Roxy Shahidi is one of Emmerdale’s most renowned faces.
The soap star has played Leyla Cavanagh in the ITV show since 2008. The 39-year-old arrived in the Yorkshire village to work at Eric Pollard’s factory and soon struck up a relationship with David Metcalfe.
The two eventually bought Farrers Farm together, but their relationship was rocked when it was revealed Leyla was Jacob’s biological mum. Leyla temporarily exited the programme in 2011, but returned two years later when Jacob tried to get back in touch with her.
She has since been a mainstay in the soap and is now married to village doctor Liam Cavanagh. The couple have struggled since Liam’s daughter, Leanna, was murdered by Meena Jutla last summer.
Leyla has since suffered a miscarriage – and has been coping with her drug habit in the soap this week. Although her character is enduring a difficult time on the Dales, Roxy’s life away from the screen is fortunately less dramatic than her TV counterpart.
The soap star has been married to Arsher Ali since 2010. Arsher is a TV star who played PC Hari Bains in the third season of the hit BBC show, Line of Duty.
He also appeared in programmes such as Doctor Who and The Fear Index. The two met while working on a theatre production in 2007 and Roxy was taken aback when he proposed to her after two weeks.
She told Mirror Online: “He just looked me in the eye at a cast party and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ I didn’t answer and he said, ‘You will be my wife’ and that was it. I didn’t quite know what to make of it because I didn’t know him that well.
“I knew that he liked me but we hadn’t really said anything. We hadn’t even kissed. I half wanted to laugh and say, ‘That’s absolutely ridiculous!’, and the other half thought, ‘Oooh, kiss me passionately.’”
Roxy and Arsher tied the knot three years later and share a happy life together. She gave birth to a baby girl in 2018, but Roxy revealed she was initially terrified when she discovered she was pregnant.
She told OK! in 2017: “We had only been trying for a few weeks and I was sure it was going to take us much longer. To be honest, I was absolutely terrified when I saw the test was positive. I burst into tears.
“We had only been trying for a few weeks and I was sure it was going to take us much longer It took a few weeks before I got my head around it but, once I did, I was filled with joy.
Roxy went on to explain Charley Webb, who played Debbie Dingle, was convinced she was pregnant before she discovered her baby joy. She added: “It’s weird as Charley actually told me she thought I was pregnant before I did the test.
“We had been working together and she called me when I got home and said my boobs gave it away. Arsher also guessed too because one day I had a sudden craving for Hula Hoops, which isn’t something I’d usually eat.”
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV and ITV Hub
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