Emmerdale actor Danny Miller reveals he would never have made his shock return to the soap earlier this month if it weren’t for his wife, Steph and shares how much he enjoyed his "gap year" with his son.
Paying a loving tribute to Steph – with whom he shares his two-year-old son Albert and daughter Edith, who was born in August – the star says: “I owe it all to Steph. I am so lucky. She is Superwoman!” Danny’s first new scenes have thrown his character Aaron Dingle straight back into the action as he turns his anger towards Vinny, the widower of Aaron’s half-sister Liv, who died last year.
Now Danny, 32, says he can only honour the intense scripts thanks to Steph taking everything in her stride looking after the couple’s two young children while he spends long hours on set.
“I am loving being back at Emmerdale but the days can be long sometimes and I can return home feeling very knackered!” the popular actor explains. “But Steph has often been up for as long as me and she always has such an incredible amount of energy.
"My return to Emmerdale has been made so much easier because she is so incredible.
"In many ways it’s a far more challenging job to keep both Edith and Albert entertained. But she never complains!”
The couple, who tied the knot last year, moved to Leeds from their home in Cheshire so Danny didn’t have a long commute home after he secretly agreed with the soap’s bosses to reprise his role.
And his return has certainly started with a bang.
Far nastier than the old Aaron, his character has not held back when it comes to venting his anger and disdain at those closest to him, including Vinny, who he has started bullying.
Things get intense this week when Aaron beats up an upset and frightened Vinny over money. But the reason for his awful behaviour is that his emotions are still running high from his past.
“Aaron’s half-sister Liv died in such awful circumstances last year and he never got to have his full goodbye,” explains Danny. “He always regretted allowing Vinny to have that last moment with her instead of him.
"In the past, Aaron used to be very good at self-loathing but now he is back, he has had enough of being walked all over.
“He is sick of being everyone’s b***h and he doesn’t want to let that happen any more.”
It’s safe to say since his return a month ago, Danny – who has played Aaron on and off since 2008 but quit in October 2021 returning only briefly for the soap’s 50th birthday celebrations – is having a blast.
“I feel like I’ve never been away now,” he chuckles. “The first couple of weeks were like coming back from school holidays and I was nervous. I feel more comfortable now and I can relax more.”
By his own admission, Danny’s return to the soap also heralds a much more mature time of his life. Gone are the days of partying and coming into work a tad worse for wear.
Instead, Danny readily admits the first thing he does when he has finished on set is race home to Steph, Albert and Edith.
And she may only be three months old, he goes on to confide, but she has already got him wrapped around her tiny fingers.
“I am over the moon it’s a girl,” says the doting star. “We never found out with either what they would be but the second one was always going to be a little bit more exciting to see whether we were going to have one of each or two of one.
“All dads would be lying if they said they didn’t want a little daddy’s girl! She is amazing.”
He also shares a very strong bond with Albert who, he says, he cherished being able to spend a “gap year” with.
Danny first joined the soap when he was just 17 years old. Now he is back on the Emmerdale set, does he find himself wanting to share advice with the younger cast members?
“I am always on hand to give advice should they want it,” he replies. “I am so appreciative of this job, I’ve got friends who would give their right arm to play a character that is so loved.”
His big focus, he adds, is making sure he does the best possible job portraying Aaron.But there is one TV show he will definitely make sure he watches when it returns to our screens shortly – and that’s I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
It’s the programme that he starred in shortly after quitting two years ago – and he went on to win.
“I was so lucky people voted for me and to win was such a bonus. It’s good to be back in Emmerdale now and who knows where it will take Aaron next. He has got a lot of relation-ship issues to repair…”
Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV at 7.30pm.
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