Soaps are renowned for tackling important issues, opening up conversations between the millions of viewers who tune in.
And ITV’s Emmerdale is no exception, with one upcoming storyline showing the dangers of using your mobile phone while driving.
When Megan Macey, played by Leeds-born star Gaynor Faye since 2012, is running late to see on-off love interest Frank (played by Michael Praed), she sends him a quick text to assure him she’s on her way.
But in doing so, she accidentally crashes into the back of another car, which knocks over Emmerdale legend, Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell).
“It was fine for me – ask the stunt lady and she’ll tell you another answer...” says the 47 year-old actress about filming the scene. “I still gave myself a bit of whiplash though, I always just go for it, because there’s nothing worse than a bad stunt.
“I constantly pass people in the car on their phones. It’s great that we’re raising awareness of it, because it’s really dangerous.”
The mother-of-two says there “definitely” should be consequences to Megan’s actions played out on screen, adding the thought of going to prison crosses her mind.
“She’s kind of going, ‘If I just keep my mouth shut, it will all go away’,” she explains. “Then she confesses to Frank, because I don’t think she can keep it all in her own head, and he’s got a completely different take on it. He wants her to keep very quiet.
“I know she’s quite a cold fish, but she has got a conscience. Especially when it’s to do with people; she’s always got on with Eric and obviously her daughter’s in her car. What will people think of her? There are all sorts of reasons why she doesn’t want it getting out there.”
“I love working with Michael Praed, he’s just the best, “He’s so wonderful, he’s such a great team player.”
When it comes to similarities with her soap persona, Faye, whose mum is Kay Mellor, admits she’s also not afraid to speak her mind in real life.
“For me, I hate injustice, I hate when things aren’t fair, so I would be outspoken then.”
However, she would never be quite as forthright as Megan.
“And I wouldn’t be going backwards and forwards with men,” she quips. “Definitely not – when they’re exes, they’re exes, and they’re an ex for a reason.”
The star loves how glamorous she gets to be on set.
“It’s lovely to come in and play someone who is so manicured, because I am so unmanicured in real life,” she confides.
“I come in and my hair is really curly, I wear no make-up, I’m usually always in pretty comfy stuff, so it’s nice. She’s so different from me, she’s so structured and manicured. It does help you get into character.”
Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.