Emmerdale newbie Gemma Atkinson: 'I'm the Del Boy of the Dales!' (VIDEO)

(Image credit: Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment)

Gemma Atkinson joins Emmerdale as Bob Hope's estranged daughter Carly next week, a character she describes as the 'del Boy of the Dales'.

Gemma told What's on TV: "She's the Del Boy of the Dales, is the title I'm giving her. She's a dodgy dealer with a big heart, but at the minute it's hidden with a lot of anger and being bitter and just the fact she's been neglected. So she's very complex.

"I think the audience, first of all they won't like her, then they'll find her quite funny, then eventually they'll feel sorry for her and hopefully she'll come full circle and they'll realise she's a genuinely sweet girl and she's hard a really hard life and this is the result of it."

Redemption isn't far away, though, as Gemma added: "I think a few counselling sessions with her dad will get her back on her feet again."

The former Hollyoaks and Casualty star says part of the appeal of her new job on Emmerdale is its prxomity to her home in Bury, Lancashire.

She said: "It's lovely to be back home, well, half an hour from home, in the lovely Yorkshire Dales. To me it makes a such a difference to be able to go home after a day's work.

"For three years I used to go back to a hotel, the same hotel, with the same food menu. The staff were lovely and the city were lovely where I was staying, but I've got a dog and a boyfriend and my family... I just realised I said 'dog' before 'boyfriend', which genuinely is the order it's in. I miss my dog more than my boyfriend!" she laughed.

Watch the interview with Gemma Atkinson, who plays Carly Hope in Emmerdale, above.

Patrick McLennan

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.