Emmerdale newcomer Kelli Hollis talks to Soaplife about how her character arrives in the village with a bang – and a female partner…

How would you describe Ali?
“She’s feisty and she’ll do anything for her kids. She has left her husband for a woman and now she has to deal with how that affects her son, Sean, and daughter, Amelia.”

How did her marriage break down?
“Ali has left her husband of 15 years – who is apparently a good man and a great father – because she met Ruby and has fallen in love with her. This is about a fresh start for all of them. There are no doubts in Ali’s mind where Ruby is concerned. She didn’t take the decision to leave her husband and split up the family lightly; she’s fallen in love and she is 100 per cent committed to Ruby.”

Why doesn’t Ali tell Sean about moving to the village?
“She thinks Sean will do a runner. They’re obviously having problems with him already and that would probably be the icing on the cake. The anger he’s got has been building because not only has his mum left his dad, but she’s left him for a woman. He’s bound to rebel. He’s 14 and he’s angry!”

And the day they move in is a disaster as Amelia is hurt…
“While they’re moving furniture in they take their eyes off her. Carl and Cameron are messing about trying to get at each other and Amelia steps out into the road as Carl is reversing. Luckily, Sam grabs her, but she dislocates her shoulder. So Ali reacts by punching Carl in the face. I don’t think she’s necessarily a violent person, but she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her kids.”

Do you think Ali will settle into the village?
“I think for a while she’ll question whether she has made the right decision, due to Sean’s reaction – and her ex-husband’s. He’s set to turn up on her doorstep some time in the future…”