Emmerdale’s Billy Fletcher Good or Bad?

The battle between Emmerdale brothers Billy Fletcher and Ellis Chapman is set to go a few more rounds yet but actor Jay Kontzle believes his character isn’t as bad as people make out…

Jay Kontzle plays Emmerdale's Billy Fletcher
Jay Kontzle plays Emmerdale’s Billy Fletcher

Before Billy Fletcher arrived in Emmerdale it was clear he was the apple of his mother Jessie Grant’s eye but considered more of a bad apple by half-brother Ellis Chapman. The animosity between Billy and Ellis has only got worse since Billy’s release from prison, and while there have been the old moments when it seemed a peace treaty would be reached, tempers flare this week resulting in fists flying.

Actor Jay Kontzle, who plays jailbird Billy Fletcher, tells Inside Soap how his alter ego is determined to make amends for past mistakes. But will his brother Ellis ever forgive him?

Billy Fletcher arrives in Emmerdale

How are the village residents taking to Billy?
Well, at first, he’s clashing with everyone, having arrived on such negative terms. Everyone’s a bit dubious about him entering the village, and what he’s planning on doing – his presence causes drama! However, he has some nice traits, so I think that he’ll win everyone over. He’s on the wrong side of the tracks right now, but he’s not as bad as people make out.

Do you reckon you would be friends with Billy in real life?
Definitely! Although there are some elements to him that would make you want to keep your distance. He’s lost his dad, and so he’s searching for that father figure. He’s looking for a friend, too – someone his own age to provide a shoulder to cry on.

What’s the reason behind Ellis and Billy’s fraught relationship?
When they were growing up, Ellis Chapman (Asan N’Jie) felt overshadowed by Billy. They have different fathers, and Jessie (Sandra Marvin) and Billy have a special bond, because of their shared love for Billy’s dad, who died. So, Billy’s always been the golden son to Jessie, and Ellis feels intimidated by that.

Mon 28 Jan 2019: Jessie tries to keep Ellis and Billy apart as they fight.

What is it that causes Billy and Ellis to have a fight this week?
There’s an issue between Billy and Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller), because they were in jail with each other. Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) wants to protect Aaron and do whatever is possible to get Billy out of the village.  So, Robert speaks to Ellis and stirs it up, saying that Billy is getting close to Victoria (Isabel Hodgins), which stresses Ellis out! Robert is aware of the friction between the brothers, so he pushes Ellis to a point where he accuses Billy of trying to get with Victoria. Ellis then pushes it further, by bringing up Billy’s dead father.

So Billy ends up attacking Ellis! How does Billy feel after he’s punched his brother?
He’s deflated. He’s destroyed inside because he knows that he has let his mum down. He wanted to sort things out and build bridges. Billy thinks Ellis has managed to get what he wanted, as he thinks he could be sent back to jail.

How does Billy feel when Marlon throws him out?
He has mixed emotions. He’s angry because of the new man who’s come into his mother’s life, taking control. At the same time, he’s disappointed in himself, that he’s let someone else down.  And deep inside, he realises this.

Tues 29 Jan 2019: If Jessie tells the truth- Billy goes back to jail. If she lies- she risks losing Ellis. What will she do?

How does Jessie feel, being caught in the middle of her son’s squabbles?
She’s upset. I think she’s torn between the two brothers, and whether to believe Ellis or Billy. Her relationship with Marlon is deteriorating because of all this friction, so she feels very down.

Does Billy think his mother will always side with him?
I think so – right up until the moment he hits Ellis! He’s a bit sceptical now that he’s lashed out. She’s never seen him react like that before, so he’s now become quite concerned that no one else is there for him.

And he fears going back to jail?
Yes, he’s very worried! He didn’t have a good experience in jail. He’s claustrophobic, so hated being locked up. If he were sent back to jail, it’d have a huge emotional effect on him.

Will Billy and Ellis ever bury the hatchet and become friends?
Well, I hope so, because Asan (who plays Ellis) and I are best buddies! I think bridges can be built between the two of them – but not right now. There’s a lot more trouble to come, before they can create a bond…

Don’t miss Billy and Ellis’ feud in Emmerdale on ITV.

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