Spoilers: Emmerdale star reveals what's next in Paul and Vinny abuse story

Paul Ashdale (Reece Dinsdale) has been keeping plenty of secrets in Emmerdale, but the truth is set to come out next week — well, some of it, at least — as Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) discovers he’s been gambling.

Paul promised Vinny (Bradley Johnson) that he’d come clean when Mandy returned from her course, but he once again failed to do so.

Vinny decides enough is enough, and barges into the pub — hellbent on telling his mum everything — but he’s left in shock when Mandy ambushes Paul with a musical-inspired proposal, and — unsure of how to proceed — he ultimately accepts her offer of marriage!

‘Under different circumstances [Paul] would be thrilled and delighted,’ actor Reece Dinsdale said, ‘She’s everything to him. But he knows these dark secrets are bubbling up to the top, this is the worst time for it to happen.

‘It comes as a shock.’

Vinny is disgusted with his dad for saying yes to Mandy, but as he realises the effect that keeping this lie is having on his son, Paul ultimately tells Mandy the truth about his gambling.

However, he refrains from informing her about the fact that he’s been beating Vinny.

Speaking about Paul’s violent streak, Reece said: ‘That’s the big question, where does that come from? After he first hit Vinny they had a heart to heart at the scrapyard, Paul talked at length about his own dad, a gambler who used his fists, that’s how he was raised all he’s ever known.

‘He’s never been violent to Mandy or any woman, he spoke of getting into fist fights in pubs etc. That’s what he was taught, it feels like a last resort for him when words and actions fail him. He can’t express himself in any other way: he’s pushed to it and uses it as a tool. It’s very scary, frightening and sad, weird for me.

‘When they write it, those moments come out of the blue but I think I can understand why he’s like that – he’s a product of his own background. He sees his son is actually scared of him and wishes he hadn’t come back, at least Paul has the guts in that moment to realise he is doing what he’s doing, he’s the one who goes to Mandy and tells her about the gambling. But his nature is always to protect himself, but has never about him to at least talk about gambling to her, prepared to lose her.

‘Trying to face up to the demons, if that makes sense. If we see a moment from Paul that is full of remorse, its this one – has the guts to see Mandy and say some of it… but not all of it. That’s the way he is.’

The question is, however, will the truth about his violent streak be exposed? Will he ever tell Mandy the full truth?

‘No,’ Reece exclaimed. ‘That is my hunch but I don’t know where they’ll go with it. He’s a pathological liar I’m discovering that the more I play him. He’ll lie to get him through everything. With gambling theres a glimmer of hope: it’s a disease, we can help him, we love him. But with violence, no.

‘Gambling is redeemable if you saw the light and truly got help if he was ready to help himself, but violence is irredeemable. It feels that’s the main story we’re building towards. Gambling is a hook for the story.

‘Paul knows damn well what Mandy will do, he’s playing on his son’s innocence and vulnerability and easily pliable nature, and that is terrible. He’s a very interesting character, wonderful to play. Comes to me fresh every day.

‘The best thing was at the start I decided not to play him as a Machiavellian character – a nice guy with problems/demons. Don’t play the dark side, play what he’s trying to show which is always his nice side. Out of left-field the demons take over and he does the most godawful things.’

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