Emmerdale spoilers: Sam discovers that Jai is baby Archie’s father – James Hooton interview

An accident on Bonfire Night leads to the truth about Archie's paternity being uncovered

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Secrets are exposed in next week’s episodes of Emmerdale after Sam Dingle discovers that Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) is baby Archie’s dad.

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Up until this point, Sam has been led to believe that Rishi (Bhasker Patel) is the father of Rachel’s son. But Sam is set to learn the truth after some Bonfire Night celebrations have unexpected consequences.

“Samson is whizzing a sparkler around and a stray spark sets off some fireworks which are lying in an open box nearby,” explains James Hooton, who plays Sam. “Sam hasn’t secured the box properly and some of the fireworks go off and head towards Archie’s pram. Obviously, Sam’s really mortified about the whole thing.”

But what Sam doesn’t expect is for Jai to react so angrily when he finds out that Archie has been involved in the incident: “Jai storms round to the Dingles and is really quite aggressive. Prior to this, Sam hasn’t for one second thought that Jai could be Archie’s father. But is the first instance where Sam begins to wonder why Jai appears to be more concerned than Rishi about what has happened.”

With Sam’s suspicions growing about the situation, it’s eventually left to Rachel (Gemma Oaten) to come clean as concerns her deception.

“Yes, she explains to Sam that she lied to him and that Jai is indeed Archie’s father,” says Hooton. “This initially causes a rift between Rachel and Sam, but she goes on to reveal that she was persuaded by both Jai and Rishi not to say anything for Charity’s benefit. So Sam eventually comes round to the idea that she lied because of the pressure being exerted on her.”

However, Sam doesn’t think twice about heading to the factory for a confrontation. “Once Sam realises that Rachel has been coerced, he decides to go and talk to Jai and Rishi. Rachel tries to dissuade from going, but Sam’s adamant about having it out with them.

“Jai obviously doesn’t want Charity to find out and tries to manipulate Sam by preying on his innocence. He confuses Sam into walking out of the factory without the situation being resolved. At this point, Sam is still unsure about whether he’s going to tell Charity.”

Sam knows that breaking the news to Charity (Emma Atkins) would have dire consequences for her marriage, but although he wants to keep the secret, he ends up struggling with the deceit when he comes face to face with the woman herself:

“Charity comes round to offer Sam some work and there’s a split second where it looks like he’s going to fill her in on what’s been going on,” says the actor. “But he looks over at Rachel and changes his mind. But he’s still completely torn – as simplistic as Sam’s life is, he’s not a secretive person and he’s got strong moral standards. It’s very difficult for Sam to lie to his family.”

This being soapland though, it can surely only be a matter of time before Charity finds out? “Of course! I think it’s going to come down to who breaks first. Although Charity is clever, so she may well put two and two together and confront Jai herself.”

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And are Sam and Rachel strong enough to weather the storm in the meantime? “Yes. When two people love each other as much as Rachel and Sam do, there’s always a way through.”