Emmerdale star admits she was 'a little bit nervous' about revisiting Liv alcohol storyline

Liv in Emmerdale is shocked when Chas arrives in Emmerdale
(Image credit: ITV)

'It’s a bit more challenging now,' says Emmerdale star

Emmerdale actress Isobel Steele has revealed she was nervous about playing Liv Flaherty’s current alcohol storyline.

Liv has recently turned to drink to help her cope with her guilt over the death of Paul Ashdale.

She and Paul were in the Dingle barn when it was struck by Jimmy King’s lorry, back in April. Paul, who had earlier beaten Liv to try and silence her over the fact he was abusing his son Vinny, was trapped under rubble.

Liv initially tried to free him, but when she noticed sparks coming from a gas canister, she walked away, knowing her own life was in danger, and Paul was then killed when the barn exploded.

Liv previously struggled with alcohol dependence whilst in a youth offenders unit in 2018.

Asked how she felt about the soap revisiting her character’s drink problem, Isobel tells us: “Honestly I was a little bit nervous about it. From an acting point of view, in the past, the alcohol didn’t play a massive part in the scene; it was more that her drinking brought out an emotional side to Liv.

“But it’s a bit more of a challenge now, because Liv does become a different person when she drinks. She becomes quite nasty and aggressive and says things she doesn’t mean and hurts people she loves, whilst also being physically drunk in the scene.

“So it’s much harder to play, but a much more mature version of the previous storyline, so I was excited to revisit it and get another crack at it.”

Viewers recently saw Chas Dingle try to curb Liv’s drinking by locking her in the house. But Liv escaped, and is currently staying with her errant mum, Sandra, who is living and working at a caravan park in Wales.

Sandra is unaware of her daughter’s struggles, and has actively encouraged her daughter to drink, to forget about her troubles.

Asked how she prepares for "drunk" scenes, 20 year old Isobel adds: “I spin around (beforehand) if I’ve got to walk somewhere, but actually I just close my eyes between scenes. I’m just relaxing my body, and then in the scene, you look like you’re a bit tired and loose.

“But there’s a fine line between too much and too little, and it depends on what the director wants as well.

“Ultimately, I just try to relax my body and not think too much about my lines; I don’t try to remember them. If I stumble over them, I’m not too bothered, I just try and get them out as you would. You can’t be too pantomime.”

Emmerdale continues on ITV (see our TV Guide for full listings).

Alison Slade
Soaps Editor
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.  She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way. There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.

When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.