The surprise news Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter) is expecting a baby with girlfriend Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) is a huge curveball for the fledgling Emmerdale couple, and may lead to the return of Nate’s mum Cara (Carryl Thomas).
“It would be great to see her reaction to the baby,” says Walsh. “When Cara left the village, Tracy and Nate were just getting together and she was quite bitter and aggy with Tracy for taking her son away from her.
“They made friends in the end, but I’d like to see more of Cara’s relationship to Tracy, as well as being a grandparent. It would be nice for Tracy to have that maternal figure around – even when she was with David she didn’t have that. She hasn’t had anyone apart from Val Pollard, back in the day.”
Feisty Cara, teenage sweetheart of Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley), was introduced in January when the shocking backstory of Nate’s birth was revealed – her pregnancy more than 20 years ago was hidden from Cain by his mum Faith, who feared the reaction of his racist dad Shadrach to having a child of mixed race brought into the family.
Cain had no idea Nate existed, until he revealed his true identity after seducing wife Moira Dingle away, mistakenly believing his father abandoned his pregnant mum.
Carter echoed Walsh’s call for the character to return, saying: “I’ve made a nice friendship with Carryl off screen, and it’s beautiful being with her on set. I would love to see her back, Nate and Cara’s dynamic is complex and loving.”
Despite her takedown of Cain and his interfering family when they were reunited earlier this year, some fans saw a spark still flickering between the ex-lovers. Cara appeared as a recurring guest and made her last appearance in March, but with Nate now set to become a father could we see her again soon?
The impact of the baby twist will be felt keenly by Nate, who grew up without a paternal figure of his own and may struggle to get his head around impending fatherhood.
“Nate will be his own worst critic,” hints Carter. “I think he’s going to be hard on himself. He often acts out with emotion rather than logic so it will be interesting to see how he manages parenthood. But I think he can do it.
“They say having kids tames you, but can it tame Nate? He’s so young and strong-minded, it will be difficult for him as he loses his head easily. At the same time he is very loyal and loving, and while he didn’t have a dad his mum was a constant support. I actually don’t think he’s ready but will do the best job he can.
“With Nate, there are still skeletons in the closet, and we’ll have to see how he manages his own demons with Cain and the rest of the Dingle family.