Nikhil Sharma (Rik Makarem) will arrive back in the village next week following a cry for help from dad Rishi. With life at the factory in crisis thanks to Jai’s growing dependency on cocaine, Rishi decides that he needs to take drastic action.
With orders going unfulfilled and Priya missing meals to keep up with the workload, Rishi vows to sort out the mess by calling on Nikhil’s assistance.
“Jai is out of control,” says Bhasker Patel, who plays the patriarch of the Sharma clan. “Rishi thought that Priya could maybe take over, but now that she’s skipping meals, he realises that the pressure is too much. He can’t afford to lose both his son and daughter.”
One secret phone call later and Rishi is being reunited with son Nikhil and granddaughter Molly. But can he convince Nikhil to stick around and help sort out the trouble?
“Rishi doesn’t know whether Nikhil will stay for more than a few weeks. He has his own hotel business, which is expanding into Europe. So, in the end, it’s going to be his choice.”
But regardless of whether Nikhil stays or goes, Rishi seems set upon shaking things up in the workplace. Thanks to a legal loophole, he’s able to sack Jai – but does he risk causing a major split in the family if he instals Nikhil as the factory boss instead?
“Well, Jai is not only bringing shame on his family, he’s killing himself too,” explains Patel. “Sometimes, you have to disown someone to make them realise that they have to sort themselves out.”
But it’s heartening to know that despite the power struggles playing out on screen, Patel couldn’t be happier to see the Sharmas back together again:
“I’m really enjoying Rik being back. He’s brought a breath of fresh air and there’s a new energy. Following his time in the theatre, his approach to acting is totally different.
“For any actor, it’s good to go away and do something else because you end up bringing something new to your character and your scenes. And to have the whole family working together is very nice. That’s when the Sharmas are strong.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
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