Love cheat Paddy is to reignite his affair with newcomer Tess when she becomes a teaching assistant at Leo’s school.
Village vet Paddy has already been seen having a secret tryst with Tess on the night of the Emmerdale flashback. But viewers can expect to see the pair get close again in upcoming episodes.
“Paddy has strong feelings for Tess. It’s more than just a one-off fling,” explains actor Dominic Brunt. “He’s found a deep attraction that’s starting to build. And he could get out of this situation, but he decides not to.”
Next week’s episodes will see Paddy wrestling with his conscience as he keeps his marriage to Rhona alive with a ‘date night’, while at the same time volunteering to take Leo to school so that he can see Tess.
Talking about the reasons why Paddy has started to stray, Brunt says, “Plenty of people in perfectly good marriages throw away years of loyalty in search of betrayal. It’s a weird one and I haven’t quite worked it out yet.
“Paddy is split in two. He knows it’s ridiculous and – in true soap form – his wife is now being absolutely delightful to him! Paddy is being fairly weak about the whole thing but, at the same time, it’s now becoming deeper and more dangerous.”
The danger of which Brunt speaks comes during the village’s Bonfire Night celebrations when Rhona and Tess come face to face.
Paddy begins to despair when Marlon recognises her from his and Paddy’s recent night out together and Rhona is left wondering why her husband has never mentioned this before. As Paddy does his best to cover, viewers are sure to be left wondering just how duplicitous he’ll end up becoming.
So is Brunt worried about a Paddy backlash? “I am. A little bit,” he admits. “I don’t particularly enjoy playing a cad, but I’m really lucky that the writers are giving him more dimensions. I don’t want him to be empathetic at all times. Even saints are sinners and we all have skeletons in our closets. We’ve all made wrong decisions.”
As for what lies ahead for Paddy and Tess, Brunt says that we can expect the emotionally fraught plotline to take a few unexpected twists. “I’m finding it fascinating to shake off the shackles of Saint Paddy. I know what’s coming up and it’s going to be well worth the ride.
“There are a few big surprises along the way and it’s not going to go where you would ever imagine. I can’t wait and I’m throwing myself into it and enjoying it.
“We’re making mature serial drama here at Emmerdale. It’s not just a stupid affair story done for laughs or exploitation. And I’m really glad that they’ve got Nicola Stephenson in to play Tess – she’s someone who certainly knows what she’s doing with carefully written drama.”
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.