Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Emmerdale star Reece Dinsdale has revealed that the show will delve deeper into the issue of Paul Ashdale's gambling addiction.
Paul's addiction destroyed his family years ago when he walked out on Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) and his son Vinny (Bradley Johnson) – and history is now threatening to repeat itself.
Next week, Paul is delighted when he reunites with Mandy, but storm clouds may be gathering when Vinny finds a betting slip hidden away in his pocket.
Speaking about the ongoing storyline, Reece explained: "Paul has got an illness and I think we will go on to talk about that in the future. I don't want to say too much about what's coming up, but I think there's a human side to this.
"Paul is not just a bad lad – he's a product of his own background and he's trying so hard, but this is an illness he has.
"What we might find in the weeks to come is that he's got a real battle with himself. It's the man he's become, because of the illness he struggles with."
Asked why Paul is risking everything after reconciling with Mandy and Vinny, Reece replied: "There's stuff coming up where Paul explains that when things are good, that's when he has an urge to go for more, because he thinks nothing can go wrong now. He just can't help himself.
"Paul is not just going: 'Sod them, I'm going to do what I want'. He truly cares, but he's got something in himself that is compulsive and he cannot stop. That's the nature of the character – he's at war with himself.
"Paul knows the consequences of what gambling does, but he still can't stop. He knows but he still jeopardises a whole new relationship that he's built up with his son, and he jeopardises the love that Mandy is beginning to trust him with.
"It's tragic because anyone else would be able to stay on the straight and narrow, but he can't. He risks losing everything if he takes the wrong option – and he often does."
Reece admitted that even he doesn't know whether Paul will be able to change his behaviour in the long-run.
He said: "There's the character in a nutshell! Can he change? Will he change? It's fascinating for me, because I don't know exactly where the writers and producers want to take it. I know this story will be a good ride, but I don't know the end result."
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.
The National Gambling Treatment Service offers free, confidential help for anyone who is worried about their gambling, or someone else's gambling. Call the 24-hour freephone National Gambling Helpline on 0808 802 0133, or visit begambleaware.org. Further information and resources can be found on the Gambling Commission's website.
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