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Soaps Interview

Suzanne Shaw (Eve Jenson, 'Emmerdale')

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Suzanne Shaw

© ITV

Suzanne Shaw makes her presence felt in Emmerdale next week as her flirty, man-eating soap counterpart Eve Jenson turns up in the village out of the blue. Granddaughter to Edna (Shirley Stelfox), Eve arrives on her doorstep safe in the knowledge that she'll take her in. Curious about Eve's sudden arrival, though, it's not long before Edna rumbles the real reason behind her decision to leave her life in France - she's running from her mounting debts and problematic marriage. Here, Digital Spy chats to Suzanne about joining the show and which male characters are on her proverbial 'to do' list.

How did the part come about?
"I was asked to audition along with lots and lots of other actresses before Christmas. I received really good feedback from them but I didn't hear anything for ages. Normally, roles are cast quite quickly, so if you don't hear anything in a couple of weeks, you just presume that they've gone with someone else. After Christmas, they asked me to go in for a camera test, so I frantically learned the scripts. I woke up on the morning, though, and I was completely snowed in! They called and cancelled the audition because none of the other actors could make it. I was waiting for a while after that and then I'd set off home from Manchester to London with all my suitcases. I was literally on my doorstep in London when they called to ask if I could do the camera test an hour later! Then another few weeks later, they called up and offered me the part!"

What do you think of Emmerdale's state of play at the moment?
"It's stepped its game up so much in the last year. No longer should it be the underdog!"

What can you tell us about Eve?
"She's feisty and very flirtatious. She's been left with a lot of debt in France and she turns up in the Dales because she has nowhere else to go - she knows that Edna's a real soft touch and wouldn't leave her own family at the front door. Eve does lie to start with because she doesn't want anyone to know why she's actually there - she doesn't want to let everyone know that she's failed again. Edna finds out the truth, though, and demands to know why she lied. Because she's going through a break-up, she deals with it by flirting with the men of the village. She finds it easier to get on with guys than girls - she's quite sarcastic and to-the-point."

Do you think we'll ever meet her husband?
"That's really interesting... I'm not sure. Only if he's hot! That's what I've said to the producers anyway. Johnny Depp would be good, wouldn't he? Imagine if he came into the show? That'd be wicked."

Who's on her proverbial 'to do' list?
"The first guy on Eve's list is Ryan, so I was kissing James Sutton the other day. Then there's a few more coming up, too!"

Who have you mostly been filming with since you arrived?
"Shirley [Stelfox] and Ryan mainly. Everyone's been really welcoming. James was really lovely on the first day I met him - I actually filmed my first scene with him on my very first day. He took me on a guided tour around the village. And then Shirley - she's just such a great mentor. She's really taken me under her wing. There aren't any egos on the show because everyone grafts so hard. That's what makes it such a great working environment - it's so relaxed. There's such an excitement buzzing through the studio at the minute because the programme's been doing so well. You can really feel the atmosphere."

What were you most looking forward to when you arrived in Emmerdale?
"Having a pint in The Woolpack! I just think it's great. When I was filming my first scene in there, I noticed loads of things that I'd not seen before watching it on the television. I was going around saying, 'I didn't realise that picture was there', and, 'I thought the door went that way' - I sounded like a right fan! And then the village - I got quite emotional walking around it. It's so breathtakingly beautiful. It was funny because my husband came to collect me on my first day in the village and he doesn't like to be a fan of anything, but he said it really choked him driving into it."

Why does Andy take an immediate disliking to her?
"When Eve was originally in the show years ago (played by another actress), there was a storyline where all the kids went out for a few drinks, stole a car and they ended up killing one of their school teachers. Eve ended up grassing them all up to the police and the guy who was driving was put away for it. So Andy and Katie don't like Eve at all."

What's to come from Eve beyond her first couple of weeks?
"She ends up with a job at Butler's Farm and starts working with Andy, so he starts to soften towards her a little. Adam Barton takes a shine to Eve to start with when she turns up to work inappropriately dressed. There are a lot of funny scenes coming up, though - she's so sarcastic with everyone. I can have so much fun with her. Eve doesn't care about rubbing people up the wrong way - if blokes want to cheat on their partners with her, then that's not her problem!"

Is there anyone else she ends up taking a shine to?
"That'd be telling! Initially, it's a case of which Barton will fall for her charms… Also, I've not actually done any scenes yet with another person where it'd be obvious, but she likes this other guy, too. I really don't know how they're going to introduce them, though…" Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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