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Soaps Interview

Jason Merrells - 'Emmerdale' Declan Macey

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Jason Merrells (Declan Macey in Emmerdale)

© ITV

Emmerdale airs the explosive climax to the Macey family's ongoing storyline this week as Mia finally learns that her boyfriend Adam had an affair with her mother Ella. Following Mia and Adam's surprise reunion, it's Declan who shares the shocking secret with his daughter - leaving her devastated over the betrayal.

In the aftermath of the revelation, Ella finds herself banished from the village as Declan books her a one-way ticket to Singapore, but she makes sure to leave with a bang as she exposes a secret stemming back 20 years, telling him that Jai is Mia's biological father…

With his screen family about to crumble, Digital Spy recently caught up with Jason Merrells - who plays Declan - to hear more about the dramatic developments ahead.

Why does Declan decide to tell Mia about Adam and Ella's affair after so long keeping quiet?
"Well, Declan is very reluctant to tell Mia the truth, but in the end he sees it as his only option. The other option would be to let Mia carry on seeing Adam now that they've reunited, which is something that Declan just can't sanction given what he knows. So Declan is forced to tell Mia the truth. He definitely doesn't enjoy it, because he knows that it's going to hurt her so much."

When Declan sees how upset Mia is, does he have any regrets or is he confident that he's made the right choice?
"I think Declan does feel guilty and he really feels for Mia, but at the same time, he knows that he's had to stop what's been going on. In Declan's head, there's no way that he can let Adam's relationship with Mia carry on after what Adam's done, so it feels like the right choice."

Mia is shocked to learn about Adam and Ella's affair
We'll see Mia get very angry with Ella, but is she also angry with Declan for keeping her in the dark for so long?
"Mia is annoyed with Declan but I don't think she gets too angry about it - I think she can understand that it's not something he wanted to keep from her. Hopefully we'll see that Mia does understand, because Declan just didn't want to hurt her."

It sounds like we'll also see a vengeful side to Declan's character as he vows that both Adam and Ella will pay for what they've done…
"Definitely! Declan is a man who isn't crossed easily, and it doesn't sit easy with him when something like this happens. I don't think Declan was particularly back in love with Ella - I think he was just coasting for the sake of his daughter - but even so, it's a slight that he can't resist avenging himself for."

Were you surprised when you heard the twist that Mia is Jai's daughter?
"Well, we've known about it for a while and that it was the plan, but it was certainly a surprise when we were told! And it's a big shock for Declan, too - he doesn't suspect it at all. It does strike a chord when he's told and he realises that it makes sense, but that doesn't mean that he had any suspicions beforehand. I think Declan is deeply shocked by the news, as you would be."

Ella drives off after making a stunning revelation
We know that Corrinne Wicks has now left Emmerdale, so will you miss working with her and the rest of the Maceys?
"Yeah, I'll really miss them all! I think it's one of those things where shows like this thrive on big, massive bombshells. Unfortunately, sometimes when those bombshells happen, it means that you have to play out the consequences and I think Emmerdale have been brave to do that. But I think Corrinne has played a fantastic part, especially with this breakdown of the relationship. I'm going to miss them all a lot, because we've had a lot of fun together. I hope they've had a really good time, as it's been a fantastic story for them."

What was Frank Kelly, who plays Dermot, like to work with?
"Funny - very funny! I was a huge Father Ted fan, so I couldn't believe it when I heard that he was coming in to play my dad. With Frank, I think it was more that he's a little bit older and he was doing so much travelling back and forth from Dublin, so he decided to concentrate on opportunities closer to home. But I think he enjoyed his time here and I really enjoyed working with him."

Katie goes to slap Declan but they end up kissing
What do you think the future will hold for Declan once the rest of the Maceys have departed?
"Well, I think at the moment Declan has got his thing with Katie going on and he's enjoying the lack of drama surrounding the relationship compared to his last one! It's more of a light relationship, so we'll see where that goes. But I think Declan will have to be careful to be honest with her, and let her know how he's really feeling about all the things that have been going on. Declan is quite manic in the coming weeks and doesn't really deal with what he's feeling inside, and Katie is going to challenge him on that. If Declan isn't honest with Katie, then their relationship may not have a future. In the immediate future, I think that's what we'll see from Declan and then beyond that, we'll see what happens…"

A couple of our readers have pointed out that Katie's boyfriends often seem to have bad things happen to them, so could Declan fall victim to the curse of Katie?!
"I've heard this, and I hope not! (Laughs) I'm still walking at the moment!"

As a result of this storyline, Declan has reason to be angry with the Bartons and Jai. Do you think we'll see him hold a grudge for a long time to come?
"For the immediate future, yes. All I can say is that it's going to be a very difficult thing to shift…"

Are you enjoying playing Declan's ongoing rivalry with John Barton?
"Yes. All of the cast are great to work with, and I really enjoy those scenes between Declan and John. Myself and James often have to work quite hard not to start laughing during them! They're definitely fun to play."

Declan manhandles Ella outside and slams the door
Last year, Declan's storylines revolved around the Wyldes but in the past few months he's become a lot more prominent in his own right. Have you been pleased with the new direction for the character?
"I'm very pleased, yes. I mean, I always knew when I joined what the plans were and what would happen - we were on the tail-end of that huge Wylde storyline and I was aware that at some point he'd take over Home Farm. Declan was biding his time, and I guess I was too!"

Are there any characters on Emmerdale who you'd love Declan to share more scenes with in the future?
"I'd love to work more with Mark and Dominic who play Marlon and Paddy, as I haven't really done anything with them and I think it would be fun. I've also had some scenes with Jeff Hordley who plays Cain that I've really enjoyed, and I'd like to do more of those scenes and get back to how things were with Declan and Cain. But I think I've been quite lucky as I tend to go across quite a lot of stories, so I've worked with a lot of the cast already."

Finally, do you think Declan has shown himself to be quite a ruthless character?
"I don't think Declan would see it as ruthless - I think it's just that he's front-footed and direct. He's assertive, and he's quite a typical entrepreneur or businessman in many ways. So when a problem arises or something needs doing, Declan will act and he won't even think about it - there'll be no delay and he'll just go for it! But yes, that can seem ruthless at times, especially when it's linked into his revenge…"

> Read more Emmerdale spoilers and news

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV1, with an extra episode airing on Thursdays at 8pm. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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