Emmerdale actor Jeff Hordley has revealed that fans can expect to see a rare glimpse of Cain Dingle’s sensitive side when the village hard man breaks down about his difficult childhood.
Cain recently discovered that mum Faith has terminal cancer, but he has so far refused to offer her any support. As Emmerdale fans know, the pair have long had a tricky relationship, which stems back to the time Faith walked out on him and sister Chas when they were children, and left them with her drunken, abusive husband, Shadrach.
Faith has been having chemotherapy in a bid to contain her tumour, but next week, a scan reveals her cancer has spread. Wanting to enjoy what time she has left, she decides to stop her treatment.
Cain seems indifferent to the sad news, but he is privately reeling. And, in next Thursday’s hour-long episode (July 7), he has a long and honest conversation with Chas that continues into the night, during which he opens up about the damage Faith’s departure did to him.
Reveals Jeff, “Chas asks Cain to close his eyes and they do this thing that they must’ve done in their bedrooms as kids, when they heard Shadrach beating Faith.
“She’s like, ‘Close your eyes… do you remember what he used to do?’ Cain’s like ‘I don’t need to close my eyes to remember — I know exactly what happened.’
He continues, “Cain talks about an incident that happened at school to do with Faith and how he used to get over her walking out. I don’t want to say too much, but he gets really emotional and says ‘I don’t want it to happen again’ because he can’t cope with her leaving him again, and that’s unfortunately what he now has to face.
“He’s at a very emotional point — the most emotional point in playing Cain that I’ve ever experienced. Something came out in those scenes that I didn’t expect, and he breaks down.
“I didn’t plan it, but on one of the takes, it all came out.”
Chas desperately hopes that her brother can be persuaded to build bridges with their mum before it’s too late. But can Cain hold out an olive branch, or are some scars too deep to heal?
Adds Jeff, “Cain doesn’t necessarily need an apology from Faith — more of an explanation.
“She has tried — she has told him she loves him — but he can never utter the words back to her, sadly.
“It’s all about self-preservation. He feels that if he lets go, she’ll just let him down again and it’ll take him back to where he was when he was 11 years old.”
Faith’s impending death will bring actress Sally Dexter’s time on the soap to an end. The 62 year old star has been a fixture in the Dales on and off since 2017. The character was previously played by actress Gillian Jephcott from 2000 to 2004.
“I am absolutely gutted that she’s going,” admits Jeff. “Sally’s an incredibly gifted actor. I’ve learnt so much working with her, and I have such fun. She makes every take different, she’s wonderful.
“So many people have come and gone, but this is a big one for me. We’ll stay in touch, though, we’re good friends.”
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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.