Blast from the Past with Em­merdale’s Al­i­cya Eyo (Ruby)

She was sad to leave, but Al­i­cya Eyo was thrilled by Ruby’s Em­merdale exit…

Inside Soap - - CONTENTS - Kate White

It must be a strange ex­pe­ri­ence to be told you are about to take part in one of soap’s most am­bi­tious and ex­cit­ing stunts, but that it will be the end of your char­ac­ter. For Em­merdale star Al­i­cya Eyo, find­ing out that her al­ter ego Ruby would take cen­tre stage in an epic episode was bit­ter­sweet. While it was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity, it also brought four years in Em­merdale vil­lage to a close.

“It was in­cred­i­ble,” en­thuses Al­i­cya. “First of all, I was thank­ful to the

Em­merdale bosses for the way I went out be­cause it was so dra­matic. But I filmed those scenes on my fi­nal day, and it was pretty emosh! I was say­ing good­bye in the show, but also say­ing good­bye to the peo­ple I’d been work­ing with for years. It was quite full-on – sad and bril­liant!”

Ruby’s death was a defin­ing mo­ment for the Spencer fam­ily, as her wife Ali’s ex-hus­band Dan tried des­per­ately to save his former en­emy. Their re­la­tion­ship had been fraught in the past, but they ended up be­ing close pals – and there was a lovely dy­namic be­tween Ruby and her step-chil­dren Sean and Amelia.

“I loved work­ing with those kids,

Luke Roskell [Sean] and Daisy Camp­bell [Amelia]!” grins Al­i­cya. “We had some won­der­ful sto­ries, like my wed­ding to Ali, and the one where Sean got a crush on Ruby. Have you seen Luke re­cently? He’s film­ing a se­ries for Sky – Jamestown – and he looks so grown-up. I look at him and think, ‘Oh my God, my lit­tle boy!’”

It’s lovely to know that the bonds formed off cam­era be­tween the Spencer fam­ily ac­tors re­main firmly in place.

“The joys of so­cial me­dia mean I’m able to keep tabs on ev­ery­one, and Liam Fox [Dan] has stayed with me a cou­ple of times when he’s vis­ited Lon­don,” Al­i­cya tells us. “It’s nice as it’s too easy to lose touch when we’re all so busy. Luck­ily, I’ve stayed in con­tact with all of them – and with my friends from Bad Girls.”

As Denny Blood in the prison drama, Al­i­cya made a big im­pres­sion with some hard-hit­ting sto­ry­lines. Al­though the show fin­ished in 2006, the star says that she still con­stantly gets peo­ple com­ing up to her to talk about the an­tics of HMP Larkhall.

“It’s im­mense be­cause for the past few years, they’ve been show­ing Bad Girls re­peats, and now it’s got a whole new au­di­ence,” beams Al­i­cya. “I get a lot of young peo­ple com­ing up to me to talk about it, and I’m like, ‘But you’re 15!’. I’m so proud that it’s still hav­ing an im­pact and that peo­ple are still watch­ing and en­joy­ing it.”

Since Al­i­cya left Em­merdale, she’s been work­ing pri­mar­ily in tele­vi­sion, but she’s re­cently re­turned to the stage in the play In Event Of

Moone Disas­ter. As we catch up with her just be­fore the show opens, Al­i­cya ad­mits that join­ing the pro­duc­tion was a nerve-wrack­ing prospect. “I haven’t done the­atre for 10 years!” she says. “But I read this script and thought, ‘Feel the fear and do it any­way!’. I am anx­ious, but I don’t mind that be­cause nerves mean you care about what you are do­ing. The show is su­per-in­ter­est­ing, and I haven’t felt like this about a play for a long time.” Life is good for Al­i­cya right now, and she has fond mem­o­ries of her time in the Dales. But she also has a bizarre leav­ing present re­lated to her char­ac­ter’s demise. “Let’s just say that if you are go­ing to go, get a he­li­copter blade to the stom­ach – it’s pretty cool!” chuck­les the ac­tress. “Ev­ery­one at Em­merdale signed the blade, and I have it in my room. What a gift!”

Blind Ali: Ruby’s mar­riage didn’t work out how she’d hoped

Bad times: But they were all good for Al­i­cya!

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