Emmerdale’s Zak Dingle is shocked when Joanie walks out. But does that mean Zak and ex-wife Lisa will be reunited? Steve Halliwell chats to Soaplife…

This time last year, Zak Dingle ditched his wife, Lisa, to be with Joanie Wright. But when the family gathers to celebrate Christmas and Belle’s birthday, it’s Joanie’s turn to do the dumping…

Is Zak having doubts about his feelings for Joanie?
“Zak is facing the fact Joanie was just an infatuation and not a deeper love.”

What can you tell us about Zak’s Christmas?
“He’s at the homestead with the family and that in itself gets Joanie thinking, ‘Does he want to be with me or does he really want to be with his family?’ It’s Belle’s 18th, so it’s a big family occasion and it reminds Zak of the good times when everyone was happy.”

Belle gets a new laptop for her birthday, why does that cause an upset?
“There’s a recording on it of Zak and Lisa, which gets played. Basically, it happened after they’d stolen a Christmas tree together. Zak hurt his back and Lisa was giving him a massage. There’s a bit of groaning and Zak admitted to Lisa he doesn’t want to move away with Joanie.”

How does he feel about that?
“He’s really embarrassed. The recording makes it sound like he doesn’t want to lose Lisa when he was just saying he didn’t want to leave the village. However, once Joanie’s heard it, it’s pretty much impossible for them to carry on. She leaves the Dingles’ and she says the two of them can’t even be friends when Zak catches up with her. Not even for Kyle’s sake.”

Will Joanie leave the village?
“She does, but Lisa tracks her down and manages to persuade her to come back.”

Does Zak regret leaving Lisa and going off with Joanie?
“I don’t know about that, but he’s certainly lost the moral high ground. Any member of his family can now turn around and say, ‘After what you’ve done, you can’t tell me anything.’ He used to be a symbol of somebody who always stood up for what he believes in, but he’s lost some of his credibility.”

Is there a chance that Zak will get back with Lisa?
“I know viewers want that. Every time I go to get a newspaper, I hear ‘When are you getting back together with Lisa?’ Zak and Lisa are a soap tradition and people want them together. We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

What are you doing for Christmas?
“I’ll be with my family. Hopefully my Christmas will be better than Zak’s.”