healthy son, Sam, in 1982, and then suffered a further miscarriage in 1986. As Jean Rogers pointed out, it was well known that Dolly loved children and the idea of her having an abortion seemed totally out of character.
Why did Dolly move to Norfolk, we asked? Was it to be reconciled with husband Matt, who had gone there in December 1989? Several kind people have contributed their thoughts, and now Tim writes to say:
Dolly was tired and distressed after her affair with Charlie and her abortion. The story was highly unsatisfactory, I felt the abortion was something Dolly would not do, it was simply a trendy story the producer wanted to cover and Dolly was the character it was pinned to.
Dolly left the village to take Sam to live near his father and to get totally away from Beckindale. I don't think there was any suggestion of her and Matt getting together again as a couple. Didn't they part on bad terms?
No, Tim, in December 1989, just before he left Beckindale, Matt told Dolly he still loved her.
I don't think there is a conclusion to the Matt and Dolly story - well, at least not a conclusion that has ever been mentioned on screen! Thanks for writing.
December 1989 - Matt tells Dolly he still loves her. Jean Rogers, who debuted as Dolly in April 1980, and Frederick Pyne, who appeared in the very first episode, made Matt and Dolly an excellent advertisement for marriage for most of the 1980s. Then, 1988 arrived...