As bed-hopping Mucky Moira in Emmerdale, actress Natalie J Robb is seeing plenty of action between the sheets on screen.
But whilst her character is married to Dales bad boy Cain Dingle and in the throes of a steamy affair with Nate, Natalie herself is resolutely single – and happy for it to stay that way for now.
Natalie laughs: “I don’t have time for romance. I am still single.
“But I am quite a happy single person. You accept yourself.
“Statistics prove that you are a lot happier and healthier now if you are single, because you don’t have to compromise.
“You are in control. You get pickier when you get older, you know what you don’t want.”
It’s not that the 44 year-old doesn’t get plenty of attention – even voted Sexiest Female at the 2017 Inside Soap Awards, more that some of that attention can be very unwelcome.
The North Lanarkshire born actress says: “In this industry it is very difficult to know if people want you to be you.
“I play characters but it is not real – I have come across it and it is a bit frightening. I have had some creepy moments and it did put me off.”
And although she is open to romance, she’s definitely ruled out dating apps after seeing friends go through bad experiences with online dating.
Natalie explains: “I wouldn’t do the online thing – it’s a big dodgy. My friends have done it and it has made them feel bad about themselves.
“But that is the society we are in now, people don’t go out to meet each other any more, and I really hope that that will come back.”
If she is to meet someone, it won’t be on a boozy night out as for the moment Natalie has knocked alcohol on the head.
She went booze-free for Dry January but liked the way not drinking made her feel and hasn’t touched a drop since, instead spending her time walking her beloved dog Bronson, doing yoga and spending time with friends and family.
“Last Christmas it was making me feel a bit sick, even just a sip, so I thought I would have a break and then I just continued it because I felt great,” she explains.
“But what I have found is that you see a lot of things very differently. Even though I would only have a drink at the weekend it would be Wednesday until I felt better, and I couldn’t cope with that any more with this job.
“You learn a lot about yourself, and I have loads more energy – there are loads of benefits.
“I’m not saying I am never going to drink again, but I would like to get to a year and give my liver a break.
“I’m 45 this year. I just think I have had a load of fun of really demolishing my liver and kidneys over the years, and now I am just giving a bit back.
“And I think I like myself better without alcohol than I did with it.”
And Natalie certainly isn’t joking when she says she doesn’t have time for romance or alcohol at the minute.
Her character Moira has been at the centre of Emmerdale’s most explosive storylines in recent years with the death of her daughter Holly from a heroin overdose, her involvement in the death of Emma Barton, and now a raunchy affair with Nate which is about to be revealed with devastating consequences.
Cain uncovers his wife’s affair next week – and like any true Dingle he isn’t going to let Moira and Nate off lightly.
And that means him taking revenge in spectacular Dingle style with the boat trip from hell which saw Natalie filming with a stunt double to create the explosive scenes.
She says: “It was two weeks of a shoot in an actual lake. I had a stunt woman who was amazing – she had worked with Tom Hanks and Tom Cruise. It was good fun. There was a massive fight and I ended up overboard.”
Despite Moira’s tough storylines that keep Natalie on her toes, she is still loving every minute of life on Emmerdale and celebrated her 10th anniversary on the show this year.
And Natalie is in the rare but lucky position as an actress to have not stopped working since her first major role aged 14 as Trish McDonald in Scottish soap Take the High Road.
Roles in Taggart, Sunburn, Dream Team, Doctors and The Bill followed before she landed the part of Moira in Emmerdale in 2009.
Ever modest, Natalie says she doesn’t really know what the secret to her success is – although she admits that she is a grafter like her character Moira, and never takes anything for granted.
And she says she is proud to work on a show like Emmerdale which is still going strong despite tough competition from the likes of Netflix and Amazon.
“I work hard. I think for me I have never taken a job for granted.
“I have always been grateful for what I do. I think what I love about the job is the fact that I am willing to learn everyday, every day is a school day.
“I find it really rewarding, it is tough graft. Soap is one of the hardest jobs – you have to keep coming up with the goods and it tests you a lot.
“It keeps you good at your craft. I think there is often a snobbery about it – but it is amazing that soaps like Corrie, Emmerdale and Eastenders are still going even though we have got all these other channels now.
“For people, soap is an escapism – they can relate to it but it is tongue in cheek as well. It says something if they are still doing well despite all the competition they now have.
“I’m happy to stay here. I would love to see how things pan out for Moira.”
But while Moira might be horrified that her affair has been revealed – Natalie thinks viewers will be glad the cheating has come to an end.
“They don’t like the affair storyline at all,” she says. “They love Cain and Moira together. A lot of people say the Moira and Nate thing makes them feel sick.
“She was mother earth when she came into Emmerdale, and she is an honest person, but she has changed as time moves on.
“You do as you get older, you start to learn about yourself and you either accept who you are who you don’t, and a lot of people battle with that as they get older.
“She has needed this kind of shock to make her feel alive again. She has been a bit numb with everything that has happened. She’s not really dealt with things.
“She has not looked after her own mental health, and there are a lot of mental health issues around the Nate thing.
“People think it is just an affair, but there are lots of other issues around why she is doing it. It is almost like a cry for help in a really weird way.
“There are more reasons behind it – it is not just a boy who comes along and gets his top off. Moira isn’t that, she is deeper than that. But she knows it is wrong but she does it anyway.”
Natalie’s 5 favourite Emmerdale moments
One of my favourite moments was my first day on Emmerdale as the Barton family. We were so nervous all five of us, we were sweating buckets when we did a Woolpack scene. I just remember it all being really exciting and we gelled as a family, but it was like getting over that first day at school feeling.
It was so harrowing but it was amazing to do.
I met a real family who had been through it, so it was sad work to do.
But the reaction we got to it was amazing – Emmerdale did it really well.
I found it challenging as an actress – I’m not a mother, but I have got quite a maternal instinct, but it definitely tested me as an actress.
The head-butt with Charity
I have been so lucky I have had so many stunt things to do.
But I think the viewers really liked the female-fight aspect to it.
The Emma death scene
We were filming up on a real viaduct and we had loads of ropes attached to us.
We filmed it over a week and there is one shot where I am right on the edge of the viaduct – it was pretty scary.
The under-water scenes for the boat explosion
Jeff and I were both really nervous about it, I am not going to lie. It isn’t in your nature to be underwater with your eyes open, so it was scary.
But it made me fall in love with my job even more.
We were working with these super-professional diving guys and they really looked after us.
But we were totally out of our comfort zones, and I think that is when you do your best work.
I think you have to feel the fear and do it anyway.