Emmerdale‘s Steve Halliwell reveals to Soaplife why Zak starts lying about his health – and how he could end up digging his own grave!

Zak’s more frightened of having a mental illness than the worst physical illness. So when the doctors tell him that he is physically fit and well he can’t accept it. Instead, he lies to his family that his cancer’s back. And one lie leads to another. “He’s half aware of what he’s doing, but reality and fantasy have become very blurred,” says Steve. And dangerously so when he tells the biggest lie of all!

Why won’t Zak believe the doctors when they tell him his cancer hasn’t returned?
“He’s feeling so unwell he’s convinced they’ve missed something. He gets very angry when the doctor refuses to do more tests and security has to be called.”

Then he goes home and tells Lisa it’s cancer again. Why?
“Because she questions him over and over and he has no answer. He’s mentally unbalanced and digging himself in deeper.”

And the lie gets much worse when everyone wants to know why he’s not having treatment…
“Yes. He says the cancer’s gone too far for any treatment. It’s just to shut everyone up, but once he’s said it he can’t retract it. He’s just saying anything that comes into his head. And he’s heaping more stress on himself with all the lies.”

Is this rock bottom for Zak?
“Viewers see him cowering in a ditch alone on the moors after causing a scene at Belle’s school. He has no idea where he is. He starts fantasising and talking to people who have died. He’s frightened of everything. He gets progressively worse and is convinced that Cain is on the moors looking for him because he wants to kill him.”