World Cup fever infects the cast of Emmerdale

Emmerdale stars Tony Audenshaw (Bob), Natalie Anderson (Alicia) and Roxy Shahidi (Leyla) have gotten into the party spirit with some Brazil 2014 World Cup themed fancy dress. They tell TV Times what this year’s World Cup means to them…

What do you think of your outfit?
Tony: “I’m used to dressing up – I’ve run a few races in silly costumes, but I have never done Brazilian showgirl Carmen Miranda. It is far too heavy to run in. I have got a mate who dressed as her in the marathon a few years ago. He got an amazing reaction, even though nobody knew who he was!”
Roxy: “I was down to wear the Brazil colours, but my partner was furious that I wasn’t wearing the England shirt, so I had to ask Natalie if we could swap. I have literally just taken a picture of myself and sent it to him.”
Natalie: “I love the Brazil colours, I think the strip is gorgeous and looks great with a tan which I have because I have been sitting in the garden. I’m quite comfortable about dressing up. I used to be a cheerleader for Bradford City.”

Will you be watching the World Cup?
Tony: “I think most of the matches will be on at night, so I will be recording them and trying my best to avoid the results, like that classic episode of The Likely Lads. The World Cup is a good excuse to be down the pub and spend a bit of time with my son who is mad keen on football, he is 19 and knows a lot more about the game than I do. I might have a party. I’ll throw on a sombrero when Spain are playing and serve tapas or get some German beer in for the Germany matches.”
Roxy: “No, I won’t. However, if people get really excited towards the end if England do well, the mood will be infectious and I might join in. If England drop out, my partner will still follow it until the end as he loves football, but I will make the most of the time to catch up with my girlfriends.”
Natalie: “I am not a big fan of football, but I do love the World Cup as there is a real sense of camaraderie. I like that side of it, but rugby is my sport.

Which home team do you support?
Tony: “Manchester United, they have not had a great year this year, they have quite a few players in the World Cup, so we are hoping they play well.”
Roxy: “I kind of have to support Nottingham Forest because my partner is such a big fan. He has a season ticket and I know more about Nottingham Forest than I want to.”
Natalie: “I suppose I’d say I am a Bradford City girl as I worked for them for quite some time – I was a cheerleader for six years. Really, both myself and husband James prefer rugby. I think he will watch it the same as me. We will probably go along with it or even have a World Cup Party where the boys watch the match and the girls have drinks.”

What is your favourite world cup memory?
Tony: “I was in a play when I was at college in the nineties and missed the 1990 World Cup England v Belgium game. Afterwards, we avoided any conversations about the score and went round somebody’s house to watch it. It was a really dull game until the 90th minute when David Platt scored.”
Roxy: “I remember when that man cried, what’s his name? Gazza, that’s right. I think that’s the sum total of my world cup memories.”
Natalie: “I was in Italy with my mum when the World Cup was held there in 1990. It was a massive thing and I have a vivid memory of Gazza crying. My mum had two bottles of wine, a red one and a white one made in the shape of the World Cup.”

Who is the biggest footie fan at Emmerdale?
Tony: “A lot of us support football and there is a lot of football banter. We play fantasy football and Zoe Henry (Rhona) did very well in this year’s contest. Her husband Jeff Hordley is a big footie fan. He supports Man City and as a Man Utd supporter, I get the odd sniping football related text from him. It will be nice to support the same team during the World Cup and if we can, we’ll all go down to the pub together after work.”
Roxy: “Charlie Hardwick (Val) is a huge Newcastle fan. She doesn’t bother talking to me about football as she knows she would get no response.”
Natalie: “Yes, Charlie will be into the World Cup in a big way. And Michelle Hardwick (Vanessa) is the only female player on the Emmerdale football team.”

Who is your money on to win?
Tony: “Brazil. Home teams do well. I think the Spanish will do well too. England might struggle because they are not used to playing in the heat.”
Roxy: “England? That would be nice, but they are never going to win are they? I hope some random weird country wins.”
Natalie: “I don’t know. I know France always do well and obviously Brazil.”

Do you know the offside rule?
Tony: “Of course I do!”
Roxy: “No.”
Natalie: “Yes, is that where if someone is passing the ball, your player has to be in front of the other team’s. If they are behind somebody… oh, I can’t explain it to you, but I do know it!”

Any advice for World Cup widows?
Tony: “My wife and daughter aren’t really interested. They’ll just let us get on with it and do our own thing. That’s all you can do.”
Roxy: “If you try and stop your man from watching football during the World Cup it will be like taking toys from a child. It’s not worth it. You have to utilise your free time and make your own plans for when the big matches are on.”
Natalie: “I won’t have that problem. I think it is a case of ‘If you can’t beat them, join them.’ If the weather is nice, there should be a great party atmosphere and everyone can join in.”


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