The new year brings a new life into Emmerdale as Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) gives birth to a baby boy on the first day of 2020.
It’s bittersweet for Vic, who couldn’t have kids with infertile ex-husband Adam Barton, then fell pregnant after being raped by Lee Posner who she met on a night out back in April.
Deciding to continue with the pregnancy, Victoria’s ordeal led to the life imprisonment of protective big brother Robert Sugden who beat Lee to death in a revenge attack.
On New Year’s Eve, the heavily pregnant chef is walking home after a party as fireworks signal the end of 2019 – when the clock strikes midnight her waters break in the middle of the village!
“Yes, that was an interesting filming day!” laughs Hodgens, speaking to RadioTimes.com. “There was a funnel strapped to me with a tube going down my back to make it look realistic when her waters broke.
“I said to the cameraman, ‘Let’s just never talk about this again…!”
Victoria ends up having her son in hospital on New Year’s Day, with supportive step-mum Diane Sugden by her side.
“Any day working with Liz [Estensen, aka Diane] is a ray of sunshine and we got through it together,” smiles the actress. “It’s nice that Diane is there to support her, she’s been amazing to Victoria all year.”
Any fears the newborn would be a reminder of her sexual assault are allayed as soon as Vic holds her son for the first time, in a scene sure to melt all viewers’ hearts in what has been a pretty dark soap Christmas full of gloom and doom.
“Her worries just melt away,” says Hodgens. “She looks at the baby and it’s love at first sight. She just wants to be the best mum she can be. Going forward she’ll be finding her feet and getting on with life as a mummy.”
That’ll be easier said than done with Lee’s mum Wendy now living in the village, branding Victoria a liar and insisting her dead son did nothing wrong, but still hoping to play a part in her new grandchild’s life.
Plus, Lee’s brother Luke, who Vic struck up a flirty friendship with before realising his link to her rapist, is also her new neighbour…
“That situation is very difficult,” comments Hodgens. “Luke could be a love interest but he’s got a lot to deal with because his mum says one thing, and Victoria says another.
“I think after everything my character’s been through she wants a friend. If that turns into something else it would be nice, but who knows? She certainly deserves a happy ending.”
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