Emmerdale: Alicia is shot during the Woolpack siege – Natalie Anderson interview

The actress reveals what went on behind the scenes in the run-up to tonight's cliffhanger episode

Natalie Anderson has revealed how she first discovered that her character Alicia Gallagher was to be shot during the Woolpack siege.

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“At first, all I knew was that there was going to be this massive autumn storyline involving Cameron. But when I got back from holiday in the summer, Matthew Wolfenden [who plays David] told me that Alicia was going to get shot,” the 31-year-old actress told RadioTimes.com.

“I thought he was winding me up but then more people kept coming up to me in the green room to tell me how amazing it was that I was going to be ‘the one’. They all knew before me because I’d been on holiday.”

In the end, Anderson tracked down producer Kate Oates who confirmed that the hostage situation at the pub was to turn potentially deadly after Alicia took a bullet. By the end of the episode shown this evening, Alicia’s life continues to hang in the balance after she was rushed from the village in an ambulance.

“I am the biggest Emmerdale fan going, so to be part of a storyline that I hope is really iconic and will go down in the show’s history is unbelievable,” says Anderson. “I feel really proud and privileged that they’ve picked my character and that it’s going to have all these repercussions.”

And could these repercussions have something to do with the love ‘quadrangle’ between Priya, David, Dom and Alicia? “Well, Matthew Wolfenden and I have been playing this rom-com for a year and a half. It’s been The Wedding Planner, it’s been My Best Friend’s Wedding, but suddenly our fluffy love story has taken a turn and become really dark. Now we get to flip it on its head and do real drama.”

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And is this the kind of drama that means Anderson has to suffer for her art? “After Alicia was shot, I had to lie as still as possible on that stone floor. Honestly, my hip bone and shoulder were so bruised by the end of it all. I was nearly shaking from being in pain and from having to lay there that long. I’m not meant to be shaking – I’m meant to be close to death!”