Emmerdale star opens up about Priya's "difficult" eating disorder storyline

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

Emmerdale star Fiona Wade has opened up about Priya Kotecha's eating disorder storyline.

Priya was seen behaving strangely in Friday night's episode (June 28), and this week's episodes will see her suffer in silence as her old issues start to resurface and she struggles through a meal at Home Farm.

The character's eating disorder was a major storyline in 2014, when she was pregnant with her daughter Amba.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

Speaking on today's episode of Loose Women (July 8), the star admitted that when she was first told about Priya's illness five years ago, she found it difficult to approach the topic and as a result did extensive research.

"Back in 2014, I didn't know much about anorexia, really. And I definitely hadn't heard of pregorexia, which is what Priya developed," she said.

"I had a very healthy relationship with food growing up, and recognising that anorexia is a mental illness and it's serious and so sad, I have so much compassion for it now.

Photo credit: ITV
Photo credit: ITV

The actress added: "I'm from a Filipino family, so food is very much – it's social. It's what we do. We eat all the time. My mum is constantly cooking.

"For me, being a child, I saw my mum eat everything and I ate what they ate, so it was very difficult for me in terms of getting my head into a different space.

"Now that I understand it more, I see how these things can derive from anxiety, OCD, perfectionism, stress."

Fiona also said that Priya's current eating disorder storyline will "go on for a little while".

Emmerdale currently airs weekdays at 7pm, with an extra episode at 8pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Beat promotes awareness and understanding of eating disorders, also challenging inaccurate stereotypes and stigma. Find out more at Beat's website. Beat's helpline for those aged 18 and over is 0808 801 0677, and there's also a dedicated Youthline for those under 18 – 0808 801 0711.

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