Natalie J Robb reveals she's protective of her screen son Matty and the actor who plays him

Moira recently discovered that daughter Hannah is now living life as a man called Matty, but despite her efforts to connect with her son, next week it looks like Matty has given up on her….

Here Emmerdale Natalie J Robb reveals what’s next for Moira and Matty – and why she’s protective of Ash Palmisciano, who plays her screen son

Can you sum up Moira’s feelings when Hannah returned as Matty?

Natalie J Rob: “It was a total jaw-dropper. She was like, ‘What is going on?’ and she felt like she had failed as a mother.”

Matty in Emmerdale

Matty rejects Moira’s help after being attacked

Was the bigger shock for Moira that he’d kept all of this a secret?

NJR: “Exactly. She has taken it all very personally. That he felt he couldn’t come to her is a failure in her eyes.”

Moira has gained a son but lost a daughter – how is she coping?

NJR: “She’s grieving. She feels that she has missed out on so much and now, all of a sudden, Hannah is someone else; a stranger.”

Moira gets a call this week to say that Matty is in hospital – can you tell us what happens?

NJR: “Matty gets beaten up and Moira rushes to the hospital, but he’s very cold with her because she keeps calling him Hannah – it’s not deliberate; she just can’t help it. Soon he’s had enough and says he never wants to see her again. Moira leaves, but then goes back to the hospital and Matty has gone.”

Does she think she has lost him?

NJR: “Yes, she does, and then she drives to Manchester to try to find him. But there’s hope. There’s always hope with Moira…”

Is her goal to start afresh?

NJR: “Yes, and it will be like starting from scratch. She does say to him, ‘I’m learning, so don’t expect me to get it right all the time. But you’re my baby, and I’ll always try.”

Will Moira be very protective of Matty in the future?

NJR: “Yes, we filmed a scene recently where Moira and Matty go out together for the first time. Moira overhears a conversation and gets the wrong end of the stick, and snaps in true Moira style. But then they say, ‘We weren’t taking about that,’ so she makes a fool of herself.”

And have you found yourself feeling protective towards Ash Palmisciano, who plays Matty?

NJR: “Very much so. I’ve said to him, ‘This is going to change your life. Don’t worry about what’s on social media; just keep a level head and stay grounded.’ And he will. He’s actually been through this. That’s what I love about this story – we are dealing with something that is really happening, and that’s wonderful.”

Emmerdale continues on ITV.