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Emmerdale’s Priya Sharma (played by Fiona Wade) was left severely burned after she was left trapped in a burning maize maze during survival week. Although Priya survived, she was forced to undergo painful skin grafts to treat her burns. Fiona, who plays the businesswoman in the ITV soap, has revealed Priya will soon take a look at her scars for the first time since the fire, and hinted it could trigger the return of her eating disorder.
In scenes yet to air, the businesswoman starts to feel the pressure when Leyla Cavanagh (Roxy Shahidi) shows up at Rishi Sharma’s (Bhasker Patel) pre-Christmas get together looking glamorous.
When she tells Leyla she still hasn’t looked at her scarred back, Leyla gently encourages her scared friend to confront her fears.
However, Priya and Leyla are shocked into silence by the sight of the scars on her back.
Priya ends up starring in the mirror before she fixes herself up with Leyla’s assistance – but she’s still in a huge amount of emotional and physical pain.
When she arrives at the gathering everyone’s all smiles about Priya’s ongoing recovery, until her anxieties resurface at the mention of food.
Will this mark the resurgence of her eating disorder which she thought she’d overcome?
In upcoming episodes, Priya becomes desperate to stop visits to the hospital and lies to her doctor that the skin grafts are feeling much better.
However, Priya’s secretly aghast to hear that her struggles with eating are slowing down the healing process.
Priya decides to keep this to herself and avoids telling Rishi the truth about why her burns aren’t healing.
Priya actress Fiona Wade exclusively spoke to Express.co.uk and other publications about the character’s upcoming storyline.
The 42-year-old explained: “I think Priya is a very body-conscious girl and she’s a perfectionist, you’d never see her without everything in place. So this is literally like her worst nightmare that could happen.”
Regarding Priya’s eating disorder resurfacing, Fiona said: “We’ve done that storyline previously and it’s something the writers are really good at as these things are there all the time.
“And something like this where she’s out of control and body-conscious, this is just going to spiral her in that direction as she can’t move very much and has to eat.
“Yes, [she’s hiding the eating disorder] as it’s part of the shame and control following the accident.
“And everything she’s worked for and built up for herself has come crashing down as she just feels terrible about herself and says she feels disgusting and awful and an eating disorder is the only thing she can control.
“She goes to the hospital to have her scars checked and the doctor tells her they are not healing the way they should.
“She knows she hasn’t been eating so she knows it’s going to have an impact on how she’s healing,” she continued.
“It’s like her own little secret and she doesn’t want anyone to find out and it’s all getting on top of her.
“I think she’s ashamed. Up until now she’s hidden away and all of a sudden a carol concert comes up which is all too much for her but it’s her daughter Amba who wants her to be there.”
Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV at 7pm.
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