Born Eric Charles Pollock on 11th June 1945, he married his first wife, Eileen, in 1964. Not wanting a divorce, Eric left her and changed his surname to Pollard, making it more difficult for her to track her down. In 1981, an affair with Lydia Metcalfe left her pregnant and she gave birth to a son on 27th November of that year, whom Eric would never learn of until his son successfully tracks him down after Lydia's death in 2006.
Arrival in EmmerdaleEdit
Eric arrives in Beckindale on 30th September 1986, and immediately annoys Sandie Merrick, whose mother, Pat, had died in a car accident a month ago. Eric started a hate campaign against Sandie and Phil Pearce, the man Sandie is having an affair with. He slashes the tyres of Phil's car, and breaks into Mill Cottage, and is almost caught by Joe Sugden. Eric break into Mill Cottage again and threatens Sandie with a pool cue, but begins pouring his heart, and a sympathetic Sandie takes him home. Eric also gets involved in a variety of illegal schemes. He alongside Phil commit an antique fraud, which Phil is arrested for in January 1989. In 1990, Eric's business associate Charlie Aindow arrives in the village, who's just as crooked as him and helps Eric with more illegal schemes. But Charlie and Eric fall out when Charlie begins an affair with Dolly Skilbeck, and Charlie begins to get violent towards Dolly when she tries to end the affair.
There is little romance in Eric's life until 1992 when he starts dating Elizabeth Feldmann. However, Elizabeth also had feelings for Alan Turner, but Elizabeth decided she loved Eric more. This surprises many of the villagers as two years prior, Eric had brought the Feldmann's farm at a knockdown price. Elizabeth's son, Michael, thinks Eric isn't good enough for his mother and repeatedly beats Eric up. Eric proposes to Elizabeth on 23rd June, and Elizabeth accepts this proposal, ignoring Michael's objections. They marry on 6th October, but Michael is arrested a robbery he committed in September, which left Joe Sugden badly injured, and is later sentenced to 4 months imprisonment. The marriage turns sour when Eric discovers Eric has framed Michael for cheque fraud by planting a typewriter on Michael and was prepared to let Michael take the blame. On 30th December 1993, Eric goes down to Demdyke Row where Elizabeth is babysitting granddaughter Alice Bates, and tries to dissuade Elizabeth from going to the police, telling her she would face prosecution for her role in his dodgy deals. Elizabeth decides that her imprisonment would be worth that of Eric's, but while driving to the police station, a plane crashes on the village and a distraught Eric is told Elizabeth has been found dead. Michael, among a majority of the villagers, believed Eric had murdered Elizabeth to stop her from exposing his fraudulent activities. A familiar face returns into Eric's life - his old wife Eileen, who managed to track Eric down from a newspaper article on the plance crash, and reveals Eric is legally still married to her. Eileen tells Eric he has to divorce her or else she will expose him as a bigamist. Knowing this would cost him Elizabeth's estate, Eric agrees to pay her for a divorce and her silence. Michael is determined to prove Eric is murderer, but during an argument with Eric, Michael pushes Eric and he hits his head on the coffee table. Michael panics as he thinks he has killed him, and leaves the village after being convinced by sister Elsa Feldmann.
Despite his reputation for dodgy business deals, Eric persuades Kathy Tate to go into business with him and turns her tea rooms into a wine bar at night. When he goes to the Philippines over Christmas 1996, Eric shocks everyone by returning with a young fiancée. Dee de la Cruz is happy to be Eric's little woman and the pair got married, despite a backlash when Rachel Hughes discovered Dee was a mail-order bride. Dee was surprisingly keen to make the marriage work, convincing Eric that they should put their energy into the business, but Dee got sick of Eric's business woes and paranoia that she would be unfaithful, particularly after she became friendly with Will Cairn. Eric began intercepting letters from Dee's family, assuming they were after money. When Dee learned that her mother had died, and that Eric had never shown her the letters, she decided to go home. Eric threw himself into trying to force Kathy out of the tea rooms, but when he failed and she publicly humiliated him, he became suicidal, planning to set himself alight along with the wine bar/tea rooms. With the help of Marlon Dingle, Eric changed his mind.
