Actress Sophie Powles has revealed that she returned to Emmerdale back in March in full knowledge that her character Holly Barton was going to be killed off.
Said the star this evening: “I always knew I was only coming back for a six-month storyline and I knew it was going to be drug-related and heartbreaking. I was prepared for this and I knew what I was signing up for when I spoke to the producer about returning.
“The Emmerdale script and story team had already planned Holly’s return and what would happen to her and they really wanted me on board to help tell this story.”
Shock scenes just broadcast on ITV saw Moira discover that her daughter had died of a drug overdose, despite it having previously seemed as though she’d kicked her heroin habit.
Commenting on the surprise nature of the episodes and why Holly’s death hadn’t been publicised in the press beforehand, Powles added:
“We wanted to highlight how hard and destructive drug addiction can be. Of course, there are many positive stories out there where people are doing really well and have recovered from drug addiction and therefore this Emmerdale storyline of course doesn’t represent everyone.
“This is Holly’s personal story. Drug addiction is shocking sometimes and you can look at someone like Holly and think she has everything sorted in life, but out of nowhere everything can spiral out of control.”
Viewers were left tonight with the sight of a grieving Moira being comforted by Cain as Holly’s body was taken away from the farm. But the actress hopes that Moira will be able to pull herself back from the brink:
“Holly and Moira have an incredible relationship and have really bonded recently and I’m proud of the relationship we’ve created. Holly’s appeared to be happy and healthy and Moira’s finally been feeling that her daughter’s doing well. Even though Moira is going through her break-up with Cain, they’ve really found time for each other.
“I think it’s always been in the back of Moira’s mind that she could lose Holly because she almost has three times. Moira’s going to be absolutely heartbroken, but she’s a lionhearted woman and she’s strong and I really hope she can come back from this.”
As for her own departure from Emmerdale, Powles had this to say about leaving behind co-stars Natalie J Robb and Jeff Hordley:
“I’ve had the best six months and I couldn’t ask for a nicer bunch of people to work with. I’ve been so supported. I was fine until the last day and then suddenly it all felt so real.
“I managed to keep it together until the very last scene and then suddenly I was an emotional wreck. The saddest thing was leaving Jeff and Natalie as we’re we’ve been a little unit and I’ve loved working with them. They’re my best friends and they’re incredible.”
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