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Sun TV Magazine
8 August 2015

Blaze of Glory

Debbie survived the Emmerdale disaster, now Charley Webb hopes the epic explosion will be righfully rewarded

After an unmissable week of telly - a sports car a blaze, an exploding village hall, a fairground disaster, a helicopter crash and three deaths - surely Emmerdale has just secured the 2016 British Soap Award for Spectacular Scene Of The Year?

"I think so," beams Charley Webb, who was once again at the heart of the drama as cheating newlywed Debbie Barton. "I don't think that has ever been done before. But we don't win that often - It's always been the same. When the woolpack siege (in 2013) didn't win anything, I though: 'If that can't win, I don't know what can.'

"But, er, everyone gets a real buzz when we film dramatic storylines like this, and you don't need an award to mark that something's good - you can see it with your own eyes."

During filming of the action-packed episodes, five-months-pregnent Charley was safely tucked away in a cage to protect her from the dust and debris that was flying around the decimated village hall.

"That was for the shots when I was on the floor after the helicopter hit the hall," reveals the 27-year-old actress, who's expecting her second child with co-star boyfriend Matthew Wolfenden (David Metcalfe). "It was just a little bit of extra protection for me, but I like doing all the big stuff. I had stand-ins for rehersals and any bits where Anthony Quinlan (Pete) had to lift me up. The pressure was more on the special-effects and stunt people, but us actors had plenty to get our teeth into."

Does nothing like that really scare her, then? "Spiders scare me," she laughs, "We have the old pick-truck we use at Debbie's garage and there are always cobwebs in it. I won't get in until someone has got rid of them all!"

Debbie has a lot more than spiders to contend with in the village this week, thanks to her disastrous wedding day. Little does she know that while she was unconcious, her new hubby Pete was involved in a fight to the death with the man she's been cheating with - his brother Ross.

"I will be a massive thing if and when she finds out what's happened," says Charley. "God know how she and Pete are going to get past the affair, but this is even bigger, if your partner comes home and tells you he's killed someone, I can't imagine many people standing by them. But I can;t say I've got massive sympathy for Debbie!"

So on a scale of one to 10, how would Charley rate the chances of the Bartons' already troubled marriage surviving beyond this year? "Probably a one," she says with a wry smile. "Possibly zero... Debbie's never been a very lucky character."

Thankfully for Charley, her home life if far rosier, if just a busy, as she prepares to head off on maternity leave later this year. SHould we expect to see Debbie pop up on screen shilw Charley's away like Emma Atkins (Charity) has? "You never know," she teases, "but it might be nice for me to take a break from Debbie for a while. then I can come back really refreshed for new things."

That will be music to the ears of the soap's scriptwriters...

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