Tell us what happens when Donna collapses…
Well, Paddy is there at the time. And he's brilliant – he takes control of the situation, gets April away from the scene and takes Donna to the hospital. And all this time, he doesn’t know what’s actually wrong with her.
How do you think Marlon would react if he found out about Donna and Ross?
He strongly dislikes Ross, especially after what happened with Laurel and the carjacking. He doesn’t trust him. So it would be the most shocking person for Donna to be involved with. He’d be completely confused by it and angry with her.
Does what’s happening with Donna make Marlon feel differently about Laurel?
I don’t think he loves Laurel any less. The confusion comes with trying to look after everybody at the same time – he ends up taking his eye off the ball as a result. It’s bound to have affected him, but Laurel has every right to be confused by it too. He doesn’t handle it brilliantly.
Does he still want to marry Laurel?
Yes, he does. He’s deeply in love her. That’s never in question. It’s just that he’s lacking when it comes to his emotional duties because he’s concentrating so much on a dying woman.
Do you think he loves Donna?
Yes, because of what they once had. And also because she’s brought April into his life.
Do you think he can bear keeping the kiss a secret from Laurel?
I think he has to bear keeping the kiss a secret from Laurel. It wasn’t really an act of disloyalty, but he knows it would be misunderstood if he was to report it. Essentially, Marlon is a good bloke, so the physical act of it is going to eat away at him. It is going to bother him.
How does Marlon want to help Donna in her final weeks?
He just wants to be everything to her. He wants to be an emotional rock for Donna and to reassure her that he’s going to be a good dad to April. He wants to lessen the relentless tragedy of it – he knows it’s an impossible job, but he’ll do his best.
Does he think she should stop work?
Yes, he absolutely does. Marlon believes that they should spend as much time with their daughter as they can, so they can ease her through this. The fact that she won’t is very confusing for Marlon. But he doesn’t know her real agenda.
How do you think he’d feel about what Donna has been up to at work?
He’d be absolutely incandescent with rage. It’d be a good job if he doesn’t find out until after she’s gone. It would cause a storm between them. For her, it’s because she’s lost all that money in the financial collapse. But he wouldn’t be able to understand it.
And what are the next few weeks going to be like for Marlon?
It’s going to be a slow, crushing, on-going blow to him as reality starts to bite. He and everyone around him will be affected. It’s like a spiralling nightmare.