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Emmerdale’s Rhona Goskirk (Zoë Henry) will have a surprise visitor to contend with in upcoming scenes, as her mother arrives in the village just as she is trying to propose to partner Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock).
Speaking at a recent press event, Jameson reveals that Mary is “incredibly tactless and very opinionated, although she would see herself as an incredibly generous spirit.”
Read more: Next week on Emmerdale
“I think she probably suffers a little bit with narcissistic personality disorder, a lot of sentences start with ‘I’. Things other people do, she relates to herself.”
The star adds that Mary’s relationship with her daughter is a complex one, but that she now wants to reconnect.
“Just by her absence, it’s not been a very good [relationship]. She wasn’t there for the drug addiction, or for the marriages, so she’s been very absent,” she said.
Mary’s introduction is very topical, highlighting the experiences of many during the pandemic. “Covid for her has shone a light on her own loneliness, and the importance of family, and she’s really trying hard to make amends.”
“There was a beautifully written scene where she admits to being incredibly lonely, a very close friend of hers died, and she - like a lot of people through the country - didn’t get a chance to say goodbye. She just knew she was coughing, she saw the ambulance and then she never saw her again."
“[Mary] describes loneliness as dark and soul-destroying, which a lot of people can probably identify with over the last couple of years, and she wants to change that.”
Jameson also tells us that Mary isn’t one to sit on the sidelines. “I suspect she’s going to get her finger in as many pies as possible, sit on committees, gatecrash other people’s parties. She’s just got an opinion on everything that should be happening in the village."
“I think she probably will see herself as somebody who really has something to offer, whereas a lot of people will probably prefer her to stop interfering!”
This isn’t the actor’s first time on Emmerdale, as Jameson previously appeared back in 1973 in a rather dark storyline. “I played somebody called Sharon Crossthwaite, and I came in and I was raped and murdered off-camera - I don’t think we were so risky in those days,” she said.
“But apparently I was the first woman to be murdered in a soap, that’s my claim to fame. I might use it as my autobiographical title at some point!”
One of Jameson’s most famous television roles was as Leela in Doctor Who, and she is full of appreciation for the show’s followers. “There’s no fandom like the Doctor Who fandom,” she smiles.
“I still receive letters from people who wrote to me back in the 1970s. They’re incredibly loyal.”
From one memorable character to another, it sounds like Jameson will be making a big impact as Mary.
Viewers can see her debut next week, when Emmerdale begins airing at the new time of 7:30pm.
Watch the latest Emmerdale spoilers