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Alex Carter

By
Alex Carter
The largest murder investigation in soap history is now underway in the Dales after the sensational death of Tom King (Ken Farrington) on Christmas Day.

Some 10 Emmerdale villagers are to come under the spotlight over the next 20 weeks as DCI Barraclough (Glynis Barber) and Detective Vikesh Dasari (Stephen Rahman Hughes) interrogate the suspects in a bid to solve the mystery and catch Tom's killer.

Alex Carter - who plays one of the suspects, Jamie Hope - took some time out of his hectic schedule to chat to DS about the difficulties he has faced with the murder storyline, his character's love life and what it's been like trying to shake off his 'Lee Hunter' tag.

What did you think to the murder storyline when you first heard about it?
"It's quite an exciting thing, and I didn't think that I'd be involved with it originally, to be honest. I've not been there that long, and I'm quite a young character. I'm chuffed to be involved with it, and it's quite a good handling of a murder storyline, I think. There's a gimmick with there being ten suspects, but you might as well run with it, I think they're going to try and sort that out later on, implement suspects later on."

You are fairly new to the show - how does it feel to be at the epicentre of one of Emmerdale's biggest ever storylines?
"It's nice and that, but I forget because my 'dad's involved with it, really... I think it's good for them to have a young character involved in those storylines. It's always good to have a murder for the youngsters! It's an interesting one and it's hard to forget I've not been there that long."

Do the cast know who killed Tom King?
"No, they don't! Logistically, it's difficult, because you've got a scene with five other people, and three of us could have murdered him and we just don't know. We're all acting shifty."

It brings out the shiftiness on and off screen, I guess!
"Bloody hell, it does. No one knows yet!"

In Week One, your father, Bob, falsely confesses to the murder of Tom King in order to cover up for your character, Jamie. How does this affect him?
"We were both there just before he died, and Dad and I bump into each other just before it, so I'm surprised he admits to it, I know he hasn't done it."

Viv's distraught at Bob's false confession. What's Jamie's take on Viv?
"It's hard for me to answer this, I don't know whether he's done it or not, it's hard to get my head round it because I don't know whether I've done it. But the whole Viv thing, she just wants what's best for the family, and for Bob. She's quite dramatic. If she thinks I'm putting on unnecessary pressure, she's not going to be too happy with me, she's heavily pregnant."

Do you think Viv thinks Jamie's in the way?
"Probably, she probably thinks everyone's in the way. She's quite a selfish old bird in a nice way. She does think that."

Later on in the week, Jamie finds out his father took the blame to protect him. How does Jamie react to this news?
"He's a bit shocked by it, cos he doesn't think his dad did it. He might have done it, I might have done it! It's hard, do you see what I mean, to talk about it, because I don't know exactly what my character's thinking because he might have done it. A lot of these questions I'm not answering correctly, really. He's not happy about Bob."

They've got a bit of history, the pair, Bob wasn't there for Jamie as a child. Do you think that's why he's taken the blame?
"Well, yeah, Jamie's disappointed, but not that disappointed, because his dad owes him a lot. He's never really had a father, all of a sudden his dad's trying to make up for it. It's interesting."

In Week One as well, Jasmine's there a lot for Jamie. Is there an impending romance on the cards?
"I dunno! It'd be nice, about time, I've been there ten months and not even had a snuggle!"

Are you going to beg for it?
"I'm not begging for no woman, no bitch! We started off as just friends, so over the course of time, obviously she's attractive, and obviously she won't be able to keep her hands off me. I think the whole murder thing's getting in the way at the moment."

Throughout the week, Viv constantly accuses Jamie of murdering Tom. How does Jamie react in those scenes?
"Badly, very badly. He's astounded she thinks he's capable of that, but you don't know if he's capable of murder. That's the main thing. He's not expecting her to not trust him. He's been living there a while, he's not done anything too wrong, and he's been nice to Viv, and all of a sudden with what's going on with Bob, she accuses Jamie of being a murderer."

