Gabrielle Dowling age: How old is Emmerdales Cathy Hope star?

Emmerdale: Cathy asks to join Noah and Samson

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Gabrielle joined the cast of Emmerdale as the infamous Cathy Hope way back in 2007, just a few months after her character was born. The actress and her brother, Sebastian Dowling, who plays Heath Hope, are the youngest longest-serving stars of the ITV soap, having wracked up 15 years on screen. As the pair continue to make leaps and bounds with their careers, it seems there is still plenty of time for them to explore new opportunities and challenges.

How old is Emmerdale star Gabrielle Dowling?

Viv Hope (played by Deena Payne) and her husband Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) welcomed their twins in February 2007, with the father delivering his daughter and Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) bringing the couple’s son into the world.

This means Cathy is slightly older than Heath and is often more vocal than her younger brother, meaning she has been more central to storylines.

However, the pair are actually a little bit older than their characters as Gabrielle and her brother were born in December 2006.

At the moment, the actress is 15-years-old and she will be celebrating her 16th birthday later this year with some of her co-stars.

On-screen, the twins won’t mark the milestone birthday until next year but with Cathy becoming more of a character in her own right, the drama could be central to the celebrations.

After being exposed as a cyber-bully last year, Cathy seems to have changed completely in the last few months as she has integrated with the older members of the cast.

Most notably, she has been seen offering advice to Amelia Spencer (Daisy Campbell) over her self-confidence issues and has been warning her not to take harmful substances.

As Cathy is a little bit younger than she is, Amelia has taken no notice and is starting to see Bob’s daughter as a nuisance.

With Gabrielle being able to play two very different sides to the character, it seems she is one to watch in the coming years.

Many child characters who have been born on the show have manifested into being the main players in some of the soap’s most memorable storylines.

They’re coming on a treat

Tony Audenshaw

For example, it would have never been thought Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham) would end up taking on Kim Tate (Claire King), let alone fall pregnant with her grandson.

So it seems there could be a lot on the horizon for the youngster in the future and the actor who plays Bob, Tony, has praised Gabrielle and her brother for coming into their own.

Speaking about his young co-stars, the soap veteran said: “I’ll tell you what has been brilliant – working with the kids.

“Gabrielle and Sebastian have been on screen a lot recently, and they’re coming on a treat.

“There’s more stuff on the way with them as well. Both of them are really coming into themselves now,” he said in an interview with Inside Soap.

However, the twins were not the first actors to portray their characters as some issues following their birth meant they couldn’t be on-screen.

For the first few months, it was two babies who were not twins who played Cathy and Heath, Ella Whitehouse Downes and Lilith Kitching respectively.

It wasn’t until a few days after they were supposed to make their first appearance on the show did Gabrielle and her brother take on the characters.

The delay was a result of Sebastian having to stay in hospital for an additional week after the twin were born.

They haven’t been replaced since, meaning the child stars became young actors alongside growing up and going to school.

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It seems there will be a lot more to come from Gabrielle in the coming weeks, especially, as executive producer Jane Hudson teased more drama for the younger cast members.

Speaking with Express.co.uk and other media, she said: “I think it’s really important for the show that we have stories aimed at everybody. What makes soaps different from a lot of dramas is our reach, which is teens right up to 90 plus.

“We’ve got a lot of viewers to keep happy.

“This year the likes of Noah, Amelia, Samson, Archie, Cathy and Sarah – you’re going to be seeing them much more prominent in the stories because they deal with topics that affect their generation and we see how they handle things.

“It’s really important that we keep our youngsters coming through because they are our next generation.”

One of Gabrielle’s stand out performances in recent years has been when Cathy was revealed to be the person trolling April Windsor (Amelia Flanagan) on social media.

Speaking about the storyline, the actor who plays Marlon Dingle, Mark Charnock, spoke about the importance of the issue being addressed.

The actor said: “I think Emmerdale does this kind of story extremely well, with all of the research. They take a real social responsibility about these things.

“None of this stuff that they write is ever just thrown into the mix and they hope for the best.

“They want to get it right. With stories like this, you want people to feel something, you want to inform as well and let people know they’re not on their own.

“I think Emmerdale bothers itself about that. It really bothers itself into getting it right and sculpting it in such a way that people can relate to it, but also there’s information out there that can help people.”

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV, with an hour-long episode airing on Thursdays.

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