Emmerdale spoilers follow.
Emmerdale star Reece Dinsdale has admitted that he isn't sure whether his character Paul Ashdale can ever be reformed.
The actor is currently taking centre stage in a dark storyline, as Paul's gambling addiction threatens to destroy his family life with Mandy (Lisa Riley) and Vinny Dingle (Bradley Johnson) for a second time.
Paul turned his back on Mandy and Vinny years ago after his gambling debts spiralled out of control. Since returning to their lives, he has fallen back into old traps and has also been violent towards Vinny when confronted over his mistakes.
Speaking about the possibility of Paul redeeming himself in the long-run, Reece commented: "Who knows if we get there with Paul? At this point, if I'm being brutally honest, with the material they're giving me I'm thinking: 'How do you come back from this?'
"There would have to be a Damascene moment that changes Paul's whole life, but now it's very bleak, very dark and I can't see how we get off the treadmill.
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"I'm very delighted and honoured to be asked to do this. It's not some peripheral role in Emmerdale that's building up for a while. It's: 'Wham, bam, in you go, give us what you've got with this character'.
"They're the best challenges you can ever have as an actor, so I'm delighted. I'm loving being in it, I'm loving the people and I'm loving the storylines. It's such a joy."
Next week's episodes see Mandy hope to get her own place with Paul and Vinny, but trouble brews when Paul realises that he isn't trusted enough to take the deposit money to the bank.
Paul ends up snatching the cash without permission, leaving viewers to wonder whether he could blow it all by gambling again.
Reece continued: "When Paul knows about this money, he's most hurt that they won't trust him to go to the bank and deposit it. He almost wants a little test by doing this. But when they say no, he thinks: 'Sod it, if I can't be trusted, I won't be trusted and I'll do what I want with this money'.
"Mandy and Vinny are the two people he's trying to gain the trust of, but they've shown they don't trust him – although you could understand why."
Reece also addressed Paul's recent mistreatment of Vinny, acknowledging that his abuse is mental as well as physical.
He said: "The scary thing there is how Paul can't stop. If you genuinely loved your son, that's the last thing you would do – but he still does it. He plays with Vinny's mind, manipulates him and makes him feel guilty all the time. That's the terrible thing.
"Paul turns it round all the time to Vinny and says Vinny is the reason he's doing this. It's the most appalling thing you could do to a child and he does it to his own son."
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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