Sophie Powles was "determined" to land a part in 'Emmerdale' after being "in awe" of Charley Webb.

Sophie Powles

Sophie Powles

The former 'Emmerdale' star - who played the late Holly Barton on the ITV soap - used to love watching Charley (Debbie Dingle) play out her fiery scenes with Emma Atkins' Charity Dingle before she joined the show, and she was so inspired she did everything possible to land a role on the programme.

She said: "I grew up watching 'Emmerdale' as a northern girl living in Otley. At 7pm, we'd be sitting there with tea and biscuits ready to watch in silence.

"I was in awe of the actors on screen and these amazing characters. I loved Cain and Charity Dingle and when I saw Charley Webb arrive as Debbie Dingle, who was around my age at the time, it made me even more determined to be an actor."

Sophie was already good friends with Emma before she rocked up in the Dales in 2009, after playing her on-screen daughter in an episode of crime drama 'Dalziel and Pascoe'.

She said: "When I got the part in 'Dalziel and Pascoe' when I was 16, I was thrilled to find Emma Atkin's playing my character's mum. It was a dream come true and we became firm friends."

The 'Fanatical' star's alter-ego Holly died of a heroin overdose in 2016, and while Sophie admits the story was an important one to tell, she is "gutted" to miss out on working with Ash Palmisciano after he joined the soap this year as Matty Barton, who was formerly known as Holly's sister Hannah Barton.

Speaking to The Emmerdaily, she added: "I am gutted not to work with Ash Palmisciano.

"I called Natalie [J. Robb, who plays Moira Barton] and she asked if I wanted to speak to 'my brother' so we had a chat and I sent him my Barton hoodie as a welcome to the family present."

Holly met her maker in 2016, and Sophie was aware her character was going to be killed off in a drug-related plot.

She previously said: "I always knew I was only coming back for a six-month storyline and I knew it was going to be drug-related and heartbreaking. I was prepared for this and I knew what I was signing up for when I spoke to the producer about returning.

"The 'Emmerdale' script and story team had already planned Holly's return and what would happen to her and they really wanted me on board to help tell this story.

"We wanted to highlight how hard and destructive drug addiction can be. Of course, there are many positive stories out there where people are doing really well and have recovered from drug addiction and therefore this 'Emmerdale' storyline of course doesn't represent everyone."