Emmerdale star Chelsea Halfpenny on her “brilliant year” as Amy Wyatt

by Lynn Connolly

Over the past few months, Emmerdale viewers have seen troubled teen Amy Wyatt hiding her pregnancy from everyone in the village, and finally, just before Christmas, she of course gave birth alone and terrified.

At first, Amy thought her newborn was dead, so she left him in the village phone box, however, when Hazel Rhodes (Pauline Quirke) discovered the infant, he was still clinging to life.

The rest is of course history, and Amy’s been on an emotional rollercoaster since baby Kyle’s birth, first saying she didn’t want to keep him, then changing her mind and bringing him home, then finally, last night, signing the papers that would ensure he was put up for adoption.

And today, the Daily Mirror carries an interview with Chelsea Halfpenny, who of course plays Amy, and is the niece of former EastEnders star, Jill Halfpenny.

First, Chelsea revealed that the last year has been a hectic one, since her character’s storyline has featured so prominently in the show…

She said, “So much has happened it’s hard to take it all in.

“I’ve been so busy and working so hard that it’s only now, after getting the chance to stop over the holidays, that I’ve looked back and thought ‘wow’, 2011 was a brilliant year.

“It’s been great having such a moving storyline to get my teeth into – it’s every actor’s dream.

“When the team first told me she was going to have a baby, I couldn’t wait to find out more…

“Then when I saw the scripts and realised she was going to actually give birth in a cemetery, I started to get a bit worried.

“The thought of having to do a scene like that is pretty daunting – especially when you’ve never done it yourself – so the first thing I did was get on the phone to my mum to get some advice.

“I didn’t want to get it wrong and let everyone down but we had a midwife on set all the time, too, and she was able to tell me what kind of noises I should be making during labour.

“It was crazy really. I spent a lot of the time in tears and when you’re crying all day it’s exhausting and leaves you with these terrible headaches.

“But it was actually OK apart from that. There was such a good atmosphere on set – and we all have such a laugh that, believe it or not, giving birth in a graveyard, in the dark, was actually quite fun at times.

“It must have been weird for my boyfriend though! Watching your girlfriend pretend to have a baby on TV is a bit odd, isn’t it?”

Chelsea was then asked if playing teen mum Amy was making her “broody”, to which she replied, “Er, that would be a definite no!”

However, she added, “The twins they use to play my on-screen children are so cute.

“They’re only 10 weeks old and they’re so sweet that, yes, I am enjoying all the cuddles, but I’m absolutely not in any rush to have one of my own.

“It’s lovely to have them in your arms but it’s also lovely to be handing them back to their mum, too. I can only just look after myself, never mind a baby.

“I feel like I’m way too young. And being pregnant on TV means you’ve seen what you’ll look like and it’s not a pretty sight.

“Towards the end, I was wearing a prosthetic bump and I took a picture of it to show my mum and she was like ‘put that away NOW’, so I don’t think she wants me to start a family yet either.

“There were a couple of people I know from school who’ve had a baby but I honestly couldn’t comprehend it.

“Saying that, my mum had me when she was just 19 and my auntie had her first child at 17, so I know it can work. My mum and I are pretty close, so there are advantages.”

And of course, in the coming weeks, there’s much more drama to come for Amy as Emmerdale continues weeknights on ITV1.

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.