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Emmerdale's Chris Bisson: 'Jai plans to snatch Archie'

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Chris Bisson as Jai Sharma in Emmerdale

© ITV

Chris Bisson as Jai Sharma


Emmerdale businessman Jai Sharma has a busy fortnight ahead as he is delighted to finally get a lead over the whereabouts of Rachel Breckle and their baby son Archie.

Jai is intrigued when a man named Mark approaches him with possible information over where Rachel is hiding out, but he isn't willing to share the details for free…

Here, Chris Bisson - who plays Jai - previews the twists and turns in store following Mark's arrival.

How does Jai react when Mark gets in touch?
"Obviously Jai has been desperately searching for Rachel and Archie. The private investigator hasn't turned up much and Jai is coming up with a new plan because he's getting really frustrated and really bogged down with it. His media campaign in the newspaper and on the internet has got a result - somebody's bitten, so immediately his hopes are up."

Does Jai's first meeting with Mark go well?
"When Mark comes to see Jai, it's seemingly going okay until Rishi mentions that Rachel is in trouble with the police, which leads to Mark walking out. At this point, Jai is pretty desperate and pretty upset. He tries to say to Mark, 'Look, we can keep the police out of it, I just want my son back', but Mark's not really having any of it.

"So that's a bit of a problem, but Jai has got his hopes up now. He knows that somebody knows where Rachel is - or he thinks somebody does, anyway. It goes quiet on the Mark front and then suddenly out of the blue, Jai gets this photo message of Rachel. So this Mark is proving that he knows Rachel and then Jai really gets his hopes up."

Rishi and Jai meet with Mark

© ITV

Rishi and Jai meet with Mark


Rishi tries to warn Jai off, doesn't he?
"Yeah, Rishi is more cautious from the outset. Mark is a bit of a dodgy character and I suppose in some ways it all plays out against Jai's better judgment, really. But Jai so desperately needs some hope and he's all-consumed with finding Archie. He'll take any little lead that he gets."

Charity and Declan are shocked when they hear about the lead and decide to find out more from Jai. How do they go about that?
"Charity tries to seduce Jai in a way, but not seductively! She tries to seduce Jai by being amicable over the divorce. She's trying to be nice, but I think it's true to say that Charity's only nice when she wants something and Jai sees through that. He is wrapped up in his own problems and she is trying to find information.

"Charity and Declan absolutely don't want Rachel turning up. If the truth comes out, Declan will go down for fraud and for arson, Charity will be complicit and Declan will probably take Charity with him. The stakes are pretty high."

Charity and Declan are unnerved by Jai

© ITV

Charity and Declan are unnerved by Jai


What happens when Mark meets up with Jai again?
"On the second meeting, Jai really is hopeful that he's going to get somewhere after he's seen the photographic proof. Charity's in the factory sniffing around, but she's trying to be nice and dresses it up as if she has come to talk divorces in a nice and adult way. Mark turns up so Charity sees him, but she doesn't know who he is. Then we get into the nitty gritty of the negotiations with Mark and what it's going to take."

What does Mark want in exchange for the information?
"It's money. He claims that he's from the same estate as Rachel, which he is, as he's got a photo on his phone. But Mark also says that if he were to take Jai to Rachel, then he would be known as a grass, so he needs to relocate his family. He wants a lot of money - he wants £20,000 for it. There's a final twist and he comes back for more. Mark is greedy. He's trying to extract every bit of money that he can out of Jai, and Jai wants to believe everything that he says."

Jai accepts what Mark is saying and heads to the estate. What is his plan?
"Jai is planning to snatch Archie, and he's brought toys to try to make that easier for Archie. Jai knows that Rachel is up for arson, so if he snatches Archie she can't really go to the police. Jai has arrived with Mark, and Mark goes to check if the coast is clear, but the viewers will see that Declan and Charity have arrived too…"

Jai is desperate to track down Rachel

© ITV

Jai is desperate to track down Rachel


Charity and Declan try to find Rachel before Jai

© ITV

Charity and Declan try to find Rachel before Jai


We can't give away what happens next, but Jai is also involved in Priya's storyline next week…
"Yes, we see in the next week or so that Priya is not really eating and Jai has started to notice. She's had anorexia before and they've got through it - now she's pregorexic and she's reacting to her body changing and getting bigger. She doesn't want to get bigger - she doesn't want to get 'fatter'.

"Eventually Jai does manage to get it out of Priya. Leyla tips him off that she thinks something's wrong, but of course, somebody with a really severe problem like that is a very polished and professional liar. They are used to thinking about what they're going to say to people, and how they're going to cover their tracks and where they're going to lose their food.

"It's very difficult to detect, and especially for someone with the problems that Jai's got, he's really not focused on anything else but trying to find Archie. It's hard to spot, but when he does find out he tackles Priya directly about it."

What happens when Jai confronts Priya?
"Jai is quite forceful with it. I suppose these were difficult scenes to play because on the one hand Jai needs to be sympathetic, but on the other hand he needs to get a confession first and foremost. Priya needs to admit what she is doing and only at that point can they help her.

"Jai uses shock tactics on Priya and she does admit it. She admits it really because she doesn't want Jai to tell Rishi or her mum. So she's admitted it to Jai and Leyla, but whether or not she's going to actually be true to her word is another thing. This is a long storyline and it's going run all the way up until Priya has the baby, and then possibly beyond."

Jai orders Priya to eat

© ITV

Jai orders Priya to eat


What do you make of that storyline?
"It's an important story and Fiona [Wade, who plays Priya] takes it very seriously. The whole Emmerdale team has invested a lot of time in trying to get it right and trying to understand it, as it's a very real and serious problem for a lot of people. We treat it all as sensitively as we possibly can - without losing the drama of course. We have to see the gritty reality."

Are you missing working with little Adam who played Archie?
"Yeah, I do miss him. Jai is desperate to have him back. I still do work with him, because I've got a photo of him on my desk. Jai has a photo of Archie on his desk in his office, so every time I'm playing a scene, he's always there sat on the desk. He's still here in spirit. We're just waiting for the time that we get him back."

Additional reporting by David Hutchison.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers and news

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.

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