Emmerdale spoilers: Paddy finds Rhona unconscious following overdose – Dominic Brunt interview

"Rhona’s on the floor. She’s been sick, there are pills everywhere and the place looks like it’s been burgled"

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Rhona’s addiction to painkillers reaches a crisis point next week after Paddy catches her and Vanessa together. Fearing that she’s going to be abandoned completely, Rhona takes an overdose and is hospitalised as a result. So will Paddy be there to support his wife? Can he come to terms with her betrayal? Here, actor Dominic Brunt reveals what’s in store in the wake of the revelations:

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So what’s Paddy thinking at the moment – what does he think is wrong with Rhona?
He’s convinced that she’s been drinking, but he hasn’t seen any drink around, so he’s genuinely puzzled. He’s not sure whether Vanessa has got anything to do with it. Or whether she’s just fallen out of love with him. So Paddy’s asking all these questions but he’s not getting any answers back. In fact, when he asks whether she’s OK, she just gets angry.

And now we’re going to see Paddy become convinced that Rhona is having an affair…
Yes, he’s getting desperate, so he nicks her phone and sees that she’s rung somebody called Gary a number of times. Viewers know that this is Rhona’s dealer, but it’s a name that doesn’t mean anything to Paddy and he can see that she’s rung him ten times in three days. So he immediately thinks that this answers all the questions that have been preoccupying him – in his mind, Rhona’s having an affair.

And it doesn’t help when Laurel says that she’s seen a man going into the house…
Yes, it’s all starting to add up. He flies round there to try and catch them at it. But what he isn’t expecting is to find Rhona snogging Vanessa!

How does it make him feel?
He’s angry. He says to Rhona: “was I not man enough for you?” He just can’t get his head round it all because he knows that Rhona isn’t a lesbian. So he still doesn’t know that it’s all about the drugs. Plus there’s the betrayal – the fact that he took Vanessa on as a partner in the business and let her live in the house. In a way, catching them kissing explains Rhona’s behaviour but it just confuses the situation even more.

And what’s Rhona’s reaction?
She’s mortified and it leads to her taking an overdose because she realises she’s ruined everything. Being with Vanessa has just been a means to an end – she’s felt that if she reciprocated Vanessa’s feelings towards her then she’d get more drugs. Rhona’s only been thinking about the short term.

How does Paddy come to find Rhona unconscious?
He’s gone in to the house to collect some clothes because he’s planning to stay at Marlon’s for a while – and Rhona’s there on the floor. She’s been sick, there are pills everywhere and the place looks like it’s been burgled. She’s tipped the house upside down trying to find more drugs and having found them, she’s then overdosed.

So how’s it looking for Paddy and Rhona’s relationship?
Paddy does struggle to forgive Rhona. As a loyal husband, he wants to be there for her, but he can’t forgive the things that she’s done. All the betrayal and the dishonesty and the deceit. He vows to help her get better, but after that he’s thinking that he’ll probably be off.

Were these scenes dramatic to film?
The ones in the hospital definitely were, particularly when Paddy and Rhona come face to face and have to talk about what’s been going on. I think those type of conversations are more dramatic than any explosions because you’re seeing the tensions between two people who have nowhere to go and who’re stuck in a room having to talk it out.

And how will Paddy cope with having to get Rhona off the drugs?
He’s really struggling, to be honest. He’s being belittled by the situation – he thinks he’s supposed to be her rock because that’s what husbands do, but it’s so hard. He also can’t understand what Vanessa was doing – he blames her and says that she was the pusher who gave Rhona all these drugs.

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But could Paddy end up having to join forces with Vanessa?
He hasn’t got much choice because he can’t do it on his own. But it pains him because he hates Vanessa at this point. He sees her as the instigator of it all because she colluded with Rhona for so long. But he does come to understand why she did it after he speaks to Moira, who says that she did the same thing for Holly. It’s only then that he realises that it can’t have been easy for Vanessa having to deal with Rhona. But I don’t think he can bring himself to forgive her.