When Marlon accuses Carly of hurting his little girl April, she shocks him by confiding that four years ago she had a baby boy! Emmerdale’s Gemma Atkinson tells the sad story to Soaplife…

What leads to Carly revealing she had a secret son?

“Marlon [Mark Charnock] thinks she’s been hitting his daughter April and Carly gets really emotional.”

Why does he think she would harm April (Amelia Flanagan)?

“April has got these bruises and it’s Emma [Gillian Kearney] who raises concerns it could be Carly. When Marlon then stops Carly from seeing April, she’s shocked and very angry. She can’t believe he would have so little trust in her.”

Is that when Carly reveals her secret?

“No. It’s after Emma gets social services involved and April goes missing. Carly finds April and brings her home to Marlon.”

Why does Carly confide in Marlon?

“Marlon tries to explain to Carly why he’s so protective of his daughter and he says ‘It’s something only a parent can relate to.’ In response, Carly screams ‘I’ve been a parent!’”

What happened to her child?

“His name was Billy and he died of sudden unexplained infant death when he was a baby. Carly was a single mum at the time and all alone. She found him alone, she was alone with him in the ambulance, she had to bury him alone and get the death certificate on her own.”

Does anyone else know her secret?

“No. Not even her dad Bob [Tony Audenshaw] or her mum know about it. She has carried this alone and has never told anyone. This is the first time she’s spoken of it in four years since it happened.”

Will she now tell Bob?

“I’m not sure. She doesn’t want Marlon to tell anyone. Maybe her dad has a right to know as it was his grandson but she’s angry that he wasn’t around for her when it happened. As much as everybody loves Bob, he hasn’t been the best of dads.”

What was your reaction when you found out about this storyline?

“I was flattered that they trusted me with it. It’s something people go through and it’s one of those horrendous, unfortunate things that is nobody’s fault.”

How would Carly cope if she couldn’t see April?

“It would be awful. Carly has a strong maternal instinct and it has an outlet with April. I’d miss it too as it is lovely working with April actress Amelia. She’s the sweetest little thing and she never forgets her lines!”

Emmerdale, ITV