In 2000, Eric did a good deed, saving the life of his friend/colleague, Kathy Glover. Suspecting Kathy's boyfriend, Graham Clark, had murdered Rachel Hughes, Eric voiced his worries and had the village doubting him. When he rescued Kathy, he proved to be her hero. It seemed Eric had finally found his perfect woman when he met Gloria Weaver in 2001. Underneath her mild persona, Gloria was hungry for power! Having married Eric in 2002, Gloria pushed him to become mayor and, on their wedding night, encouraged him to sleep with councillor Glynis to secure her nomination. When the scandal broke, thanks to Steph Forsythe, Gloria twisted things so she looked like the wronged wife and took the job, despite the fact it was in Westminster. While away, Gloria had an affair with Hilary, her male researcher. When the fling was exposed, Eric was horrified and threw her out. In despair, Gloria left the village, drunk, and her car and shoes were found later. Convinced she was dead, Eric grieved for her until he received a video of her sipping a cocktail in the sun, saying she was glad to be rid of him.
After many disastrous marriages and relationships, Eric finally met his match in troublemaker Val Lambert. The sparky duo went into business together and let their romance flourish but politics came between Eric and love again. When he decided to run for re-election, Eric realized that a woman like Val could spoil his chances, so they claimed to have split. They planned to reunite after the election, but Eric got carried away in his dismissal of Val and she dumped him. However, the pair continued to work together and it was clear they still had feelings for each other. Eric was horrified by Val was running against him and it looked like any attempt at a reconciliation would be in vain. However, when she realized the damage she was doing to his campaign, Val tried to sabotage her own by admitting her shady past. Eric was touched by the gesture, but horrified that she was still doing better than him. Things worsened when he got tangled up with a local dominatrix and saw his political chances get even worse; however, despite competition from Val's ex-brother-in-law (and former lover), Rodney Blackstock, he still managed to win. Eric soon reverted to type once back in office, taking bribes from Jimmy King.
In 2007, Donna and Marlon Dingle finally had the opportunity to get their dream home. Eric planned to bid too but Eli and Sam stopped him by tying him up and gagging him. Eric was rescued by his son, David, who was amused by what he saw. On 17th December 2007, Eric was driving with Val when he accidentally crashed into another car. The woman driving, Rosalind, instantly fancied him. She revealed she was married and then tried to seduce him. Eric refused and rushed to The Woolpack and proposed to Val and she accepted. Three months later, Eric discovered Rosalind was married to one of his business partners. They went to a hotel together, and when they left (nothing had happened between them) but Rosalind passionately kissed Eric, unaware someone was taking photographs of them from behind a bush. The next morning, Rosalind turned up at Val's Interiors and told Eric she'd received a blackmail letter, with photos of them kissing, demanding £5000 for the blackmailer's silence. They were instructed to leave the money in a phone box in Hotten. Eric managed to get the £5000 but was still blackmailed. At one point he suspected his son, David Metcalfe but then realized his mistake. On 5th May 2008, Eric found out that Rosalind was the blackmailer.
On 3rd June 2008, Eric and Val married in a surprise ceremony coinciding with the final of the Pub of the Year Competition. Eric could not afford the wedding Val wanted so he convinced her family to go along with a surprise wedding which would take place after the Pub of the Year competition; even the tickets to the competition became tickets for the wedding. Val was kidnapped by the Dingles and overheard Eric's true plans. When Eric came to rescue her, they had a furious row and the Dingles dumped them in the village. After some thought, Val did marry Eric. After their marriage, they argue frequently but always make up but Eric was getting deeper and deeper into debt, even getting David to borrow money from Val. When Val finally learnt about his problems, she persuaded the Kings to buy the factory, suggesting they turn it into luxury apartments. Eric let the staff go without telling them of his plans and told Sam that he wished the factory could go up in smoke and, thinking he was serious, he, Eli and Gennie Walker set the factory on fire. Assisted by Val and his staff, Eric moved the factory to the B&B, where he hired some rooms.
