Over in Emmerdale, Cathy Hope has been left reeling following a difficult Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) diagnosis – a condition that can cause extreme mood swings and heavy periods. The much-loved character, played by actress Gabrielle Dowling, was devastated after learning her condition could only be cured, not managed, and things took a turn after she learned pregnancy could ease her symptoms.
After setting about trying to get pregnant by love interest Samson Dingle (Sam Hall), the troubled teen became even more infuriated after best pal April Windsor (Amelia Flanagan) decided to reveal her dubious plan, leaving Samson shocked. As Cathy deals with the aftermath of April’s revelation, we take a look at the real life of actor Gabrielle, from her famous mum to her fellow thespian twin.
Gabrielle is the daughter of Louise Dowling, a famous professional dancer who decided to swap the world of dance for acting. Louise managed to land a number of small parts but wanted her own children to enjoy even greater success. Before Gabrielle and her twin brother Sebastian Dowling were even born, Louise signed them up for the roles of twins Cathy and Heath in Emmerdale, under the strict stipulation that the demands of life on set wouldn’t interfere with their home life.
Sebastian and Gabrielle have been regulars on the soap since 2007, joining the cast when they were just four weeks old as the newborn twins of Bob and Viv Hope (Tony Audenshaw and Deena Payne). Of course, having such young children on set wasn’t without its difficulties, and, when they were still tiny babies, the production team reportedly had to come up with a special trick to get the pair to cry on command.
Mum Louise told The Examiner: “They sometimes want them to cry, which can be difficult because they don’t really cry much unless they’re hungry”. Staff would therefore give the little ones a bottle before taking it away for the required scene. Louise went on to clarify that she was completely fine with this method, explaining: “It’s only for a few seconds while they film. I’m chilled out about it.”