It’s been another traumatic year for Emmerdale’s Aaron Dingle, with prison, self-harming, drug use and heartbreak providing the opportunity for another stand-out performance from Danny Miller, who has been shortlisted again in the Best Serial Drama Performance category at this year’s National Television Awards.
Aaron’s complicated relationship with Robert Sugden was wrecked when their wedding was stopped as police arrested Aaron for assault and his boyfriend got Rebecca White pregnant while the Dingle languished in jail.
But after an emotional Christmas when Aaron was given Robert’s blessing to move on with hunky doctor Alex Mason, Robron fans are now looking forward to the much-promised second wedding in 2018. RadioTimes.com talked to Miller about the upcoming nuptials, and why Aaron’s story has struck a particular chord with the public this year.
How does it feel to be shortlisted again at the NTAs?
Amazing. I’m always surprised, you never expect it. I’ve never won and I’d be lying if said I didn’t want to of course, but genuinely it’s great to be representing the show. Hopefully it’ll be another successful night for us!
Can Emmerdale scoop the Best Serial Drama prize two years in a row?
I don’t see why not, the show is as strong as it was last year. I really enjoy the standalone episodes with different structures like the rewinds and flash forwards, that’s our producer Iain MacLeod’s vision. Winning awards is nice but keeping the show as good as it can be is the priority.
Why have the public reacted so strongly to Aaron’s storylines this year?
We’re now in a world that says it is okay to talk about mental health, to admit you’re depressed and be open and allow yourself to be helped. Aaron has come to represent any teenager who’s grown up struggling and thinking they’re different and don’t fit in. He was judged for being angry and violent, but he was secretly battling his demons from being abused by his dad and since that’s come out Aaron is a nicer person, he’s genuine, loyal and honest.
Do you think it’s important for soaps to cover issues such as mental health?
Yes. Aaron’s journey shows no matter what you’re dealing with there are always people you can talk to and support systems that can help. As it’s become more acceptable to discuss these things, Aaron has benefitted from that. The writers have taken something very topical and fictionalised it to fit the character, but Aaron’s issues are very real.
Robron have had another busy year, could they settle down as joint dads to Seb if Rebecca dies?
One of the reasons Liv came in was to make Aaron a father figure, although Liv can be just as much a mum to Aaron as he can be a dad to her as they look out for each other. So I think Aaron would make a great dad, he’ll never treat anyone the way his own father treated him. Could Aaron be a better dad to Seb than Robert? Probably!
Iain MacLeod promised a summer wedding for 2018, what can you tell us about that?
Iain is a man of his word and always wanted to make sure Robron fans got the happy ever after they wanted, but it depends what they can cram in before that! We’ve been assured there will be a wedding. I love Robron just as much as the fans do! Hopefully their wedding will make us all happy…
What kind of wedding do you hope it will be?
It would be nice not to have any soap-style interruptions, but that’s not very likely! So that bit when they ask if anyone objects, the door could open… and it’s just somebody who’s late and they sit down at the back. Maybe it’s Andy Sugden popping in and we could get Kelvin Fletcher back?
Talking of old faces, have you worked out a way to bring Adam Thomas back yet?
Every week, we’re begging the writers to find a way… We came up with a silly idea that if had killed him off then he comes back with a shaved head as a completely different character, with no mention of the fact he looks exactly like Adam Barton. Maybe it’s just a shaved head, or he’s dressed differently…
Is Adam up for it?!
That depends on whether he gets any work! I know he’s going to do really well, he’s a great guy.
What else is coming up for Aaron this year?
We’re leading up to the wedding but there will be a few things that get in the way. Whether or not that’s Liv and a certain problem, I don’t know… that’s all I can say!
The National TV Awards is on ITV on Tuesday 23 January at 7.30pm. Click here to vote.
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.