Double Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton is to guest star in an upcoming episode of Emmerdale.
The champion cyclist is to appear in a storyline that coincides with this year's Tour de France, which will start in Leeds this July. Speaking about her appearance on the ITV soap, Pendleton - seen on set above with Jason Merrells (Declan Macey) and Emma Atkins (Charity Macey) - said:
“Appearing on a soap is something I never expected to have the opportunity to do. So when the chance came up I thought it would be really good fun and my mum is a massive Emmerdale fan so that made the decision very easy.
"Fortunately I’m playing myself, so it shouldn’t be too difficult but it’s still quite nerve-wracking. But the sun is out and I’m sure it will be fun and a great experience to do something different.”
The plotline will see cycling become all the rage in the area thanks to the upcoming bike race, with Nicola King (Nicola Wheeler) especially thrilled to have secured the services of Pendleton for the grand reopening of Home Farm. Husband Jimmy (Nick Miles) is also delighted to have one of his sporting heroes visit the village.
Speaking about her high-profile signing, Emmerdale series producer Kate Oates said: “We are thrilled Victoria Pendleton is coming to Yorkshire to appear in an episode of Emmerdale. With the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire in July, the whole area is feeling the excitement of the event - and we felt it was only fitting Emmerdale was part of that.
As well as a cycling theme to the re-opening of Home Farm, there will be mentions of the race and a few interesting cyclists passing through the village. Plus, Jimmy might get a bit excited at the thought of meeting a long-held crush....”