Home and Away star Emily Symons said she would never have forgiven herself if she hadn’t left the UK to care for her ill mother.

The actress left her role as Louise Appleton in Emmerdale in 2008, and returns to screens as Summer Bay’s dizzy Marilyn Fisher next Friday.

Emily, who spent 10 months caring full-time for her cancer-hit mum Glenn, told Australia’s The Daily Telegraph: “Mothers and daughters have a very special bond – and it was easy for me to say, ‘This is the time to be with her’.”

She went on: “I would never have forgiven myself if I wasn’t there when she needed me.”

As the oldest of three children, Emily said she felt a “responsibility” to be back home with her mum.

She added that her time in the UK was “an amazing experience.”

“In so many ways it was terrific – but then my marriage ran into problems and my mother became sick with cancer,” she said.

“I was travelling back and forth between the UK and Australia when mum first got sick, but in the end it was unfair on the script writers and producers of Emmerdale and unfair for Mum.”

Click here to watch whatsontv.co.uk’s weekly soaps video preview, the Soap Scoop