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Emmerdale star teases the reveal of Al's mystery lover: 'It’s worth the wait!'

Al is eager to get away in Emmerdale

Who has the Emmerdale businessman been canoodling with, behind Priya’s back?

Emmerdale star Michael Wildman, who plays love cheat Al Chapman, has spoken about his upcoming Christmas storyline in which the identity of Al’s mystery lover is finally revealed. 

Last month, Al popped the question to girlfriend Priya; desperate not to lose his partner whom he had earlier offended by poo-pooing her suggestion of marriage.

Al proposes to Priya in Emmerdale

U-turn: Al panicked when Priya mentioned marriage, but then got on bended knee and proposed (Picture: ITV)

But mere minutes after his grand gesture, he made a secret phone call to another woman, referring to her as “babe” and gushing "Love you, too."

On Christmas Day, as his affair continues, he concocts an excuse to escape from festive celebrations with Priya and the Sharma family in order to spend time with his other woman. 

Texting the mystery person ahead of his arrival, we see three women picking up their phones - Belle, Dawn and Andrea. Is one of them the mystery mistress, or are they red herrings?

Emmerdale Andrea

She's the one? It's possible newly-single Andrea Tate is Al's bit on the side (Picture: ITV)

Says Wildman: “Playing a game is what Al does. As it moves on and becomes more difficult, the more he secretly enjoys it."

And teasing the big reveal, he adds: “It’s going to be such a big thing – I can’t even hint towards who it can be. It’s worth the wait!”

Wildman insists that Al loves Priya, and had planned to nip his affair in the bud - but secret liaisons with his bit on the side have proved impossible to resist.

“It’s not the case that he is bored with Priya,” says the actor. “It’s a result of circumstance. 

“Every time he has gone back to see this person, he meant to end it, and then he just had that one more good time. He tells her that he loves her mostly in response. I don’t think you can equate the two. 

“He loves Priya, without a doubt, which is weird to say. Priya is the first woman he truly does love – you see a side of him that only she brings out. 

“There are some moments where you see that he’s really conflicted. He knows it’s wrong, but he can’t help himself!”

Emmerdale continues on ITV.

Alison Slade
Alison Slade

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.