Emmerdale Natalie Anderson tells Soaplife that Alicia is so desperate to be a good mum that she becomes a very bad person…

Why does Alicia have money troubles? After all she’s working and living with Leyla and David…
“Yes, but she’s spending on Jacob like there’s no tomorrow because she’s determined to match his dad, Justin. She can’t bear the thought of Jacob thinking she’s not as good as his dad.”

But isn’t it only right that Justin helps support his son?
“Help support him, yes, but not spoil him. And Justin knows exactly what he’s doing. He knows very well Alicia can’t afford to compete. He’s turning it into a battle.”

Alicia’s just as touchy with Leyla, though, when she simply buys Jacob a jumper. Why?
“To start with, Andy’s there when Leyla gives Jacob the jumper. Alicia’s really embarrassed because she thinks it’ll look to Andy like she can’t afford to provide for her son. But it’s also about Alicia feeling like a failure again. She loves Jacob so much she’s overcompensating because she’s not his real mum.”

If she’s worried about what Andy thinks, does that mean she’s really falling for him?
“She really likes him and they want the same kind of things out of life. He’s a simple kind of guy. He has no plans to rule the world, but would be quite happy settling down with the right woman and seeing to the needs of his family.”

How does he get on with Jacob?
“Andy takes him for a day on the farm and Alicia loves the fact they seem to have bonded.”

Might that help her worry less about competing with Justin?
“It might if Jacob’s birthday wasn’t coming. She knows Justin’s present will be better than anything she can afford. And it is. It arrives early and she opens it and sees it’s a flash new iPod. Alicia knows the Lego set she was planning to buy will look ridiculous in comparison.”

How far will she go to make sure Jacob gets a dream birthday? Would she swap the presents?
“That would be bad, but what she does is worse. She’s so determined to get the money for a bigger and better gift that she ends up going down a very bad path…”