Cain Dingle is to be left in shock next week when doctors tell him that he has a brain aneurysm and is in urgent need of an operation.
A series of dizzy spells lead to Cain seeking medical advice, but it’s former love Charity in whom Cain chooses to confide, as he fears that his diagnosis will only worry wife Moira.
But events take a worrying turn when Cain collapses and falls into a freezing cold river. Can passers-by Kirin and Vanessa get to him in time?
Here, actor Jeff Hordley reveals all to RadioTimes.com about Cain’s health fears and whether he himself worries that his character might not make it through…
Cain has diced with death a few times now – do you ever get worried that he’ll get killed off?
Well, when Cain got bludgeoned back in 2011, the producer at the time said to me, “we’re going to do a Who Killed Cain? storyline”. And then he clarified things by adding, “don’t worry, we’ll just have him die for a few seconds at the end of an episode. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry.” So your heart is always in your mouth when plotlines like this come up.
And this story does tap into that original injury, doesn’t it?
Yes and it’s always good when Emmerdale does these slow-burn storylines. It’s like with Cameron killing Carl for the 40th anniversary – that all carried on for another year. And now we’re doing the same because what’s happening to Cain is an offshoot of him being bludgeoned by Zak. We’ve got a good team working on this show, we really have.
Does Cain’s condition make you think about your own health?
As you get older, it does become a concern. I’m 44 now, so I do think about things like that more than I did in my 20s or 30s. In terms of, say, keeping fit, for instance. You don’t want horrible illnesses that people start to get from their 40s onwards. But this storyline hasn’t really made me necessarily think about all that. It’s just something to do with being the age I am.
Cain’s reaction to bury his head in the sand is a typical hard-man response to bad medical news, isn’t it?
Absolutely. He doesn’t want to accept what he’s been told, so by running away from it, he can deny that it’s even happening. I always like it when they tap into Cain’s vulnerability because it gives me a chance to show a different side to the character.
However, he does end up confiding in Charity – is that because she’s the person who knows him best?
It is interesting that Cain chooses to confide in Charity. That’s really well done on the part of the writers. Cain and Charity have always had that kind of relationship – they’ve got this common bond because they share a child and they were first loves. The writers have always honoured that. So it’ll be interesting to see how it moves forward from here.
Do you think Cain should be with Charity?
Yes and no. There are two camps – those who want Cain to be Moira and those who think he should be with Charity. Being with either of them is good. To be honest though, I’m at the disposal of the writers. The truth is I love working with Natalie J Robb [who plays Moira] and with Emma Atkins [who plays Charity], so whatever the outcome, it’s going to be great. If I’m lucky enough for them to do a storyline that plays out over a year and becomes a love triangle, then that would be brilliant.
What was it like filming the stunt when Cain collapses and falls into the river?
It was great fun. I really enjoyed the day we spent filming it. The only thing bad about it was that it was bloody cold! The costume department kept putting towels and hot water bottles on my chest to keep me warm. But you know in advance that if it’s going to be wet, then it’s going to be cold!
And is the message of this story that if you’re feeling unwell and are having odd symptoms, then you should get medical advice?
One hundred per cent. If you’ve got anything troubling you – be it a lump on the arm or you’re getting headaches or blurred vision – don’t ignore it. Get to the GP. My advice would be to get to that doctor.
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s drama on Emmerdale below: