Emmerdale’s Frank star now – co-star wife, real name and plane pilot career

The village of Emmerdale was shaken in August 2019 when Frank Clayton was killed off after an explosion in the sweet factory.

Frank, father to Vanessa Woodfield and Tracy Metcalfe, went from a dodgy dealer to a much-loved character during his three-year stint in the ITV soap, played by Michael Praed.

Frank took the fall for the explosion, which was really caused by Kerry Wyatt and her daughter Amy – and Frank had only dashed inside to save Tracy from the fire.

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But where is the actor now after leaving the ITV Dales behind for good? From learning to fly a plane to his relationship with his co-star partner, Daily Star takes a deep delve into his life after Emmerdale.

Real name

Though Michael has gone by the name Michael Praed for the majority of his acting career, it isn’t his birth name.

He was born in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, on April 1, 1960, under the name Michael David Prince.

But he soon discovered that British acting union Equity already had someone with the same name on its member list, so chose a name at random from a telephone book to be more easily recognised.

It turns out that the name Praed is actually Cornish for ‘meadow’ – so definitely a good choice for the rolling fields of the Dales.

Life in Iran

Though Michael was born in England, he actually grew up in Iran, without a television. He explained to The Sun that life over there was “idyllic”, admitting to spending whole days out in the swimming pool.

He said: “I spoke the language and my friends were wide and varied, from the Iranians to Americans, English and Dutch…

“My parents’ mantelpiece was stacked with invitations for cocktail parties, the ladies playing Mahjongg in the afternoon, smoking and drinking gin and tonic because there was nothing else to do.”

Later in life, Michael shipped back to the UK and attended Eastbourne College, a boarding school on the south coast.

Co-star wife

Michael’s first marriage sadly didn’t work out – he exchanged vows with Karen Landau in 1994, but the pair divorced in 2009.

Now, however, he is married to fellow actor Josefina Gabrielle, known for her West End career and talent as a former ballet dancer.

Josefina has starred in everything from the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory musical to Les Miserables – and has even had a project alongside Michael.

In 2014, the pair starred in political farce play Two Into One, with Michael portraying cheating MP Richard Willey and Josefina playing his mistress, until bumbling parliamentary aide George scuppers it all up.

Plane pilot

Michael’s fear of flying was “crippling”, he admitted to The Sun – so he learned to fly a plane in order to combat the phobia.

He told the publication: “I took some lessons and it became apparent that my fear wasn’t of flying, but of someone else being in control. So I started learning about aeroplanes and really getting into it.”

The star admitted that he was “very proud” of himself on his first solo flight in an aeroplane, after the fear had “taken over his life”.

Singing talent

But flying planes isn’t Michael’s only talent, as he actually has a beautiful singing voice too.

He appeared on Broadway in a musical about the Three Musketeers, but sadly the show only lasted for nine performances before closing down for good.

Michael was even persuaded to try opera as a student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and he has starred in musicals including Carousel, Copacabana and a Christmas special called Abbacadabra.

Speaking to BusinessLive, he said of the latter: “I think the book was conceived by the team that did Les Miserables and Miss Saigon and it was their first time they had worked with Cameron Mackintosh, so it was successful in pairing them

“I have seen the show Mamma Mia but they needed big stars for the film. I’ve no doubt I could have handled Pierce Brosnan’s role but in terms of box office we are in different leagues, and he is Premier.”

Emmerdale airs weeknights from 7:30pm on ITV

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