One of the things Anthony Quinlan loves about working at Emmerdale is the fact there are no ‘big egos’ as he calls them. That all changes, though, when he joins the likes of co-stars Danny Miller (Aaron) and Kelvin Fletcher (Andy) on the football pitch. They play charity matches for Once Upon A Smile, which supports bereaved families.
“There are no egos between the guys at work. But as soon as we get on the football pitch, all hell breaks loose” laughs Anthony.
How did you get involved with Once Upon A Smile?
“Danny Miller founded it along with an actor called Daniel Jillings. It started off as a relatively small thing that grew through word of mouth. I became a patron and started playing in the football team, then Danny asked me if I’d become an ambassador, which means I get involved in some of the decision-making and organisation. We offer families support at a time when they really need it.”
Do you get a lot out of being involved?
“I really do. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a loved one. I can’t imagine losing my parents. I’m so close to my own family, so it must be awful for a child to lose theirs or for parents to lose a child. It brings a smile to my face to be able to help and it also makes me count my blessings and appreciate the people around me.”
Are you any good at football?
“I like to think so, although a few of the lads will probably say otherwise. I played football as a youngster, but I wasn’t good enough to do it professionally. I also played tennis for Lancashire as a teenager, but acting was what I really wanted to do.”
When is your next match?
“It won’t be until next year as I’ve recently had surgery on a cyst inside my anklebone which was causing stress fractures.”
How do you feel about being a soap sex symbol?
“Am I one? I’m sure opinion will be divided on that! If I am, it’s news to me, but it is flattering.”
Would you like to settle down one day?
“Totally. I’d love to have a family of my own. I have such a close relationship with my own family. I was an only child so I got spoilt rotten and I still am a bit.”
Are you single?
“I’ve been dating and I’ve recently met someone, but it’s very new so I don’t want to say too much about it. We enjoy each other’s company, so we’ll see how it goes.”