Ex-Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallet talks about guest-starring in the BBC1 medical drama…

How does your character, Leanne, end up in the A&E ward?
“She’s visiting her boyfriend, DJ-D-Ray. He’s a rapper who has been admitted after he’s overdosed on sun-bed sessions. The real problem is that he’s got a skin disorder called vitiligo, which turns patches of your skin white. It’s what Michael Jackson had. He’s in complete denial about the situation and refuses to take medication for it.”

Can Leanne persuade him to face up to his problem?
“Not really. She’s a very sweet girl, she loves D-Ray, but he’s very stubborn. She tells him she will love him whatever his appearance, but that doesn’t go down very well. The way he speaks to her is quite abusive.”

Were you relieved that your story meant you didn’t have to deal with any gore?
“No – I was gutted. When I found out I was up for a part on the show I was really up for being the victim! I would’ve loved that.”

What have you been up to since leaving Emmerdale?
“I did Dancing On Ice, and then the tour which was brilliant. I shot an independent film too, but this is the first time people will have seen me act since I played Jo Sugden.”

This part doesn’t sound a million miles away from Jo – on the end of abuse from her boyfriend?
“No, I know! What is it about me and abused women? She’s a different sort of character though, in her personality. I’d love to do some really varied roles next, it’s good to stretch yourself I think.”

Do you still watch Emmerdale?
“Yes, I watch it when one of my friends has a big storyline, or I try to. It’s on a bit of a high at the minute which is great.”

*Roxanne can be seen in Casualty on Saturday, July 31 at 9pm on BBC1