Emmerdale’s Dominic Brunt tells Soaplife why Paddy cheated on Rhona – and how he ends up offering her a ring…

Who’d have thought it? Paddy Kirk having it away with a strange woman in the back of a car – a very small car, at that. He’s been feeling guilty ever since and his worst nightmare comes true when Tess Harris, his one-night squeeze, turns up in the village – as Leo’s new teaching assistant.

“It is awful for Paddy,” said Dominic. “The worst thing is, she is very good at her job and Leo loves her.”

So why has Paddy done something so stupid?

“He uses Rhona’s kiss with Marlon as an excuse, but the whole point of the storyline is that things like this do happen to ordinary couples. Paddy was perfectly happy. He loves his wife and he adores Leo. Tess [Nicola Stephenson] was just there at the right time. He couldn’t tell Rhona about all the stuff with Aaron [Danny Miller], so he blurted it out to Tess and, well, that led to what happened in the back of the Yaris.”

What did you think when you were told about the storyline?

“I took it as a compliment and I was really pleased to be working alongside somebody of Nicola’s calibre. I have been waiting for a story like this and I am really going to indulge in it.”

Do you worry that viewers will start to loathe Paddy?

“No. I never look for sympathy. I’ve been in scenes where people have said, ‘I’m not doing that, the audience will hate me!’ but I would never do that.”

What did you think when you were told they would have sex in her car?

“Nicola said to me: ‘One of the big reveals is: Paddy is a contortionist.’ I remember turning up to film and saying, ‘That car?’ My head was right up against the visor!’”

What does Zoe [Henry, who plays Rhona], think about it?

“We have had a fairly quiet year and both of us got a bit giddy and excited when we found out. She wanted to know if Paddy and Rhona stay together. We both know the outcome, but we’re not saying anything!”

Will Paddy sleep with Tess again?

“There is a lot of guilt and regret on his part, but that might not be enough to stop him. Tess is around and she is easy to talk to.”

What would Marlon say?

“I’m not sure how far down the line it is before he finds out. Paddy does tell one person, but it’s not Marlon [Mark Charnock].”

After all this, Paddy goes down on one knee to Rhona – and they’re already married. What’s he doing?

“Rhona has lost her engagement ring, so Paddy, fuelled by guilt over what he did with Tess, buys her a new one… Well, he pretends to find the old one and gets down on one knee to give it to her. She says he is the best husband in the world and that makes him feel even worse!”

Could Paddy fall in love with Tess?

“He might. Watch this space.”

Emmerdale, ITV