Emmerdale's Michelle Hardwick: 'I've started checking myself regularly because of this story' (VIDEO)

(Image credit: PA Archive/Press Association Ima)

Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick says her character Vanessa's 39th birthday leads to the shock of her life, when she discovers a lump in her breast.

The discovery happens when Vanessa is enjoying a day off courtesy of her toy-boyfriend, Kirin. After brunch they head back to her's and Michelle says they're soon 'having a bit of fun, shall we say', when Kirin feels something unusual.

Vanessa checks herself and finds something alarming, but tells Kirin it's a cyst, fearing what it could spell for their relationship.

Michelle told What's on TV: "As a woman I don't check myself as often as I should and that is purely because I am scared I'll feel something I shouldn't, but since doing the research and really looking into it and because of the story I've started checking myself on a regular basis now.

"I think when I was younger, early 20s, I felt something that shouldn't have been there and it absolutely freaked me out and I went to the doctor and it was nothing, thank goodness, it was fine. But I could draw on that, that shock and that panic of 'What if, what if, what if..."

Watch the interview with Emmerdale's Michelle Hardwick (Vanessa Woodfield), above, ahead of the development on ITV on Thursday night.

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.