issue occurs, though, when he operates on a poorly cat and the beloved pet dies. Rhona finds him in tears after the traumatic procedure, and it’s evident that he’s not coping.
“The cat’s death is not in any way Paddy’s fault, he wasn’t medically negligent,” insists Dominic. “But he makes the mistake of saying, ‘I want to speak to the owner’, which he didn’t need to do. Paddy ends up making a mess of that because he handles it badly, and this cat’s death affects him more than an animal death usually would.”
Paddy’s inner turmoil is eating him up inside, but for Chas it’s utterly maddening. She feels as though she can’t go on trying to cope with her pain and feeling so estranged from Paddy.
“There is a definite risk that this could break them,” admits Dominic. “They have a rocky road ahead. Paddy has been articulate about the fact that he can’t feel emotional and hasn’t shed a tear. It makes him feel like a barbarian, and it’s driving him insane. I’m delighted Emmerdale has kept going with this story, or else it would have done the people who’ve really been through this a disservice. It’s uncomfortable, but it needs to be done.” Emmerdale’s decision to show the complicated aspects of grief is one of the most important parts of Paddy and Chas’ story. For Dominic, it’s been enlightening.
“It’s fascinating to find out how human beings grieve, because it’s messy and clumsy and there’s no straightforward way to do it,” he shares. “There are no textbooks to tell you what to do, and so many things like our backgrounds and everything we’ve been through feed into it.”
The truth is that plenty of people go into a state of numbness and shut down emotionally when they lose someone – and Dominic insists that reaction isn’t wrong.
“As an actor, you want a degree of sympathy, so you think, ‘Oh, do I want to be doing that?’” says the actor of Paddy’s behaviour. “But it’s true to life, and so I’m glad to be servicing that story.”
Chas is finding Paddy’s actions tough to handle