Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick: 'I know whether Vanessa lives or dies'

Charity and Vanessa are scared in Emmerdale

But she won’t share the news, the big spoilsport

Emmerdale star Michelle Hardwick, who plays cancer-stricken Vanessa Woodfield on the soap, has revealed that she already knows whether her character will live or die.

The 44 year old actress says that when she was briefed about the storyline last year, she was also told about the end result.

Michelle tells us: “I won’t say which way it goes, but yes, I was told straight away.

“As soon as Jane Hudson (Emmerdale’s executive producer) brought me up and told me the storyline and outcome, I didn’t even have time to think about it one way or the other. As soon as I was told the story, I was told the outcome as well. I’ve always known, and my lips are sealed.”

Vet Vanessa was being held hostage by crazed killer and rapist Pierce Harris back in February when he read out a letter she had hidden in her handbag, which confirmed her bowel cancer diagnosis.

Vanessa tries to escape from Pierce in Emmerdale

Vanessa was held hostage by Pierce Harris in February

Medics later revealed that her cancer was at stage three, and Vanessa is due to start chemotherapy treatment next week, having already had surgery to remove a tumour.

Michelle knows if Vanessa lives or dies... but she won't tell us!

Michelle knows if Vanessa lives or dies... but she won't tell us! (Image credit: Andrew Boyce)

Michelle adds that the heart-wrenching plot has provoked a lot of reaction from fans, many of whom have praised the soap for breaking taboos in highlighting bowel cancer symptoms.

She says: “A lot have people have been saying well done to Emmerdale for not shying away from describing symptoms and talking about poo, because it’s not often done.

“When I first read the scripts, I was like ‘Oh, I’ve got to say the word poo a few times!’ Well yeah, but this is good and I’m glad we are, and its not just saying ‘a bit of toilet trouble’ or ‘tummy ache.’

"Vanessa was describing having blood in her poo. Being able to say those words to your loved one and your doctor, it was ‘Yes! You can do that!’ So that’s been praised a lot, and I’m really pleased with that.”


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.