Worried about Leyla Harding's constant requests for overtime, Eric tried convincing David that she was a gold digger. David believed him, and as a result, nearly lost her. David moved out of his father's house and, backed by Edna Birch and Alan Turner, decided to run for Eric's council seat. Eric was working with Nathan Wylde to close a public footpath, and Nathan began applying more and more pressure as the campaign continued, causing Eric to have a heart attack. He kept it from David but when he learned the truth, they reconciled as the election returns came in. To David's shock, he had won. Eric wasn't happy but was relieved to no longer have the pressure but struggled to cope with having so much free time and started giving David advice. Edna, however, resented his interference and made him think David felt only pity for him so he started thinking of neighbourhood improvement plans to steal David's thunder. Eric's focus on political and family concerns only exacerbated the damage the recession had done to his business and orders dropped dramatically so he decided to close the factory and sell the sewing equipment but was horrified to find that Val and the Dingles had stolen the machinery and sold it, using the money as redundancy payments. Eric planned to open a funeral parlour but the locals protested about the idea and David convinced him it would be too expensive. He then began looking for a job but didn't have any luck until Val heard that Louise Appleton wanted to sell her share of the B&B. Terry Woods got a loan to buy her out but gave the cash to his girlfriend, Brenda Walker, instead to help her as she had financial difficulties. Terry wasn't pleased to discover that Val and Eric had bought Louise's share, especially when they expected him to do all the work. They soon realised what hard work running a B&B could be and wanting to make their mark on the place, suggested opening a restaurant. Terry agreed cautiously and was also persuaded to hire Sam's "friend", Olena, as a maid - thinking she was Polish and merely wanted money to fund her travels.
In 2010, Eric started receiving letters, messages and cards, claiming to be from his long dead wife, Elizabeth. Originally suspecting the messages were sent by Amy Wyatt, it was revealed on 30 December that the messages had actually been sent by Elizabeth's son, Michael Feldmann. Michael, who had been in and out of jail for years, confronted Eric at Elizabeth's grave and later followed Eric back to The Grange, where he threatened to tell Eric's current wife, Val, about his past. Michael left initially but later told Amy that he wanted Eric to pay him a large sum of money or he would reveal Eric to be a murderer. Eric told Michael to get into his car and he would pay him but instead drove Michael to a remote area and after an argument, Eric produced a tyre iron and threatened Michael. The result of the incident was not revealed as Eric returned alone, appearing on edge and nervous and told Val that he had given Michael a lift to the station. Eric finally revealed the truth to Val - Elizabeth had been killed by falling debris in the plane crash, but he had followed her out of the house that night and had considered killing her. Val was initially horrified; however, when Michael returned on 4th January to confront Eric again, Val revealed she had obtained a copy of the coroner's report, which states that Elizabeth was killed by falling debris. Val suggested Michael must have seen the report too, telling him it was time to stop blaming Eric. He agreed and after a calm discussion, Eric persuaded Michael to take the money he had asked for anyway and use it to start again. Michael then left the village.
When Val and Eric discover that Amy had had a baby and they hadn't known she was pregnant, they forgive her for keeping it a secret and they discuss Amy's suggestion of putting the baby, whom she later named Kyle, adopted. Val was against the idea but Eric told Amy that he will support her, regardless of what decision she makes. Val isn't happy with Eric's choice to defend Amy and despite her doubts, Kyle is adopted but Amy is told that she cannot have any contact with him. Val forgives Amy but blames Eric for not backing her up and goes to visit her son, so Eric begins drinking heavily and getting frustrated with the guests staying at the B&B. When Amy and Eric receive a message that Val has left Eric a message telling him to pick her up at the airport the next day but when they arrive, Val isn't there as she's decided to stay with a friend with no word on when or even if she is returning. Amy tries her hardest to keep running the B&B but Eric argues with a guest that is celebrating their birthday at the B&B and they get a bad review. Diane tells Eric and Amy that Val may not return to the village and that she has also emptied their bank account, indicating that she has no plans to return. After weeks of hoping Eric will come to his senses, Amy snaps and stands up to him but he sacks her and Victoria from the B&B but after a long discussion with Amy, he reinstates her and Victoria and sobers up. Eric makes friends with and later starts dating Brenda, which makes him happy, but displeases Amy until David talks her round. While having dinner with Brenda, Amy and other guests, Val suddenly returns and wonders what is happening as she thought she'd be welcomed with open arms but Eric asks his guests to leave before he and Amy have a massive argument with Val over her abandoning them. Later, Eric is forced to choose between Brenda and Val, and after some advice from his son and Amy, Pollard chooses Brenda despite admitting he still feels a spark with Val. Eric and Val eventually try to reconcile, but again split when Val is devastated by Amy's departure from the village. Val goes on holiday.
