Emmerdale‘s Natalie Anderson talks to Soaplife about Alicia’s burning ambition to get away from the Dales with Jacob and Andy – no matter how much it hurts Leyla

So why is Alicia so restless all of a sudden?
“She’s looking around and seeing everyone’s moving on – Justin’s moved on, Leyla’s getting engaged. She’s thinking long-term and that’s what’s provoked this sudden desire to move to Spain with Andy.””

And she doesn’t care about Leyla’s feelings?
“I don’t think it’s crossed her mind that Leyla might be quite upset about Jake [the son she gave to Alicia] not being around any more. I think Alicia’s thinking: ‘Well, Leyla wasn’t with him for the first seven years of his life…’. ”

So, how would Alicia feel if she knew Leyla was telling Jacob he could stay with her if he didn’t want to go?
“She’d probably want to beat her up! Only joking! But she wouldn’t be at all happy. She’d be furious with Leyla putting ideas in his head – Alicia doesn’t want him confused.”

How does Alicia think Jacob will like living in Spain?
“She’s thinking they should make the move now, while he’s young. Alicia’s thinking it’ll be a really good thing – Jacob will soak up all the culture and the language.”

And what about Justin, Jacob’s dad?
“Alicia’s very reluctant to tell him because she knows he’ll hit the roof. She tries for as long as possible not to say a word. Eventually, though, she does go and see him, and they do discuss it. Justin’s not happy but not dismissive of the idea. This is good as far as Alicia’s concerned. She can see Justin is looking at it from her and Jake’s perspective and realises it could be beneficial for his son.”

How soon will they go?
“Once Alicia has the idea she wants to do it now! She’s very much a do-er.”

Is there anything that would stop Alicia going ahead with her plans?
“Not really; unless there was a big family problem. If there was something wrong with either Andy’s family or Leyla and David, she wouldn’t go. For example, if someone was ill…”