Reece Dinsdale says 'Emmerdale' will explore Paul Ashdale's gambling addiction.

Reece Dinsdale

Reece Dinsdale

The 61-year-old actor - whose character's issues destroyed his family when he walked out on Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) and son Vinny (Bradley Johnson) - admitted history could repeat itself when Mandy finds a betting slip in his pocket.

He said: "Paul has got an illness and I think we will go on to talk about that in the future. I don't want to say too much about what's coming up, but I think there's a human side to this.

"Paul is not just a bad lad - he's a product of his own background and he's trying so hard, but this is an illness he has.

"What we might find in the weeks to come is that he's got a real battle with himself. It's the man he's become, because of the illness he struggles with."

Reece insisted he has no idea whether or not Paul can change his ways long term and overcome his demons.

He added: "There's the character in a nutshell! Can he change? Will he change?

"It's fascinating for me, because I don't know exactly where the writers and producers want to take it. I know this story will be a good ride, but I don't know the end result."

Meanwhile, the soap star offered some explanation for his alter ego, and why he's risking everything despite reconciling with his family.

He explained: "There's stuff coming up where Paul explains that when things are good, that's when he has an urge to go for more, because he thinks nothing can go wrong now. He just can't help himself.

"Paul is not just going: 'Sod them, I'm going to do what I want'. He truly cares, but he's got something in himself that is compulsive and he cannot stop. That's the nature of the character - he's at war with himself."