Emmerdale cast: Andrea Tate was almost played by famous face as star talks ‘b*****y’ role

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Hollyoaks star Gemma Bissix, 36, who played Clare Devine on the Channel 4 soap, said she auditioned for the role of Andrea Tate on Emmerdale, before it was given to actress Anna Nightingale, 29.

They said they might keep me in mind for the future

Gemma Bissix

Gemma said she sent producers a “self tape” for the role, which she insisted was similar to her other roles in Hollyoaks and EastEnders.

She said: “I auditioned for Emmerdale last January.

“It was just a self tape, I got really lovely feedback actually, saying it was great and lovely to see you and stuff like that.

“But it was quite a similar role, a b****y kind of role so even when I did the script I thought to myself, it’s a bit kind of like I went back to EastEnders and it was a bit b****y and obviously Hollyoaks.”


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The role was handed to Anna Nightingale, who joined the Dales last year.

Despite not taking on the character, Gemma said she could still make an appearance on the soap in the future.

She added to The Sun: “It would be quite nice to do something different.

“But yeah, that didn’t work, but they said they might keep me in mind for the future.”

The soap star went on to say she may take a step into directing soaps instead of acting.

Gemma famously played Clare Bates on EastEnders, where she caused a stir in several storylines.

After reprising her role in 2008, she tried her chances with many men on the square.

In 2008, she tried to come between Ian (Adam Woodyatt) and Jane Beale (Laurie Brett) after she seduced with the married man.

She went on to blackmail the cafe owner for money, but was later warned off by Jane.

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Clare also became interested in Bradley Branning (Charlie Clements) after learning he got a lucrative property development job and split from his wife Stacey Slater (Lacey Turner).

Gemma moved on from her role in EastEnders, to her feisty character as Clare Devine in Hollyoaks.

The actress was in and out of the soap over the years until she was killed off back in 2013.

Reflecting on her character’s death, she told Digital Spy: “I think at the time, Clare had had so many ups and downs.


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“The character has to expire at some point — you can’t be that evil and not get your comeuppance.”

The soap star went on to say she used to get a lot of abuse from viewers for playing the villain.

“There was no character like her before,” she admitted.

”The audience knew she was evil, but everybody else in the show didn’t.

She added: “That’s what was so frustrating for the audience – they were screaming at the television. She was awful. I used to get so much abuse!”

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