Emmerdale star Lucy Pargeter tells TV Times magazine how her daughter Lola and exotic smoothies help her cope with Chas Dingle’s agony…

You’ve had a pretty tough time of it as Chas lately…

“The last year has been relentless. It has been emotional crisis after emotional crisis, but that has been brilliant for me if I am honest. And at the moment, I am following Jason Vale’s juice plan and I am feeling fantastic.”

Chas is really preoccupied at the moment with Cameron’s odd behaviour…

“At no point does she think there is a body lurking anywhere, but Chas has noticed that Cameron is acting strangely. He keeps disappearing, he’s moody and being a bit distant. She wants to know what is behind it.”

How do you juggle working on the soap with having eight-year-old daughter Lola?

“I have been working really long hours recently and when I do have a morning off, there is a lot to do around the house, so I like to use it as an opportunity to bond. Lola’s currently trying to put a dressing gown on whilst it’s hanging on the clothes horse!”

Do you have extra help?

“A babysitter. She’s not really a nanny, but she does the school pick-up, tea and her bath. I always cook when I get in, no matter how late it is, so that Lola has a proper home-cooked dinner the next day. Like all working mums, I have to juggle and there is that thing of constantly feeling guilty.”

But does the work go some way in making up for it?

“I have been at Emmerdale for 10 years in September and it doesn’t feel like five minutes, and that’s because I am doing a job I enjoy. Some days I work from 7am until 8pm, but because we all have a laugh here and we get on, it’s like being with your mates and you enjoy it and suddenly a day turns into 10 years.”

Did you plan to stay so long?

“No, I didn’t. I initially had a two-week contract, left to do six months on Crossroads and then came back. I don’t make future plans. I like to live by the seat of my pants. I live for the moment and if that carries on it will be amazing, but if it doesn’t, then I am sure we will cope.”

How will Chas react when she realises that Cameron is a killer?

“What would she do? What could she do? I have no idea how I would play it. I wonder if it would open up the whole Carl thing? It would be good for Chas to find out she didn’t actually kill Carl as living with that guilt is a huge burden.”

Do you get stopped a lot in the street?

“It’s funny, the more I try not to look like Chas, the more people recognise me. I don’t dress like her at all. I feel very very self-conscious in some of her revealing outfits, but they are so right for her.”

What is a typical weekend like for you?

“The weekend is our family time. Lola and I go riding on a Sunday and we all go for Sunday lunch together.”

You have been engaged to fiance Rudi for eight years. Do you plan to get married?

“People are always asking me when we are going to get married, but it’s not really important. We are together and Lola couldn’t be happier because she’s got parents in a stable relationship.”

Do you watch Emmerdale yourself?

“I have got six weeks worth on Sky Plus at the moment. I don’t watch it all. It is just stuff that I may feel I played wrong and I want to see how it comes across. Find out how I can improve. It is never a pat on the back watch – I am constantly thinking ‘What can I do better?”

Do you really enjoy playing Chas?

“I do love her. With Chas, you don’t know if she is going to punch you, take you out for a drink or have an affair with you. She is a complex character and they are the best. I feel like a very lucky lady when it comes to my job.”

Do you feel lucky in life generally?

“Yes. Work is good. Life is good. Juice is good! I am about to do a pear and parsnip one. It’s got lime, apple and mint in it!”