'The crash itself was fine, but the stunt lady might say differently!'
Gaynor Faye's character in Emmerdale, Megan Macey, is caught up in a storyline about texting while driving. Georgia Humphreys reports
Soaps are renowned for tackling important issues, opening up conversations between the millions of viewers who tune in.
ITV's Emmerdale is no exception, with one upcoming storyline showing the dangers of using your mobile phone while driving.
When Megan Macey, played by Leeds-born star Gaynor Faye (47) is running late to see on-off love interest Frank (played by Michael Praed), she sends him a quick text to assure him she's on her way.
But, in doing so, she accidentally crashes into the back of another car, which knocks over Emmerdale legend, Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell).
Megan, who is unscathed following the crash, is horrified by what has happened. However, after first frantically checking that her daughter Eliza (who's in the back seat) is okay, and then being relieved to see Eric is conscious and shouting, she decides not to come clean about texting while driving.
That is, until she speaks to Frank. Disappointed after she doesn't turn up to meet him, he goes to her house to confront her and, still shaken up, a guilt-stricken Megan confesses everything.
It's bound to make for some emotional scenes. As for the crash itself, it sounds like it was a scene Faye embraced filming.
"It was fine for me - ask the stunt lady and she'll tell you another answer," the actress, who also starred in Coronation Street in the Nineties, says with a laugh. "I just had to sit in front of a green screen and go through the motions of the crash.
"I still gave myself a bit of whiplash though. I always just go for it, because there's nothing worse than a bad stunt."
Faye reveals one of Megan's lines is, "It's the first time I've made an error of judgment" - suggesting this is the first time the character has been so reckless on the road.
"It's that thing when you're nearly home, or nearly somewhere; it's like nothing matters all of a sudden. But we all know that accidents happen when you're nearest home.
"I constantly pass people in the car on their phones. It's great that we're raising awareness of it, because it's really dangerous."
The mother-of-two says there "definitely" should be consequences to Megan's actions played out on screen, adding the thought of going to prison crosses her mind.
"She's kind of going, 'If I just keep my mouth shut, it will all go away'," she explains. "Then she confesses to Frank, because I don't think she can keep it all in her own head and he's got a completely different take on it.
"He wants her to keep very quiet.
"I know she's quite a cold fish, but she has got a conscience. Especially when it's to do with people; she's always got on with Eric and, obviously, her daughter's in her car. What will people think of her? There are all sorts of reasons why she doesn't want it getting out there."
We all know residents of soaps tend to have messy lives. And Faye says the feisty businesswoman currently has very mixed feelings about former flame Frank - she's unsure where their future lies.
"I love working with Michael Praed, he's just the best," the star gushes, when asked if she would like Megan and Frank to get back together. "He's so wonderful, he's such a great team player."
She continues, fondly: "I love working with Andrew Scarborough (who plays Graham), as well, don't get me wrong - he's fantastic and a fantastic actor. But they obviously don't want me and Graham together right now."
On the topic of ex Graham, does she think Megan could ever forgive him for bedding the notorious Kim Tate?
"Hmm, I wouldn't. But Megan... I'm not sure. I think that was a really rotten trick that he did. He was supposed to be taking her and her daughter away, turning up with teddy bears and going to the Lake District.
"I mean, what better? But then, to be so easily swayed by Kim Tate."
That storyline has led to some great on-screen moments, though; there have been numerous scenes in which Megan's sniping at Kim, who's played by Claire King.
"Every actress wants to play that kind of cat-and-mouse situation," enthuses Faye, whose mum is television writer Kay Mellor (responsible for dramas such as Fat Friends and The Syndicate).
"And the fact that they're both businesswomen, they're both quite strong minded.
"I think it would be great if the writers don't make somebody subservient to the other. I'm going to fight for that."
When it comes to similarities with her soap persona, Faye admits she's also not afraid to speak her mind in real life.
"For me, I hate injustice, I hate when things aren't fair, so I would be outspoken then."
However, she would never be quite as forthright as Megan.
"And I wouldn't be going backwards and forwards with men," she quips.
"Definitely not - when they're exes, they're exes and they're an ex for a reason."
The star loves how glamorous she gets to be on set.
"It's lovely to come in and play someone who is so manicured, because I am so unmanicured in real life.
"I come in and my hair is really curly, I wear no make-up, I'm usually always in pretty comfy stuff, so it's nice.
"She's so different from me, she's so structured and manicured. It does help you get into character."
Emmerdale, ITV, weeknights, 7pm