Emmerdale spoilers: Alex’s body is found – preview pictures

But why could the discovery spell the end for Declan and Katie's marriage? Jason Merrells explains all

Declan’s festival plans look set to jeopardised next week when human remains are discovered at the site. With everything riding on the success of his extravaganza, news from the foreman that they’ve discovered possible body parts at the site could prove to be the final nail in the coffin. So will Declan do what’s morally right and inform the authorities?

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“His instinct is to find a way of not acknowledging it,” reveals Jason Merrells, who plays Declan. “In order to examine exactly what the body is then he’d have to bring in the police and forensics, which would hold up production. So he’s pretty sure he would lose his site. Plus, he’s making an assumption that the body is old and that there’s nothing particularly sinister that he needs to be addressing. So he doesn’t think he’s doing something morally terrible.”

Viewers, however, know that the remains are those of Alex Moss, killed over Christmas 2012, but widely believed to have done a runner following a burglary at Edna’s. Yet it looks as though murderous Cameron Murray could once again have evaded capture thanks to Declan’s decision not to go to the police:

“Declan isn’t aware of any murder,” says Merrells. “There are loads of rumours about people being buried on the Home Farm estate thanks to various things that have happened over the years. And all of those rumours are years and years old. So he’s not that worried.”

But Declan is to face reprisals of his own after Katie (Sammy Winward) tells Declan to tell the police and he decides to do the exact opposite: “Yes, Katie takes the opposite view entirely, which is probably a lot to do with where they are in their relationship. She sees it as another example of his dishonesty and his money-grabbing lack of care for anything other than profit.”

Katie then discovers that, despite her objections, work is continuing on Declan’s glamping project. Wound up by what she sees as her husband’s betrayal, Katie confides her hurt in Chas (Lucy Pargeter), who assumes that Katie must know about Declan’s one-night-stand with Charity (Emma Atkins).

As Katie rails on, Chas soon realises that they are talking at cross purposes and leaves before she gets herself into a scrape. But Katie is suspicious and decides later to quiz Chas about what she knows. Soon, Chas is telling Katie about Charity and Declan’s tryst, all of which leaves her distraught by the extent of his dishonesty and sickened to know that Jai (Chris Bisson) and Cameron (Dominic Power) are in on the secret too. So what does she do to get revenge?

“Well, Declan’s got this massive sponsorship event on the horizon to get people to invest in the festival and suddenly Katie’s all enthusiastic,” says Merrells. “Jai and Charity turn up at the event, which surprises Declan. But he just assumes that Katie’s done it to bring them all together, which he’s not particularly happy about.

“Then he gets a big surprise when it’s revealed that Katie’s making an unscheduled announcement. So from the moment she tings the glass, he gets very wary and starts to sweat. Katie then starts to talk about who Declan is and he thinks she’s going to be nice. And she’s not…”

And how Merrells feel about Declan’s actions as regards that illicit encounter with Charity? “Katie and Declan were estranged at the time. She’d walked out saying she didn’t love him. She’d gone without any hint that she was coming back. Admittedly, he shouldn’t have just immediately jumped into bed with someone, but I think Declan feels that she should be a little bit more understanding about the situation.”

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So is the future looking bleak for Declan and Katie? “Let’s put it this way – it’s not looking good!”