Paddy Kirk is to end up back in bed with former love Chas Dingle in shock scenes to be shown next week.
The village vet, currently reeling from a recent split with wife Rhona, will seek solace in the arms of his former girlfriend during a tipsy and unexpectedly romantic evening.
“Paddy’s drunk. He lonely, he’s hurting, he’s completely messed up and he believes his marriage is over,” says actor Dominic Brunt. “So spending the night with Chas is a bit of comfort.”
But what starts out as a one-night-stand soon begins to morph into something more long-term – at least in Paddy’s mind! “He’s not sure whether what has happened between them was a mistake. He asks Chas (Lucy Pargeter) whether they should make a go of it, but she tells him not to be so ridiculous.”
And it’s Chas’s honest response that helps Paddy realise that, despite all their recent marital difficulties, the woman he should really be with is Rhona:
“He’s missed her while she’s been in rehab, but he’s been pretending otherwise. It takes Chas’s words to shock him into realising that he may want Rhona back,” says Brunt.
But will guilt about his actions with Chas lead Paddy to admit the truth to his wife? “First and foremost he wants Rhona back. And if he doesn’t tell her about Chas, then they’re getting off on the wrong foot. After all they’ve been through, they’ve now got to be open about everything. If it’s a fresh start, it really has to be a clean slate.”
Although Brunt has high hopes that Paddy’s marriage can be repaired, he’s more than happy with the ructions that have been caused by Rhona’s addiction to painkillers and Vanessa’s growing attraction to her friend and colleague:
“They could easily have gone down the Single White Female route, but it’s been more subtle than that. Each time the scripts have come out, we’ve be ringing each other up in a state of real excitement.
“I’m proud of it – as are Mark [Charnock], Zoe [Henry] and Michelle [Hardwick]. There’ve been so many twists and turns. The storyline’s been amazing.”