It looks like Carly Hope’s tragic past could cost her a happy future with Marlon Dingle and his daughter April in Emmerdale. Gemma Atkinson tells Soaplife what happens

Marlon Dingle and Carly Hope’s relationship hits the buffers when April starts choking and Carly does nothing. “She freezes with fear,” Gemma Atkinson tells Soaplife. “Marlon, Brenda [Lesley Dunlop] and Bob [Antony Audenshaw] all run in to see what the fuss is about and see that Carly isn’t doing anything.” April is okay but, feeling guilty about her reaction, Carly decides to do a runner!

So, how does April choke?
“They are having a party at the house and April chokes on a sweet. It is serious, life threatening in fact, and it is Marlon [Mark Charnock] that comes to her rescue. Everybody turns to look at Carly and Bob says: ‘Couldn’t you see she was choking?’ She reacts by running out of the house. She can’t deal with the way she responded.”

What is going on?
“Deep down she is not over the guilt of losing her son Billie. She blames herself for his cot death and is convinced it is something she did wrong. She doesn’t think she is cut out to be a mum and failing to help April [Amelia Flanagan] has brought all these memories back.”

Is April angry with Carly?

“She is upset and feels let down because she said she would always look after her and she hasn’t.”

How does Marlon react?
“He is in shock at first and sits Carly down to talk about it. She explains that she was scared. Marlon says ‘I am just glad it ended this way’ and she flips and says ‘As opposed to ending like Billie did?’ He is only trying to explain that he forgives her, but she is on the offensive.”

How does Carly feel about April?
“She feels maternal towards her. She loves her, but she also feels quite smothered as it is a big responsibility and there is at tiny bit of resentment there. I think it is a fear of losing her – Carly thinks you don’t miss what you have never had and goes through life trying to protect her own heart.”

What makes Carly decide to leave the village?
“She feels like a failure. She tells herself that she will only let Marlon and April down.”

Is this the end of their relationship then?
“It could be. She has done a runner before – she has fled five relationships previously. This is Emmerdale, though, so you can expect a few twists and turns.”

What do viewers think of Carly and Marlon as a couple?
“We have had some sweet comments. It is not about what you look like, it is how you are treated and how someone looks after and respects you. They are perfect for each other.”

Emmerdale, ITV