Emmerdale spoilers: Charity discovers that Jai is baby Archie’s father – Emma Atkins interview

"This dirty secret has been kept for so long and Charity is now totally demented about being made a mockery of," says the actress

Charity is on the warpath in next week’s episodes as her suspicions about baby Archie’s paternity start to grow. Filled with fury, she quizzes first Sam and then Rishi, only for the Sharma patriarch to have a heart attack during the confrontation. But has he given the game away during his shock collapse? Rishi’s words certainly inspire Charity to stage a showdown with the guilty parties all present on the scene. So is the truth about to spill out? Actress Emma Atkins gives us the latest:

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So, up to this point, do you think Charity’s had any idea at all about Jai being Archie’s dad?
Not since that moment back in April when Rishi stepped forward and took the flak. Now, seven months on, she’s started to put a few things together that she finds alarming – in particular, Jai’s paternal reaction to Archie’s firework injury. His reaction is somewhat over the top, which Charity finds suspicious.

Can you tell us what happens when Archie comes to stay at Holdgate for a while?
Yes, Samson develops a bug and Jai and Rishi decide that Archie is better off staying at Holdgate. Charity starts to pick up on the strange atmosphere about the place. Jai and Rishi also keep picking on Sam over the fireworks incident, but Sam is insistent that he doesn’t want Charity’s help. It’s all very suspect.

And then Charity ends up confronting Sam?
It’s one of those moments where viewers will really be hoping that Sam spills the beans. Sam is, of course, a very nervous character and he does blurt out that there’s some information that he’s keeping from her. At that moment, Lisa comes down the stairs and interrupts them, but Charity knows something is wrong and vows to herself that she’ll find out. From that moment on she’s like a shark circling closer and closer.

All of which has terrible consequences for Rishi…
Charity has this tendency to put pressure on people. It’s something she enjoys and she can be quite manipulative. When she talks to Rishi, she appeals to his sweet nature but she’s also quite stern. And he can’t cope with the stress of keeping this life-changing information to himself and has a heart attack. But before he passes out he says to Charity: “Please don’t be angry with Jai. He loves you both.” And Charity is thinking, “who is the ‘both’ that Rishi is referring to?”

Is there anything else that gives Charity the confirmation she needs?
Rishi’s words provide a lot of the confirmation she needs. But there’s also this moment when Charity sees Jai picking up Arcie and pulling him close. And she can see that it isn’t something that an uncle would do. It’s definitely a moment between father and son.

So, can you tell us about the big showdown?
Yes, Charity calls all the guilty people into the office – she knows what she’s got to do and she wants the most impossibly awkward moment she can dream of.

To set the scene, you need to know that Rishi has offered up a red herring a few episodes previously. He’s said that the reason why he was angry with Sam was because he’d supposedly asked Rishi if Archie could call Sam ‘dad’. But when Charity asks Sam about this, he’s just completely confused. So Charity has basically exposed Rishi’s lie by getting Sam to trip up.

From that moment on, it all becomes very edgy. Jai and Rachel are both panicking, while Charity is almost losing control because she’s so annoyed. She wants all the facts to drip out in front of everyone, but eventually she does burst with anger.

And Charity does end up slapping Rachel, doesn’t she?
Everything is unravelling at a rate of knots and it’s a very shocking moment. In a way, Rachel has an innocent quality about her because she’s never gloated about what she did with Jai. But this dirty secret has been kept for so long and Charity is now totally demented about being made a mockery of. There’s no time for her to feel sorry for anyone.

Should Jai and Rachel be sacred about the revenge that Charity has planned?
Charity is like a ticking time bomb. She is going to get revenge and it’s just a mater of how big and brilliant it’s going to be. Charity has got both Cain and Debbie telling her to let the matter drop and to build her life back up, but she can’t let Jai and Rachel get away with what they’ve done. That’s her mentality, but that kind of vengeance could eat her alive. She always has this desire to seek revenge. Personally, I think it must be awful to live your life like that.

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What has this storyline been like to film?
It’s been wonderful and I’m excited for the audience because the secret has been building and building for such a long time. In the aftermath, you’re going to see Charity get so drunk. She’s going to try it on with Cain and just lash out because she wants everyone to see her unravel. It’ll be horrible for her.