Emmerdale star Emma Atkins has confessed shooting the fire scenes for this year’s Christmas special pushed her to the limit.

Charity Sharma comes on to Declan Macey (Jason Merrells) in the pub to try and make ex-husband Jai jealous. But when they get back to Home Farm, Charity changes her mind. Her rejection is too much for Declan after such a terrible year, and he decides to torch the house.

Emma revealed: “While filming these scenes, we had to literally stand there for hours in torrential rain. I’ve never worked in conditions so hard actually – it was one of the most challenging days that I’ve had on the show and I love it for that reason. It’s going to get even more challenging for me now because I’m getting involved with this fabulous storyline where Declan and Charity join forces.”

She added: “They’ve done a replica of Home Farm – the exterior of it. They’ve done it on location at the village and you would not believe it’s a different building, as it looks incredible. Obviously there’s certain angles they can’t film from – you can tell if you walk round the side that it’s not the real Home Farm! But it’s so incredible.

“Credit to all the people who were involved in the making of that, as it’s done by such talented people, It seems unfortunate then to go and burn it in that way! They built it to burn it!”

Charity and Declan team up to help each other out in business, and Emma refuses to give away if their relationship will develop into something more.

She said: “Well, at the moment it’s platonic – it’s just for insurance and one another’s financial gain. Well, not for Declan, he’s more still this lost soul – but they do have a lot of respect for each other!”