Dr Bailey’s affair with Belle in Emmerdale causes him to take his eye off the ball – which means David learns he has cancer in the worst possible way.

Matthew Wolfenden tells Soaplife all about it…

So, what goes wrong?

“Doctor Bailey [Micah Balfour] is in his consulting room, having a bit of nookie with Belle behind the examination curtain when David walks in. The doctor’s flustered… he hides Belle [Eden Taylor-Draper] and wants rid of David as soon as possible. He knocks some papers to the floor and, when he picks them up, he thinks he’s looking at David’s test results. He says: ‘You’re all clear. It’s just a little lump, although we still might have to remove it.’ And David leaves thinking everything is OK.”

How does he find out that everything is definitely not OK?

“David goes off to celebrate in the pub with Jacob [Joe-Warren Plant] and his dad, Pollard [Chris Chittell]. He’s high as a kite and a bit drunk when Dr Bailey shows up after finding the correct paperwork. He says: ‘I’ve made a mistake and it’s a bad one. I’m sorry. You have cancer…’ and David suddenly hits rock bottom. The next you know, David’s sat on the stairs at home crying.”

Have you done any research for this storyline?

“I’ve done a lot of Googling and talked to a lot of people. Several crew members have had breast, prostate or testicular cancer. From what I’ve gathered, it affects everyone differently.”

This is a very different storyline for David.

“True. David is one of the dafter characters in the show and that aspect of him is something they don’t want to lose. The big thing our producer has said about friends with cancer is that they don’t just go off and sit in a dark room until they’re well. They get on with life. David will still be David, but he has cancer. I think it’s at night when he’s on his own that you will see the fragilty. He’s very scared.”

Are you working alongside any charities?

“The Lorraine show are doing a ‘Check Your Chaps’ strand. By chance, this coincides with the storyline and they’ve asked me to be involved. I’m going to visit some patients, talk to people in the cast and do some live link-ups. I’ll be asking some of the younger cast members if they check themselves.”

Will David lose his hair?

“I got called in and asked how I’d feel if that did happen. If that is the case, then I’d go the whole hog and do it properly, eyebrows, beard, the lot. I wouldn’t want to be half-hearted about it because it isn’t fair when there are people out there going through cancer for real.”

Emmerdale, ITV