The Robron roller coaster is at full speed in next week’s Emmerdale when Robert Sugden finally admits to Aaron Dingle he cheated on him with Rebecca White.
This confession has been a long time coming for fans of the cursed couple, and Ryan Hawley and Danny Miller, who play Robert and Aaron respectively, reveal the moment itself takes place just when the boys’ future is looking positive as they move into their new home. Naturally, as Hawley explains, Robert’s bombshell takes the shine off the first night in their love nest…
“They are being intimate in the flat and Robert gets quite emotional and says ‘I need to tell you something.’ It all boils over as a few days earlier Robert sees Rebecca and realises it’s time to own up to what’s he done – if he cares so much about Aaron he should be honest, then leave him to decide whether or not he wants to be with him and just face the consequences.
“Robert desperately tries to justify his reasons for sleeping with Rebecca and feels there’s some kind of understanding and empathy that Aaron could have with him.”
The confession leads to a dark night of the soul for the boys as the revelation leads them to pick over the bones of their tortured relationship across next Thursday’s double episode. Fans are desperate to see how Aaron reacts – does Miller think he’ll forgive or fume?
“We know Aaron is hot-headed and acts quickly and thinks later, but in a way he’s expecting this. You can tell when there’s something up with your partner by how distanced they are, and as Robert says he has something to tell him by that time Aaron knows what’s coming.
“He works himself up and the typical thing would be to punch Robert or hurt himself, but it’s actually a very different outcome. It’s a more mature reaction. Not that I think he could justify what Robert’s done, but it might not be what the audience is expecting.”
While both actors won’t disclose exactly where the couple go from here, Miller admits Robert’s actions will have huge repercussions for another character: “This will have an impact on Aaron’s sister Liv, and on their new home and this little family life the three of them have. So I think Aaron will try and consider her hence trying have a more mature reaction. But by no means is he okay with it.
Robron’s rabid online fan base are notoriously outspoken and there was an outcry earlier this year when Emmerdale aired the scenes where Robert bedded his ex-Rebecca. Are the boys bracing themselves for the reaction to next week’s big episodes – with particular venom saved for Hawley’s character?
“Not being on social media doesn’t make you completely immune to everything that’s being said about you,” he admits, “and it was to expected that a portion of the audience who are very supportive of Robert and Aaron’s relationship were going to be angry at Robert’s actions, but that’s drama.
“It’s not really any of my business what people want to say about the characters. It’s there for them to watch and have those feelings.”
Fear not, Robron army, as Hawley is hopeful that Robert can make amends. “What he did came at a point where he was at rock bottom. He thought him and Aaron were over and that bitterness and the fact he’s an unhinged character took over. He didn’t have a burning desire for Rebecca and regrets what he did.
“There’s nothing he can do now other than try and rescue the relationship. I think you’ll see another side of Robert’s personality as he wants to prevent Aaron from getting hurt anymore.”
Does Miller reckon Aaron can be won round? “Aaron was having his own difficulties in prison and pushed Robert away. Aaron self-harms and Robert hurts people around him, that’s how it played out. Everything is a knock-on effect from Aaron’s trust issues and what Gordon did, but a part of Aaron thinks if he loses Robert over this than Gordon’s sort of won again hasn’t he?”
When asked about the rumoured potential second wedding for the lads, neither actors dismiss the possibility so it seems there could still be hope.
“Las Vegas keeps being suggested,” laughs Miller, “although Aaron’s got such a criminal record he probably wouldn’t get into America now!”
Hawley thinks they could go the whole hog and make a proper Robron spin-off away from the Dales, as anticipation builds for EastEnders’ Kat and Alfie drama Redwater. “I love working with Danny so why not? What would we call it though – Red-dale?!”
Visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers