Belle Dingle is to be left in a state of panic next week following the death of her friend Gemma Andrews (Tendai Rinomhota).
In scenes to be shown on Tuesday 4 March, Gemma will die in hospital as a result of injuries brought about during an argument with Belle.
“They’ve had this heated argument over the affections of Sean, which resulted in Gemma falling and hitting her head,” says Eden Taylor-Draper, who plays Belle. “But when they leave each other, Gemma is perfectly fine.”
However, later on, it is revealed Gemma has collapsed on her way home and has fallen down a bank. And despite doctors doing their best to save her, Gemma ends up dying as a result of her injuries.
“Belle quickly realises that it’s her fault. From that moment on, she feels like a murderer,” says the actress.
Matters get even more intense when the police quiz Belle about Gemma’s last moments. The traumatised teenager desperately tries to hold off her emotions, but mum Lisa (Jane Cox) can see that her daughter is not telling the full truth. And it’s only following the police’s departure that Belle opens up.
“Lisa knows that something is eating away at Belle. And Belle ends up blurting it all out in a rushed sob. It’s absolutely horrific and her mum doesn’t initially know how to respond. Belle wants to go to the police but Lisa wants to protect the family. Lisa is just trying to keep everything togeher, but Belle desperately wants to own up.”
So will Belle be able to keep her emotions under wraps, especially when it comes to attending Gemma’s upcoming funeral? “She’s meant to be there for her friend, but who knows if she’ll go?” says Taylor-Draper. “Belle feels that she needs to serve her punishment. She doesn’t want this weight inside of her. I, personally, couldn’t live with myself, but who knows whether Belle can?”