Tony Audenshaw: ‘Comedy is important in soap’

Tony Audenshaw has said it is important to keep an element of humour in Brenda Walker’s cancer storyline in Emmerdale.

Brenda Walker (Lesley Dunlop) is having chemotherapy after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, and she has decided she wants to take her relationship with Bob Hope (Audenshaw) to the next level by commemorating their love in a hand-fasting ceremony.

But while she is secretly organising the ceremony, Bob, who has often been a comedy character in the soap, is secretly organising a big, dramatic proposal.

Tony said: “I think the whole story has had comedy, right from when they got together and it’s great to have that humour running through it.

“Often people look at anything associated with cancer and think it’s all doom and gloom and it isn’t. People go through treatment.

“My mum was an 11-year cancer survivor and there was no way on God’s earth it was terrible all that time. We had some great times during that period, you do so I think it’s great there’s some comedy going through the story.”

The actor thinks it is important to highlight the issues surrounding cancer in the storyline, and break the taboos of talking about the illness that affects so many people.

He said: “Let’s face it, every viewer who’s watching will have a family member who’s had cancer or tumours and a lot of the stuff goes on privately at home and sometimes people find it difficult to go around when they’re not well because they’re worried about what to say or what to do and often when you’re going through chemo you’re not up to being visited. But then at times it’s great to have people pop round and have a bit of a chat.”