So later in the week, Jamie inadvertently puts himself in the frame, doesn't he?
"Because I change my statement, it's admitting I was at the scene of the crime just before he dies. I was expecting them to release Bob, but they don't release Bob."

Doesn't Jamie reveal that he burnt his clothes the night of the murder?
"Bob catches him the day after the murder, I burnt my clothes, I go back and tell the police I've done that. I don't know the reason. I caught my clothes on something at Home Farm. Obviously my denim is up in the the room, so I felt I had to go in and tell them."

Does Jamie get arrested from this?
"I've not been arrested yet, I've not even been framed."

When Bob is released, what's next for the father-son duo? A conspiracy against Terry?
"There's all sorts of rumours knocking about, to be honest. Terry disappears, and every time someone gets taken in for questioning, we want them to go down for it cos it means we're in the clear. I'm not sure whether Bob needs Jamie, I think Bob might think Jamie still did it, for now."

What was it like moving from one soap to another, shaking off the Lee Hunter tag?
"I didn't shake it off. It's a bit annoying, cos I would have liked to have been there from the beginning, as I think it would have allowed me to create a different character. Because I've been quite quiet, I've not really done anything, people are comparing me to Lee Hunter. It's a different character - I'm not going out of my way to be a different character, but obviously there's a lot of yourself in the character, well, I found that with a lot of people, so it's just a matter of time, really. Some people still think I'm in Hollyoaks, the way they speak to me."

Have you been asked about being in Hollyoaks now you're in Emmerdale?
"Yeah, all the time, it's all I get! I don't know why it is, but I suppose more people just see me in Hollyoaks. I get asked why I left, why I've changed - I didn't leave Hollyoaks to join Emmerdale, I left Hollyoaks, I went for an audition and got it, and that was Emmerdale. It wasn't a plan!"

Why did you leave Hollyoaks?
"It'd been five years, and it was long hours - I was working weekends and things - and realistically I'd had five years out of my life, I just wanted my weekends back. I wanted a bit of a life as well as work."

Do you still keep in touch with your mates at Hollyoaks?
"Yeah, I do. A lot of them don't work there any more, but the ones who do, like Darren, I still speak to Louis and Warren, who played the rapist. The twins, as well, but they've all left. The only person I speak to semi-regularly is Kent, who plays Zak Barnes. He was in it a couple of years ago, and then he left, and they brought him back again. "

What did you think of the whole explosion storyline? Did you think it was a travesty to kill off all those key characters?
"They shouldn't have got rid of the twins, I thought the twins were really good. I also think that Abby and Sam were good characters. But that's just the way it goes in soap, isn't it? I understand getting rid of characters that aren't working, but to get rid of good characters - that's a shame. It's the nature of the beast, isn't it?"

If asked, would you appear in a Hollyoaks spin-off with Gemma and Marcus?
"I would, I'd give it a crack, I wouldn't even say no to going back to Hollyoaks. I had a good laugh. But at the moment they wouldn't have me back. I know a lot of the people behind the scenes, but I don't think my character wouldn't fit in any more."

How long do you see your character staying in Emmerdale?
"I dunno, depends on if I'm the murderer or not, doesn't it? Couple of months away, I'm buggered! I dunno, I never put a time on it. On Hollyoaks, I don't know why, but in my head I always said five years, but with Emmerdale... we'll see what happens, I don't know yet!"

On a more general note, do you catch any TV in your spare time?
"No, I don't watch that sh*t. Joking, of course I do! I tend to watch a lot of TV shows on DVD. I like Curb Your Enthusiasm, Mighty Boosh, the classics like Partridge, The Office."

Are you in a relationship at the moment, are you balancing that with Emmerdale?
"There's nothing to balance - I work quite good hours with Emmerdale and all that, so I've got a good life, really, to be honest. Plenty of time for shenanigans, nights out, it's quite refreshing. I'm not, not at all, no. I never understand people who never admit they're in a relationship. I'm not at the moment, but it's fascinating, that, I don't understand why people hide it!"

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