Emmerdale Rokhsaneh Ghawam-Shahidi says Leyla gets a wake-up call when her neglect puts her son in danger! It must be difficult for Leyla having Jacob living with her and yet he doesn’t know she’s his mum... "It’s a strain because the situation is so complex. But it’s also a relief that this massive secret she’s been hiding for years is out in the open and the people closest to her are all under one roof." How is it affecting Leyla and David’s relationship? "David may have forgiven Leyla for keeping her secret, but I doubt he‘ll ever forget." Does Leyla understand when David worries that she’s acting too mumsy towards Jacob? "No, she doesn’t. She thinks she’s just being an enthusiastic auntie. But it’s clear to David she’s getting too attached to Jacob." Now Jacob’s in her life, is she starting to see him as her son? "She handed him over to Alicia when he was just a few months old and now he’s six – that’s a long time not to be his mum. I think she really does see Alicia as his mum." Not listening to Alicia puts Jacob’s life in danger. What happens? "Alicia lets Leyla take Jacob to TJ’s birthday party and he has a severe allergic reaction to some cake. It’s Leyla’s fault because she hasn’t listened to her sister’s warnings to watch what Jacob eats because of his nut allergy. Leyla’s like ‘Yeah, whatever! Me and Jacob are going to have fun.’" It’s not fun when he goes into anaphylactic shock... "Leyla does all the right things and quickly uses an EpiPen. But it could have been avoided if she’d listened to Alicia. Alicia accuses Leyla of neglect and rushes Jacob to hospital." Is he OK? "He’s fine, but Leyla’s really mad with herself for being so irresponsible. Alicia rants that she knows nothing about being a mum and Leyla’s hurt. But maybe it’s something she needs to hear. It helps shock her into the reality of the situation. She promises to go to Alicia for all things Jacob in the future." Can Leyla really be content with the role of auntie? "Yes. She doesn’t want to take Jacob off Alicia – not that she could. Alicia formally adopted him as a baby. But Leyla mustn’t keep spoiling him." Would having her own new baby with David make things better for Leyla? "Not right now. The timing’s not right for them to have a baby of their own..."
Patrick McLennan is a London-based journalist and documentary maker who has worked as a writer, sub-editor, digital editor and TV producer in the UK and New Zealand. His CV includes spells as a news producer at the BBC and TVNZ, as well as web editor for Time Inc UK. He has produced TV news and entertainment features on personalities as diverse as Nick Cave, Tom Hardy, Clive James, Jodie Marsh and Kevin Bacon and he co-produced and directed The Ponds, which has screened in UK cinemas, BBC Four and is currently available on Netflix.
An entertainment writer with a diverse taste in TV and film, he lists Seinfeld, The Sopranos, The Chase, The Thick of It and Detectorists among his favourite shows, but steers well clear of most sci-fi.
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