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July 1, 2020

Five minutes with… Anna Nightingale and Alexander Lincoln

Sports

P
Pa
July 1, 2020

At a time when there’s a lot of uncertainty, there’s one thing soap fans can rely on: plenty of dramatic storylines.

Anna Nightingale and Alexander Lincoln only joined the cast of ITV’s Emmerdale last year, as Andrea and Jamie Tate. But it’s been a tumultuous time on screen so far for their characters — especially since Andrea discovered her husband’s affair with Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper).

The latest twist is that Andrea has disappeared, leaving their young daughter Millie (Willow Bell) behind — and in forthcoming episodes we will see Jamie’s mother, Kim Tate (Claire King), try to encourage him to forget about his wife.

But when Jamie realises no-one knows Andrea’s whereabouts, he starts to worry that she might have done something stupid. After tracking her down, he sets off to bring her back to the village, but will he regret making the journey?

HOW’S IT BEEN RETURNING TO SET WITH THE SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES IN PLACE?

Anna: It was really good to see some familiar faces and we all had inductions so we could get used to being back at work again. There’s so much been put in place, so everyone feels comfortable. It’s very surreal because everyone is having to keep a distance, and there is a family vibe in the studio and on set. I do feel really safe, and it’s a really nice environment.

Alex: They have a one-way system around the unit of the studio, which means if you take the wrong turn you have to walk all the way around the studio again. It’s nice not talking to yourself, and seeing new people and having new conversations, and not being stuck in your flat eating terrible food and drink!

HOW MUCH OF THE EPISODES WERE FINISHED BEFORE LOCKDOWN?

Alex: The last day before lockdown, I was a bit ill that morning — nothing to do with Covid-19. I came in to work and I got sent home early. The assistant director had to stand in and shot all the scenes with the back of his head. I’ll have to come in and act at the back of what would be Claire’s head.

Thankfully I didn’t get a haircut after that — I got a little bit of a tan, but it’s all gone now. I look pretty much the same, which has worked out quite well.

YOU MUST BE REALLY ENJOYING BEING BACK FILMING…

Anna: Absolutely. It almost feels like a new job. Everyone is trying to make the best out of it all, and we’re not taking it for granted.

Alex: It’s amazing. I’ve been part of some amazing storylines and to show Jamie’s three-dimensional ability is amazing. There are so many different degrees to him. To be at the centre of this love triangle is brilliant and it is so fun to play. I couldn’t say a bad word about them. It’s great.

TALKING OF THE LOVE TRIANGLE, DOES JAMIE BELIEVE HE HAS A FUTURE WITH BELLE?

Alex: I think at this point, especially with Andrea initially taking Millie, he is so angry at her for that — even though it doesn’t justify his behaviour. I don’t think he sees him and Andrea getting back together due to sheer anger. With Andrea out of the picture, Jamie has got everything he wants, Millie is back, and things are back to normal.

HOW DID IT FEEL FOR ANDREA WHEN SHE RETURNED TO THE VILLAGE TO SEE JAMIE AND BELLE TOGETHER?

Anna: Leyla (Roxy Shahidi) has got her back to a place where she isn’t going to run back into Jamie’s arms. To get back and the very first thing she sees is him with Belle, she realises nothing’s changed. At the beginning, she is angry at Leyla for that, because she was convinced that she was coming back to her husband at least being worried about their safety. If anything, it has probably brought them [Jamie and Belle] closer together.

SO, THEN SHE RUNS OFF AGAIN, LEAVING MILLIE BEHIND. IS THAT A GOOD DECISION?

Anna: Having seen Jamie and Belle, I think it’s the first moment that she realises that he loves this other woman. There’s more to it and she realises that she is alone for the first time.

All kinds of thoughts go through her head, and whether she is fit to be a mother to Millie in that moment. She knows that Jamie is a good father, and she doesn’t know what she’s going to do, so she just runs.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANDREA?

Anna: I wouldn’t suggest leaving her child! My advice would be that she’s not alone and people should look to her friends; does she have another network of people that could help her out? She just needs to dig deep and find some strength to be a mum and look after herself.

DOES JAMIE BEGIN TO WORRY FOR ANDREA’S SAFETY?

Alex: At this point, she’s dropped off Millie and gone off on her own — seemingly seeing sense and going off on her own. He is still fearful … She’s still Millie’s mum.

There is a lot that happens which changes the whole scenario as it is. His outlook on his and Andrea’s relationship shifts monumentally, and so does his and Belle’s… Emmerdale airs on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on ITV.