Emmerdale’s Laurel will soon be drinking her way into a stranger’s bed… Charlotte Bellamy tells Soaplife how she can’t hide the sordid truth from Marlon…

How are people treating Laurel?
“She thinks people are being really cruel as they’re ignoring her. She’s at home, drinking on her own and is phoning people. Nobody wants to speak to her and that’s making her angry, so she has another drink. Marlon [Mark Charnock] has told her to come back when she’s sober, but she isn’t listening to him.”

Then things start getting ugly, don’t they?
“Laurel goes to buy booze from David’s shop but her card is declined. She makes some excuse to David [Matthew Wolfenden] about why it happened and says, ‘I’ll pay you back’ as she goes to take the bottle, but he refuses. Then she flips and shouts at him.”

And she tries The Woolpack, next?
“It’s awful. She goes in and says to Marlon, ‘Why won’t you give me any money? I need to eat’.  She loses it and starts smashing plates. Then she asks everyone in the pub for a fiver, but they don’t help because they know she’ll spend it on alcohol.”

What does she do then?
“She raids Arthur’s money box and goes into town. She finds a bar and starts to drink, but soon runs out of cash. So then she has to get someone else to pay for her drink. Two men step in. One is a slimeball and the other saves her from him – only he doesn’t.”

What do you mean?
“She wakes up in a bed and has no idea how she got there. She has no clothes on and all she can hear is a shower running. She tries to escape, but the man catches her as she goes out the door.”

She does get back to Emmerdale, though…
“Yes. She’s been missing and everyone’s worried, but she spins this lie and you can see in her eyes that she thinks it’s working. She makes out that she got stuck in Leeds because she had no money and just when you think that it’s all OK there’s a knock at the door. Laurel left her bag at the guy’s house and he’s returning it. It’s an awful moment and Marlon ends up saying, ‘Are you telling me you slept with my wife?”

Where does Laurel go from there?
“She turns to Ashley [John Middleton], who gets her to admit she is an alcoholic, which is a huge step for her.”

Does this mean she’s going to get better?
“You can’t get better overnight with alcoholism. It’s going to be a long journey.”

Will her marriage survive?
“All I can tell you is that it won’t be a simple, happy ending.”

Emmerdale, ITV.