It’s not just their relationship that’s a car crash in Emmerdale next week as Megan Macey and Frank Clayton find themselves in danger when they buy a dodgy classic sports car from Ross Barton.
The course of true love has never ran smoothly for Megan Macey (Gaynor Faye) and Frank Clayton (Michael Praed) since they coupled up. First Frank cheated with Megan’s arch nemesis Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins). It took a while and a diamond to get them back on track but then Megan fell into bed with mysterious Graham Foster (Andrew Scarborough) when she thought Frank was cheating again… but he wasn’t!
Despite her infidelity, Megan isn’t giving up on Frank and she’s pulled out all the stops to win him back. It starts with a sexy makeover and a motorcycle but ends when she buys him his dream classic sports car.
Unbeknownst to them, they are sold a dodgy motor by Ross Barton (Michael Parr). The pair head out for a spin in their new wheels but find themselves head first in a ditch. Thankfully, the pair live to fight another day – but will they be fighting each other or will the near-death experience bring them back together? Emmerdale actor Michael Praed who plays Frank Clayton reveals all…
Frank’s got involved in some dodgy jewellery scams at the moment trying to get hold of money, isn’t he?
Yes. He feels to some extent that being in a relationship with Megan and him giving up his former ways, it has to some degree emasculated him. He has latched onto this and blames Megan for his lack of self-worth. It speaks not terribly well of his ego. He feels dipping his toe back into it will solve his crisis of confidence.
Given his own past – he was unfaithful with Charity – why is he finding it so hard to forgive Megan?
I wonder is there a bigger question here about do women find it easier to forgive men when they have affairs, or do men find it more problematic when women have affairs? I’ve never thought about it in my life but I would find it very difficult. We’ve got that masculine, beating-the-chest thing and the foundation of the relationship has been tarnished. Maybe women are more tolerant. I don’t know. Going back to Frank, we must not forget that not only did she sleep with Graham, but in the past, she also falsely accused him of a scam which if he had been found guilty, would have meant him spending ten years in prison. There’s a residue to that resentment.
Megan tried to impress Frank with leathers and a motorbike, then there is the sports car…. Why do they go to Ross to buy it?
It’s classic mid-life crisis stuff. I don’t think they mean to go to Ross to buy a sports car, but Frank walks around the corner and sees this car. It’s nostalgia and that can thump you right between the eyes – especially if you’re not expecting it. If you bumped into the person you were in love with in school, I think your heart would skip a beat. That’s how he feels, to some extent. He loves the car, it represents so many things that Frank isn’t at this point of his life – its reckless, masculine, feral. It’s a statement of strength and being out of the box. It appeals to Frank.
How do they end up in a ditch?
I haven’t the faintest idea and neither will the audience. You see, something is leaking. The car isn’t well. The next time you see it, its upside down. Audiences are smart as whips and they’ll make the leaps. If the car is knackered and then it’s upside down, they will fashion an accident.
They won’t die, but do you think the incident will throw them back together?
It’s a huge gesture that Megan has done for Frank and when you go through something, it will make you sit down and think what’s really important here and what isn’t.
Do you believe in their relationship? Were you sad when you heard she was going to cheat on him?
This is one of the things that caught me completely off-guard because I wasn’t expecting it. When he had an affair with Charity, Frank felt remorse and guilt. We’ve been working very closely for a couple of years now and we like each other a lot. We’re very invested in their relationship. You become very close. There was a residue of jealousy like, you’ve let me down. I cannot deny that there’s a shred of genuine emotion, a really genuine emotion.
If they ever did make it down the aisle, what sort of wedding would Frank and Megan have?
Megan probably has the wedding utopia thing in her head, so that’s probably what it would be. I don’t think we’d be allowed within 100 feet of a church.
Do you want Frank to go back to being a conman? Do you enjoy that side of him?I’d like it a lot. It’s terrific fun being a rascal.
He’s working in a factory. Is there a plus to that?
I’ve always had a thing for ridiculous hats and polyester, so that ticks quite a few boxes right there, let me tell you.
If Frank was to find love with a new woman, who would you cast to play her or is there anyone in the village who you think he’d set eyes on?
Oh, who to cast is a very good question. You just never know! There isn’t an ideal.
The thing about working on a soap, you keep turning the pages and don’t know what’s coming next. Do you enjoy that aspect of it?
There are some cast members who like to know what they’re going to be doing and there are others who look forward to the unknown. I find myself in the latter camp. I spoke to a producer last week and was told in broad strokes what’s going to happen to my character.
Did you like knowing? Are you excited now?
I am genuinely enjoying it. Soap operas don’t have any of the advantages dramas do. We don’t have music, sound effects etc. Its quick and being the nature of the soap, it’s an uber-reality. Structurally, there are multiple storylines which ebb and flow, so it’s a unique art form, I’m very proud of what we do and I think it’s very good. I’m really enjoying my time there.