Secrets can never stay buried forever in Emmerdale – and the dead body of corrupt DI Malone is a ticking timebomb that is already pushing luckless local vicar Harriet Finch to breaking point.
And actress Katherine Dow Blyton, who has wowed fans with her deeply emotional performances recently, has shared her certainty that her alter ego would take the full fall for the killing in order to protect Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley).
Joining Metro.co.uk for a chat, she teased: ‘There have to be consequences – that body is not going to stay in the ground forever. It’ll be terrifying – I can’t even imagine how that’s going to get resolved. But these bodies are inevitably found aren’t they?
‘Harriet will take the blame – and let’s face it, she did crack him with a kettle, she did bury him and destroy evidence. Her hands aren’t exactly clean. She would take the fall for Dawn and protect her.’
It’s been agonising to watch poor Harriet apart and the actress has admitted that it has been testing playing such constant misery for the character, especially during these times.
She reflected: ‘You kind of just want to have a laugh really! You finish and go home, you read the scripts and it’s all crying and you are just desperate to have a laugh, especially during these times – you want to go to the pub with your mates and laugh, if only that were possible!
‘It’s good to play, I suppose it’s a drama isn’t it and it’s great to have a big storyline. But I watch back earlier episodes – when I was younger, thinner and had a smile on my face, Harriet used to have quite a laugh. Back in the day!’
Sadly things aren’t about to get any easier in the future as Harriet hits a further rock bottom when she hits the bottle and spirals out of control – and when Lucas goes missing while in her care, there are devastating consequences for Dawn when social services turn up.
Katherine sighed: ‘She’s struggling with everything – she is haunted by Malone. She sees Will and Kim together and the jealousy explodes; she always hoped she and Will would make amends and support each other. Harriet sees something between them and she is enraged. It doesn’t end well. She makes everything worse!
‘How much can one person take? There is going to have to be something that she can tune in on and try and face her demons. She is struggling with her faith and this is the final straw – she doesn’t know if she still has her faith. God, I feel sorry for her now!
‘A situation for a lot of people of the church is they’re there for everyone else and their problems and the idea is they turn to God. But if their faith is wavering, they really are on their own.’
One ally she could find in her corner is new fellow vicar Charles and Katherine is confident that they could eventually make a great double act – if Harriet gets through her nightmare that it!
She mused: ‘At first, she was obviously very suspicious – she thought she was out of here. She has tried to push him away but she does see that he could be a friend to her. At the moment, she is wondering why he is really there and is he going to be pushing her about the grave.
‘Once she starts spinning lies, you get caught out. I think it’ll be a nice duo when all this other stuff calms down. And the village needs a vicar who has it together and is not hanging off the edge of a cliff!’
Fans are desperate for Harriet to pull herself up and get through this as they worry for her mental health and her path into darkness and Katherine revealed that the storyline will be about how low Harriet can sink and how much she can endure before she sees a light and starts the hard journey of climbing back up.
Addressing fan reaction, the star smiled: ‘There’s a lot of reactions like “what kind of vicar does she think she is?” But there is a lot of sympathy out there for her, people can see that she is on a downward spiral and she is just really lost.
‘She’s just trying to keep her head above water with difficulty. Some fans seem to be worried about what’s happening to her -fans are generally very nice and supportive.’
And that’s exactly what poor Harriet needs right now – especially when that body is unearthed. But how would Harriet cope in prison?
Katherine laughed: ‘Well, she will have plenty of time for contemplation and reflection – who knows? We will wait and see what wonderful story they come up with for her!’
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