When a returned Val becomes distant following another reconciliation, Eric has a drunken one-night stand with Diane. Eric and Diane are humiliated by Val in the Woolpack, and shocked to soon learn of her HIV fears. While they both come back with negative results, Val learns she is HIV-positive. Eric and Val cope with her diagnosis and he supports Val as she embraces the idea of being an "HIV ambassador."
Eric begins spending much of his time worrying about David and David's wife Alicia in the face of her sexual assault by Lachlan White. David and Alicia decide to sell their shop and leave the village, but struggle to find a buyer. Val becomes desperate to go on an expensive holiday with Eric, and poses as Brenda as part of a scam with Bob to forge Brenda's name on loan papers so that Bob can buy the shop. When Brenda finds out, she turns Val and Bob into the police. Eric has a heart attack upon learning the truth, and Val worries about what will happen to him if she's gone. She contracts a plan to fake her own death, with Eric joining her after some time playing the charade. She and Diane are soon at loggerheads, and Eric, along with Rodney and Doug, lock them in a mirror maze to settle their differences. Unfortunately, a helicopter crashes into the village and the sisters are trapped in the maze, with Rodney, Doug and Eric away drinking at the Malt Shovel, unaware of what is happening. By the time they return, Val is dead - for real. Eric plunges into an extended grieving period, plotting revenge against Chrissie White for her role in the helicopter crash, pushing his friends and family away, and ultimately boarding himself up in the house he shared with Val. Only when Ashley Thomas breaks through to him at Christmas does he truly move on from Val and let people back into his life.
In 2016, David became worried that Eric might have prostate cancer when Eric kept having to go to the bathroom regularly. Eric refused to go to the doctors to get checked, but relented when David said he'd get checked too. Eric discovered he only had a bladder infection, but the news wasn't so good for David, as Dr. Bailey had found a lump on his right testicle. Eric only discovers this when he is told by Gabby Thomas. David is initially given the all-clear by Dr. Bailey, but during the celebration, Dr. Bailey tells David he gave him the wrong results and does have cancer. David gets chemotheraphy and the cancer is removed.
In 2017, David's Shop is robbed by teens Josh Crowther and Jamie Halstead, leaving Eric injured. Dan Spencer witnesses this, but when Josh threatens to harm Dan's daughter Amelia, Dan retracts his statement, leaving Eric, David, Tracy & step-grandson Jacob Gallagher livid. Dan later discovers Josh unconscious at the cricket pitch, where Dan was going to give Josh money to replace his bike, with a crowbar in his bag too. Dan at first walks off but changes his mind and calls an ambulance. Dan is later arrested, to the shock of his girlfriend Kerry. Eric later discovers that Tracy had accidentally knocked Josh out when trying to get him to confess to the attack on recording. Eric tries to convince Tracy not to confess to the police, saying Dan deserved this, and smashes up her phone. She still decides to go down to the police station, but with no evidence the police don't believe her.
After discovering what life is like at home, Tracy feels sorry for Josh and tries to convince the others to give him a second chance. David & Jacob do but Eric cannot forgive him so easily. But eventually, Eric decides he's not that bad of a kid after all. But Josh later breaks into Eric's house and steals his gun in an attempt to scare off Jamie and his mates, who had been bullying him for spending a lot of time with "Gaycob". He accidentally fires the gun at Jack Sugden's headstone, witnessed by Tracy's father Frank Clayton. Jacob returns the gun but is caught by Eric, who after much convincing from girlfriend Faith Dingle, decides not to call the police. However, the statement Frank gives leads the police to Jacob, who initally refuses to name Josh and takes the blame. He later runs away, initially to Birmingham with Josh but decides he can't go through with it and returns home. Jacob is later convinced to change his statement and tell the truth and is saddened to find out that Josh received a prison sentence.
Additional Information Edit
- Eric was originally introduced by producer Michael Russell for a 12 episode stint. However, Eric became a recurring character after becoming popular among viewers for his villainous ways and mistreatment of others, and by the early 1990s, Eric had become a regular character.
"Morning. You are?" (first line, to Sandie Merrick)
"You don't wanna be here." (to Marlon as he attempts to set light to the diner)
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