Emmerdale’s Sammy Winward: ‘A happy ending would have been nice!’

Sammy Winward was just 15 when she joined Emmerdale and now she’s ready to say goodbye to Katie Sugden. But her exit is not going to be pretty…

It’s a tense time for Katie and Robert, tell us what’s going through her head?
“Katie knows that Robert is having an affair with somebody and she also knows that if she carries on pursuing it, she will lose her marriage and her friends.”

This leads to a showdown with her caravan going up in flames. What was that like to film?
“There is a huge explosion. We were told to stand 25 metres away and Kelvin Fletcher, who plays Andy, wasn’t wearing earplugs. We both hate cheesy reactions to explosions, so had planned to cover our faces when it went off, but it was so big and so loud, that we looked completely natural as we were genuinely scared.’

And that’s just the start. Can you tell us what happens next?
“It’s going to be dramatic. Katie’s relationship with Robert is really explored and the week will change the lives of a few characters for a while. It is one of the most dramatic storylines I have ever done on the show.

“I was delighted when I heard that they were bringing Robert back and I loved this idea of the past creeping in.”

After 13 years on Emmerdale, was it difficult to leave?
“It’s not a decision I have made lightly. I’ve had the most amazing 13 years and I’m going to miss everyone terribly. I have loved every second of playing Katie. There is a great atmosphere at Emmerdale. It’s a really good group of people. Everyone gets along – there are no bad eggs. But it is now time for me to move on.”

Will you miss working with Kevlin?
“We have known each other for ever. We are pretty much like Andy and Katie I suppose. We can be really honest with each other and are always laughing and taking the Mick. He is a real gent. Very sweet, but I wind him up and he always falls for it.

“I enjoy working with Kelvin so much; I was the one who suggested that Katie get back with Andy. I thought it would be nice to have some really emotional stuff, as opposed to the high energy stunts.”

How have you juggled filming Emmerdale and being a mum to daughter Mia?
“I’ve never struggled with it, really, because my family are very supportive. My mum has always been there to look after Mia, so I have never had childcare issues.

“Mia watches Emmerdale with my mum because it means she can stay up for an extra half an hour. She has got to the point where she knows it isn’t real. When the mineshaft stuff happened, she didn’t quite get that, but she’s older now.

“She has visited the set a few times. She goes to a theatre school on Saturdays. She loves it. Hopefully she’ll do something that she wants – at this point, it is either acting or fashion designing.”

Can we look forward to a happy ending?
“It’s a recipe for disaster really. A happy ending would have been nice, but this is kind of history repeating itself.”

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