The guilt of killing husband-to-be James has driven Emma Barton to drugs. And, as actress Gillian Kearney reveals, she’s not finished causing mayhem…

Emma Barton’s using stolen prescription pills to help her cope with her guilt over killing James. And they make her even more unstable, especially at James’s inquest, Emmerdale’s Gillian Kearney tells Soaplife magazine.

So Emma’s not coping in the wake of James’s death?
“No. She’s become addicted to sleeping pills and she’s stealing them from Dr Cavanagh. She doesn’t care about the risk to her health – every time she wakes up, she has flashbacks of what happened with James [Bill Ward]. She also wants to keep herself together as she doesn’t want to be a failure in the eyes of her boys.”

Is she scared of being caught?
“What scares her the most is the thought of losing her sons. She realises they’d never forgive her if they found out what really happened to their dad. However, what is upsetting her is also a genuine sense of grief and guilt. She really loved James and she’s lonely without him.”

How does she feel about the inquest?
“She tries to get out of going and the boys say she doesn’t need to go. But, at the graveside, she talks to Harriet and she realises the truth will always come out so she has a change of heart. She thinks it’s best to come clean for the sake of her boys. She turns up at the inquest with a new sense of strength and purpose.”

Will she confess?
“You’ll have to wait and see.”

Will she unravel even more?
“She has a bit of help from Harriet [Katherine Dow Blyton], who puts her on a path with God, and that helps her to live with herself.”

Why is she being so friendly with Moira Dingle?
“Emma believes if she can forgive Moira [Natalie J Robb], God will forgive her. Moira’s very cynical about Emma’s motives, though.”

What’s in store for Emma?
“It will always be colourful because even when her own life is going okay, she has to get involved in everybody else’s business.”

Emmerdale, ITV