Byline: BY STEVE HENDRY
Soap star and extreme sports fan Karl Davies has a list of
things he is not allowed to do.
The Emmerdale actor's contract
bans him from outdoor activities such as snowboarding and skiing
and they won't let him try diving and parachuting.
But none of Karl's favourite sports are as dangerous as playing
love rat Robert Sugden. Robert has gone from village bad boy
to out-and-out villain after sleeping with his brother Andy's
(Kelvin Fletcher) fiancAe Katie Addyman (Sammy Windward).
And Karl, 21, has been getting a lot of stick from fans. He
said: 'I was out shopping in the January sales when a random
lady walking past stopped me, put her hand on my chest and
said, 'You're Emmerdale, aren't you?'
'I said, 'Well just a little bit of it', which I thought was
quite a witty answer for being so surprised.
'And then she gave me a good prod and said, 'Well, I don't
normally recognise people from the TV but I recognise you because
you're a pig!' And walked off. She was deadly serious.
'I was in front of a queue of people waiting for a sandwich
at Marks & Spencer at the time and they were killing themselves
laughing at me. Thanks very much.'
Karl is bracing himself for more flak this week when wedding
bells ring for Katie and Andy. Robert is the best man but in
name only, especially when he beds the bride - again - the
night before the nuptials.
Next day he forgets the rings. But, as dad Jack (Clive Hornby)
looks on, will he keep his mouth shut or ruin the big day?
The shocking plot is the latest twist in the Dales-set soap's
plan to rival EastEnders and Coronation Street. There has been
a run of explosive storylines, including the death of Chris
Tate (Peter Amory) and trial of his wife Charity (Emma Atkins).
But while Robert's antics are popular with viewers they have
put Karl off marriage for a while. He said: 'I've never been
a fan of marriage at this age but I can see many more complications
now, to say the least.
'Thankfully, I haven't got a brother who would do that to
'But I'm happily single and that's the way it's going to stay
for a while after this.'
The storyline has put Karl centre stage but he admits he had
doubts it would work.
He said: 'I had a meeting with the producers last year when
they said the story was going to come up and at first I thought,
'It won't work'. Andy and Katie were deeply in love and supposed
to be this perfect couple. I couldn't see it.
'But I think the way it's panned out has made sense. She is
basically bored with a mundane life and I'm just a bit of excitement
on the side.'
The actor comes from Stockport, near Manchester, but now stays
in Leeds, sharing a house with a number of co-stars, including
Tony Audenshaw, who plays Bob Hope, and best pal Vicky Binns,
who used to play Ollie Reynolds.
Karl describes it somewhat ruefully as a 'spontaneous party
house', since it is where the cast tend to end up after a night
He gets his thrills away from work in extreme sports, pushing
himself as far as bosses will allow. Karl said: 'We are not
allowed to do anything too extreme or to go skiing, snow boarding
or anything like that while we're under contract. But I'll
try anything once.
'Climbing is a big passion of mine, usually indoor because
it's a bit safer.
'I used to do it in competition when I was around 14, 15,
and 16. It was just local competition at junior level.
'I wouldn't say I was any great shakes but there was a climbing
wall near where I lived. I used to really enjoy it but because
of work I don't get to do as much.
'I've got to do scuba diving one day, that's the next on my
list to tick off, and skydiving, eventually.'
Karl's taste for heights came in handy during the Emmerdale cast's
annual charity fund-raising outing to Inveraray, Argyll. He
went wing-walking on a bi-plane and had his tracksuit all but
ripped from his legs by the wind. The poppers up the sides
burst open and flapped behind him as they flew.
Karl said: 'I'm up for it but I'll probably let somebody else
do the wing-walking next time because it's a great experience.
But if there's any other crazy activity to do, I'll do it.'
Given his encounters with angry fans, some would say continuing
with his role as Emmerdale's Mr Nasty comes into that
category. But he has high hopes for screen character Robert.
In fact, Karl has his fingers crossed Robert's behaviour gets
Besides, as far as he's concerned, Robert is not really all
bad - just misunderstood.
He said: 'Robert and Andy have a history and are never going
to be the best of friends.
'But he's not doing it because of a hatred for Andy - it's
more a love for Katie and unfortunately Andy's the casualty.
It started as one-upmanship on his brother but it's gone much
further than that now.
'There's a lot of life in Robert, especially now he's becoming
more of an out-and-out villain instead of a bit-player.
'He has been growing up, earning some money and becoming an
all-round nasty character, so, hopefully, there's somewhere
that can go.'
First, though, there's the wedding. Karl, Kelvin and Sammy
are good friends off-set and have discussed what they think
They are not giving anything away but it is fair to say nobody's
banking on a happy ending. Karl said: 'We'll have to wait and
see. It has hit Robert hard that he's fallen in love with Katie.
It is new territory for him and he doesn't know how to deal
'He's not very good at expressing his feelings - except for
his physical ones, obviously.
'All I can say is a lot happens. Robert realises he has to
stand there as best man by his brother and watch him marry
the woman he loves.
'It's just a question of whether he can stand there and not
'And, of course, there is that moment in the ceremony when
the vicar says, 'If anybody knows a reason why this man and
woman should not be joined together in holy matrimony, speak
Seems we will just have to wait and see what happens. It will
undoubtedly all end in tears. Karl is just worried they might
be his next time he pops out for a sandwich.
Four soap weddings and a whole lot of trouble and strife A
wedding is supposed to be one of the happiest days of your
life - unless you live in soap land, that is, where it is more
likely to turn into a disaster.
Alfie Moon and Kat Slater
EastEnders' barman Alfie Moon (Shane Richie) and tart with
a heart Kat Slater (Jessie Wallace) were supposed to take their
vows on Christmas Day but Santa failed to bring Alfie's divorce
papers in time.
He organised a fake wedding with an old pal standing in for
the registrar but couldn't go through with it and confessed
all to a distraught Kat and packed Queen Vic. But love found
a way and he finally got his paperwork in order, talked the
real registrar into abandoning his Christmas dinner and persuaded
Kat - who had locked herself in the loo - to come out and become
Mel Healy and Ian Beale
The wedding of Mel Healy (Tamzin Outhwaite) and Albert Square's
evil toad Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) on Hogmanay 1999 drew more
than 20 million viewers and was a lesson in emotional blackmail.
Ian pressurised a reluctant Mel into going through with their
ceremony by pretending his daughter Lucy (Casey Anne Rothery)
Mel only went through with the service to be a good step-mum
to Lucy. But when she found out later that day Ian had hidden
the letter saying Lucy had been given the all-clear, it was
their relationship which was terminal.
Mike Baldwin and Linda Sykes
In September 2000 Coronation Street saw Mike Baldwin (Johnny
Briggs) and Linda Sykes (Jacqueline Pirie) walk down the aisle.
It was supposed to be the wedding of the millennium until
Mike's son and best man Mark Redman (Paul Fox) revealed he
was having an affair with the bride and got legless in an upstairs
room of the wedding venue.
Roy Cropper (David Neilson) had to stand in as best man while
the unhappy couple went through with their vows.
Hayley Patterson and Roy Cropper
In April 1999 the strangest soap wedding took place - and
that's saying something - when transsexual Hayley Patterson
(Julie Hesmondhalgh) and Roy Cropper tied the knot.
It wasn't legal under UK law but a friendly vicar agreed to
give the couple the church wedding of their dreams - until
Les Battersby (Bruce Jones) tipped off the press. Their wedding
had to be called off at the last minute but Cupid couldn't
be daunted and the couple had their day in Roy's Rolls cafe
and Hayley changed her name by deed poll.
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