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'Emmerdale': Jason Merrells talks new murder plot twist

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Jason Merrells as Declan Macey in Emmerdale

© ITV

Jason Merrells as Declan Macey



Declan Macey's worst nightmares come true on Emmerdale next week as police dig up the human remains which have been hidden on his festival site.

As a murder investigation begins, Declan finds himself facing some tough questions from the authorities, along with dire financial implications as the festival will have to be cancelled.

Here, Jason Merrells - who plays Declan - reveals how his character copes as everything around him starts to crumble...

Does Declan feel guilty about concealing the body?
"He doesn't at the moment, because I think he's too concerned with his own interests. Declan just figured that even if the body was human, it would be old. The last thing that you'd expect would be that it's a recent murder. Declan just thinks, 'Why should I lose everything because of something that's old and forgotten?'

"I don't think Declan even thinks about it too much, he's just really concentrating on trying to cover it up. He doesn't feel guilty until the body is revealed as being Alex."

How is the body actually found by the police?
"When the police first turn up, it's such a massive site so they don't necessarily know where the body is, and might not be able to find it even if they start digging. They only find the body because one of the builders folds and tells the police where it is. Then the foreman folds too, so it's a series of events which leads up to the discovery."

What are the implications of this for Declan's finances?
"Declan has put all of the money to mount the festival into the glamping site in order to get that ready. When the glamping site folds, he hasn't even got enough money to mount the festival even if he was allowed to.

"The plan was that all of the rich people who were staying at the glamping site would provide the money for the sound system and everything else. Once the glamping site folds, everything else falls apart too."

The festival site becomes a murder investigation.

© ITV

The festival site becomes a murder investigation.



How does Declan react when the police reveal that the body was buried twice?
"It's kind of confusing because Declan reburied it himself, so at first he thinks they mean him. Then it becomes clear that it's actually been moved over quite a substantial distance and then re-buried. Declan doesn't understand it at all.

"We have to remember that people don't know that Alex is dead, so Declan doesn't make any connection at first. He doesn't put it together until he's told the truth. Victoria comes to the house and asks how on earth Declan could have done this. That's when he realises that he's done a terrible thing."

Declan is arrested for perverting the course of justice, but the police also accuse him of murder, don't they?
"Yes, he's shocked! Anyone would be flabbergasted when it seems that all of the evidence is pointed at you. It was very intense to film these scenes and Declan is definitely under pressure. He can't really believe what's happening.

"I guess Declan assumes that the truth will out, but sometimes the truth doesn't come out and people take the rap for things they haven't done."

Does Declan still love Katie?
"Well, when he's in the cells, his back is right up against the wall. He has threatened to implicate her, but in the end he doesn't. Declan does still love Katie, but I think their marriage is over. He really wanted it to work but it didn't. Now that's blackened him and it's sealed his fate."

Declan is arrested for perverting the course of justice.

© ITV

Declan is arrested.



Declan is eventually released for the time being, but there's more bad news when he gets home…
"Yes, Megan tells Declan that the insurance company for the festival aren't going to pay out for the cancellation, because it's a crime scene. Declan is forced to go to Jai looking for financial help, but Jai is not having any of it."

Can Declan turn things around?
"Everything is starting to stack against him, but he'll always come up with something. Whether he can turn things around, we don't know.

"In future episodes, Declan realises that his only options are to sell Home Farm or sell some properties in the village. He chooses the second option, so we'll see what happens and how the villagers react to that…"

Are you enjoying filming this story?
"I'm enjoying it a lot. I think it's strong material and I'm enjoying having such high stakes to play. Declan is pretty raw at the moment and he's like a cornered animal. It's good to explore."

> Read more 'Emmerdale' spoilers and news

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

Digital Spy Soap Scoop video - press play below to watch Amie Parker-Williams reveal gossip on a murder probe in Emmerdale, a shock discovery for Tina in Coronation Street, a blackmail plan in EastEnders and a surprise windfall in Hollyoaks.

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