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Emmerdale’s Zak Dingle might find his Christmas dinner hard to swallow. Steve Halliwell explains why to Soaplife…

What are Zak’s feelings for Joanie?

“He has to admit to himself that he’s fallen for her. He loves his wife Lisa [Jane Cox], too, so he is in a bit of a dilemma.”

Does he feel guilty about cheating on Lisa?

“Absolutely, but the thing about infatuation is that there isn’t any logic to it. Zak knows how much he could lose.”

Why has he done this now?

“Zak has this massive sense of failure as a man. He had a nervous breakdown, nearly killed his son and his daughter’s got her own mental health issues. Also, he has not been able to make good money to support his family. There’s a sense of failure there and then along comes this woman who thinks he’s a great guy and he has been enjoying that a bit too much.”

Can you set the scene on Christmas day?

“They’re all there. Lisa, Debbie [Charley Webb] and Ross [Michael Parr], Chas [Lucy Pargeter] and Gordon [Gary Mavers], Belle [Eden Taylor-Draper], Sam [James Hooton], little Samson [Sam Hall], Cain [Jeff Hordley] and Moira [Natalie J Robb], Joanie [Denise Black] and Kyle [Huey Quinn]. Belle hints that she knows something and Zak is desperate for her not to say anything as he knows it could break the family apart. He’s not sure that he’s ready to make any commitment to Joanie, so it’s all a bit up in the air on Christmas day.”

Could this destroy the Dingles?

“It’s bound to affect them. Zak has already handed the kingdom of the Dingles to Cain as he felt too old to deal with the family’s problems. The dynamics were changing anyway, but this will really shake things up.”

Click HERE to see the storyline in photos.

Emmerdale, ITV.