Emmerdale’s Joe Gill tells Soaplife about how Finn finds the mother he hasn’t seen for 22 years

The very mention of Emma Barton’s name triggers a barrage of pantomime boos and hisses from sons Pete (Anthony Quinlan) and Ross and ex-husband James (Bill Ward). Why is she so hated? We’re set to find out when her youngest son, Finn, knocks on her door and attempts to forge a bond with the mum he doesn’t remember. “He hasn’t seen her for 22 years and he thinks that’s long enough,” says Joe . What will Emma (Gillian Kearney) make of that?

How does Finn find Emma?

“Harriet finds her address, for which he is very grateful. However, as soon as Harriet [Katherine Dow Blyton] tells Finn she has found her, he thinks, ‘What’s going to happen? How will my brothers and dad react? It opens another can and worms and he’s incredibly nervous. She is a complete stranger and he wonders if they’ll get on.”

What does he know about his mum?

“Not much. He’s aware that his dad and brothers are not her biggest fans. Finn doesn’t know the full story of her departure, though…”

Why is it so important for Finn to meet his mum?

“I don’t think that Finn has many people who understand him. He has a strong relationship with Ross [Michael Parr], but there are not many other people he really trusts and connects with. He wonders if he could have a strong bond with him mum. Also, he has had a tough year – him nearly dying has woken him up. He realises his life could have ended without him ever knowing his mum. He feels more desperate than ever to see her.”

Who does he confide in once he has the address?

“He’s in two minds about telling his family, but he does tell Val [Charlie Hardwick] and Pollard [Chris Chittell]. They’re very supportive and it says a lot that he’s gone to them first.”

Who goes with him to her house?

“Val, Pollard and Victoria [Isabel Hodgins] all go for support. He knows they all have his best interests at heart. They don’t have any family attachment, so they can see the situation from the outside.”

What’s it like when Finn meets Emma?

“You’ll have to wait and see. I was very nervous on the day we filmed and I hope I did it justice. It is very emotional.”

Emmerdale, ITV. Click here for dates and times.