Lesley Dunlop reveals to Soaplife why Brenda finally makes the decision everyone wants her make: to have the brain surgery that could save her life in Emmerdale.

So, what makes Brenda decide to have the operation?

“Having passed out on Gennie’s wedding day, Brenda wakes up in hospital and finds herself surrounded by her friends and family. She suddenly realises what she’s in danger of losing and this makes her decide to go ahead with surgery. She’s actually just as scared of losing the people she loves as they are of losing her.”

Bet Gennie’s happy…

“Of course she’s very pleased, but she wants to know that Brenda has come to this decision herself and that it’s not because she feels forced into it by Gennie and everyone else. Gennie’s reassured when Brenda tells her that’s how it is.”

So, what happens next?

“The neurosurgeon is very positive which makes Brenda feel like she’s doing the right thing, but she’s also told exactly what will happen on the operating table and that’s terrifying. Brenda could die during the operation. Or she could have some kind of brain damage and complications could occur. The best case scenario is that she makes a full recovery and is able to live a normal, happy life.”

Has this storyline been hard to act?

“I got some information from our researchers and I did research of my own on the internet. Also, the mother of one of our cameramen had a brain tumour and he was able to help me with the ‘zoning out’ bits that I knew nothing about.”

How have viewers responded to Brenda’s illness?

“A lot of viewers have said they’re very grateful to Emmerdale for highlighting this illness. It’s more common than we think.”