Emmerdale star Simon Lennon says exit from ITV soap will help him handle his OCD


Emmerdale star Simon Lennon insists he did not mind being killed off in tonight’s episode as moving from role to role helps him combat his obsessive compulsive disorder.

Simon, 27, whose character Ben Tucker was sensationally disposed of by resident psychopath Meena Jutla (Paige Sanhu), has had the syndrome from childhood.

But rather than thriving on routine, he says never knowing what he will do next helps overcome it.

And so, after being brutally whacked over the head, Simon is now looking forward to starting a new adventure.

He says: “The hardest part about acting is working together, making a new family and then leaving them.



Simon Lennon joined the cast of Emmerdale earlier this year

“But it is also the start of new adventures. And for me, going to different auditions and not knowing what is coming up next is what I love most.

“I struggled with OCD when I was younger and had therapy. I’m not great when I am in a routine and have to break out.

“That’s why I’m so excited about being back in that world of auditions and work­­ing out what will happen next.”



Simon Lennon
The actor is looking forward to taking on some new challenges and roles



Bridgerton
Before Emmerdale, Simon appeared on Netflix hit Bridgerton as Grantchester

Reflecting on how his disorder first showed itself, Simon explains: “I had to touch the table with both hands a lot as a child.

“I always wanted to balance and tap things. I was quite academic and my brain works with numbers quite quickly. I was encouraged to go to university but turned down all my offers because my leanings were to be creative.

“I love acting and it’s been brilliant playing Ben, who has such empathy.

“But, as viewers saw last night, the poor lad is also too nice and that ultimately leads to his downfall. I couldn’t have asked for a better finale.”

Simon, who joined the show as kayak instructor Ben last year, has been in an on-screen relationship with Aaron Dingle, played by Danny Miller.



Emmerdale
Simon and Danny Miller as their Emmerdale character, Aaron and Ben

Danny, 30, is currently proving a big hit on ITV ’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here!

He had viewers – including Simon – in stitches on Monday night when he gagged several times during the show’s first eating trial.

“Out of all the trials, I really wanted to see him do the eating one as everyone struggles with it,” he chuckles.

“Danny has such a bad gag reflex and it definitely did not help him when eating the fermented catfish!”

Reality TV is not something Simon needs to turn to help his career.

He has already starred in Our Girl alongside Michelle Keegan and in period dramas Grantchester and Bridgerton.



Simon Lennon
Simon with his Our Girl co-stars, including Michelle Keegan, back in 2017

He was 16 when he discovered he loved acting and two years later he moved from his home city of Liverpool to theatre school in London where he took any job he could find to pay his rent.

He says: “You become a better storyteller from things that happen in your life.

“Grafting in London and barely having the money to pay the rent was really difficult but ultimately it was character building.

“My worst job was in a call centre because I found it really hard to push people. But all of that has really helped me as a person.”

And he adds: “I have had the best time ever on Emmerdale. I’ve made some truly amazing friends and I am excited to see what happens next.

“I’m also going to keep on voting for Danny to do every challenge on I’m A Celebrity too!

“I think he will absolutely smash it out the park and I’m definitely rooting for him to win.”

*Emmerdale, weekdays, 7pm. Extra episode, Thursday, 8pm.





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