Robron fans wept when the popular Emmerdale couple were torn apart after Robert Sugden was jailed for murder, leaving husband Aaron Dingle alone and heartbroken. Time, however, is a great healer, and Danny Miller reckons his alter ego Aaron needs to start living his life again.
“I’d love to see him move on a little bit,” says the actor in an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com. “I genuinely don’t know what is in store as lots of things were obviously chopped and changed because of Covid. I know there was possibly a new arrival coming in, whether that was romantic or not I’m not sure and now it’ll be difficult to do a romantic storyline without any kissing!
“I do enjoy playing the low moments Aaron has as it gives you the opportunity to shine a light on mental health, especially in the times we’re in now. It’s good to re-educate people and keep them updated on how to deal with those issues.
“I really enjoyed Aaron and Cain’s lockdown episode but I haven’t been back in full-time yet, I’m due in again next week and I can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned for Aaron.”
Miller has been keeping himself busy during the enforced filming break and has set himself a big physical challenge – he plans to walk 40 miles from his home in Lancashire to Anfield football ground in Liverpool to raise funds for Once Upon a Smile, the charity he co-founded in 2011.
The organisation provides support to bereaved families when a parent, guardian or sibling dies, and was set up in memory of the late Gavin Blyth, Miller’s close friend and former Emmerdale producer who passed away in 2010.
“Like many charities, lockdown has hit us hard,” explains Miller. “We are not government-backed and haven’t been able to do our main fundraising events because of Covid. So many charities out there are struggling which is awful, they’ve lost out on fun runs, balls and big events relied on to raise money.
“I wanted to do something single-handedly for the charity and had to think of a big concept that would get people’s attention. So I combined it with my other passion that was taken away because of Covid – supporting Liverpool FC!”
Miller, like thousands of fans, missed seeing the team achieve their historic premier league victory during lockdown, so decided to make a pilgrimage to the ground in a sponsored event to raise funds for Once Upon A Smile to maintain its service.
“I’d go to as many home games as I could, 15 plus a season normally,” he explains. “Then Covid kicked in and suddenly we weren’t allowed to go, just as it finally looked liked we were going to win it! That really got to me, and I got to thinking it takes me 38 minutes to drive from my house to Anfield – what if I walked it to raise money? Running it might’ve been too much a bit out there and I don’t have long to prepare!”
Miller’s route starts from his home town of Stockport on Wednesday 22nd July, before heading through Manchester, through east Lancashire, Wigan and St Helens and ending up in Liverpool at the famous football ground.
“It’s 40 miles. Well, 39.6 miles but that doesn’t have the same ring, so we’ve rounded it up! I’ll be putting the route up on my Twitter account so if people want to come along and say hi along the way, we’ll have buckets with us so they can donate if they wish to.
“Doing it on my own is more of a challenge and I didn’t want to make it easier for myself, plus obviously there is the safety aspect of social-distancing and not making it a big group activity.
“It’s something I want to do as a personal achievement, and hopefully will encourage others to get out there and do something for charities when they really need it.
“I’ve been training with 20k walks minimum every day. It’s been really good for my mental health, I was up at my caravan near the beach at the weekend and getting out makes you feel so free. Plus my cavapoo dog is getting a lot out of it! I’m excited to take it on and the response so far has been amazing.”
For more details on Miller’s challenge and information on how you can donate, visit his JustGiving page.