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Housewife Pat Simms’ home life turns violent in Sunday’s Home Fires on ITV and Claire Rushbrook reveals why Pat’s staying silent about her ordeal.

Claire said: “Although Pat’s trapped in an unhappy marriage, she loves her husband, Bob, and he loves her. But sadly she’s on the receiving end of quite a lot of mental and physical abuse, and we’ll see her being physically beaten.”

What’s on TV can reveal week viewers will see Pat paying a heavy price for helping out Women’s Institute president, Frances Barden (Samantha Bond). Frances asks Pat to give a speech at an important Ministry for Food meeting but, unknown to Pat, journalist husband Bob (Mark Bazeley) is in the crowd, as he’s covering the event for the local paper

Back at home, jealous of her success, Bob viciously attacks his wife. Will Pat’s WI friends figure out all is not well at home when they see Pat’s bruised and battered face?

My Mad Fat Diary star Claire believes, because of the times, Pat may not want them to interfere: “I think they get the flavour of what’s going on, but Pat’s not confiding in anyone. Sadly, although she has this group of women she can get together with, she’s no more honest with them than anyone else.”

Claire explained: “We’ve been very mindful of not applying modern sensibilities and thinking to Home Fires. I’m sure even now people don’t find this situation easy to talk about. Back then the sense of keeping face and, tragically, shame that came with the situation was magnified. That was the nature of the times.

“It’s been quite a lonely part, but interesting to act.”