Leyla Harding will get down on one knee and propose to Pete Barton in next week’s Emmerdale – unaware of the fact that he’s secretly seeing her best mate Priya Sharma.
“Layla wants to lock Pete down quick,” says Roxy Shahidi. “In every relationship she’s been in, Leyla has been keen to get the marriage thing done. And she sees Pete as a steady guy and someone who she can trust…”
The upcoming drama sees wedding business Take-a-Vow get a last-minute cancellation, all of which results in tracy suggesting that Leyla and Pete could take advantage of the date and get hitched. But Leyla is disappointed when Pete dismisses the idea, his unresolved feelings for Priya obviously at the forefront of his mind.
But it doesn’t look like Leyla is going to be taking no for an answer. After she confides in David, he encourages her to take matters into her own hands and propose. After some encouragement, Leyla does exactly that, but what will Pete say? And could the truth end up coming out about Pete’s cheating?
On the prospect of Leyla seeking revenge on Priya should she discover the truth, Shahidi says: “I think there will be harsh words at the very least. I imagine she’s not going to take it sitting down. Layla won’t be crying into her pillow – she’ll probably rage and scream and do heaven knows what!”
And no doubt there’ll be surprise that steady, responsible Pete has done this to Leyla – after all, in the past, he’s been the one to be cheated on, notably in his past relationship with Debbie?
“Yes,” agrees Shahidi. “Pete isn’t the worst guy. It’s quite surprising that he’s doing this, considering what he went through with Debbie. He’s usually the more decent, upstanding, hard-working farmer. And he doesn’t go out of his way to hurt anyone. So I don’t know how he’s going to feel at the end of all this.”
But the actress believes that Pete could end up being forgiven should Leyla find out about what’s been going on behind her back? “I think Leyla would be upset and wounded, but she is the kind of person that could go, ‘right, OK, let’s try again as long as long as you’re really, really sorry.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.