Strict mum kept me on High Road to stardom; EMMERDALE STAR REVEALS HER ON-SCREEN DRUGS DILEMMA.
WHEN Natalie Robb was a teenager, she was too scared of her strict mum to touch drugs.
The actress was too afraid of the reaction at home if she had got caught to risk experimenting with illegal substances.
So she looked to her own mum Julie while preparing for tonight's Emmerdale, where her character Moira Barton discovers clean-cut daughter Holly has been kicked out of college for dealing drugs.
Natalie, who joined Take The High Road at age 16, said: "When I was younger it was more about alcohol and she is strict about me drinking a glass of wine to this day.
"Because I was working on High Road I didn't go clubbing. I missed that scene. I was very lucky.
"But I would never dare do drugs, with my mother. "She still worries about me now. When I went to Barbados with my sister in January she was worried sick the whole time we were away until we got back.
"When we got back I phoned her and she was like, 'Thank God for that'. I said, 'Mum I'm 35 years old' and she said, 'It doesn't matter, you'll always be my baby.'"
Tonight's episode will shock Emmerdale viewers and touch a nerve with millions of parents.
It's the Dales's first teen drug-addict storyline and sees Holly, played by Sophie Powles, sucked into the world of drugs, dragging her family with her and tearing them apart over the coming months.
Natalie says her mother has spotted similarities between her and mum-of-three Moira in the soap.
And because she has no kids of her own, the 35-year-old Scot freely admits turning to Julie as her inspiration.
"I'd be a lot more laid-back if I had kids," admitted Natalie. "Maybe I wouldn't because my mum was very strict and quite controlling and Moira is very like that.
"Not that it's done me any harm. I've based Moira on my own mother.
"Because I don't have my own children, when I read something in the script I think how would my mum have reacted to that and how my mum was with me.
"She lives in Spain now but watches the show and has told me she's seen herself in Moira. I thought, 'I bet you did'. She's done that a few times. 'Oh, the look you gave him. That's the kind of look I'd have given your father.'"
The youngest of three children, Natalie made her screen debut aged nine in a drama alongside Tom Conti and at 13 was awarded the BBC Young Entertainer of the Year award by Kylie Minogue on kids' TV show Going Live!.
Her parents divorced when she was 15 and a year later she got the role of Trish McDonald in Take The High Road, which established her TV career. Since then, she has had parts in The Bill, Doctors and EastEnders.
SHE'S loving her new role, one that will see all of Emmerdale's Barton family suffer from Holly's descent into drugs.
It's the first big storyline for the family since they joined the soap last year, taking over Butler's Farm.
Dad John (James Thornton) and children Hannah (Grace Cassidy) and Adam (Adam Thomas), make up the rest of the family.
John has already been in trouble after kissing Eve Jenson, played by Suzanne Shaw. The move will come back to haunt them as mum and dad are stretched to breaking point over their oldest child's drug taking.
Next week, Holly will steal ketamine from the farm and swap it with Roz (Kirsty-Leigh Porter) for cocaine.
While Emmerdale has previously touched on drugs in the past, this storyline will go deeper as the soap continues to win a younger audience.
Natalie said: "I think it's the first time Emmerdale are getting really serious about drugs.
"It's dark and it'll be controversial but it's happening all the time. We will raise awareness of it.
"You just have to look at what has gone on recently with MCat (the recently banned mephedrone).
"There was the story of a medical student who had a great background, took the drug when it was still legal and it killed her.
"What chance have young people got?" With 26 years in showbiz under her belt, Natalie knows of people who have had addictions to drugs and to alcohol.
But her workaholic ways have kept her on the straight and narrow.
Over the years she's lived in London, Spain and most recently the French Alps, where she'd moved with a previous boyfriend.
But now she's back in the UK, living in a converted warehouse in Leeds close to where Emmerdale is filmed.
She's single and despite playing a mum, she isn't in any rush to have children of her own.
Natalie said: "I'm getting on with work. Anyway, women can have children much later now. I'm not worried about that.
"I'm not looking to have a child right now but I'm not saying no to having a child."
Emmerdale is on STV tonight at 7pm.
STARLET: Age 13 with mum Julie, far left. In Take The High Road, centre, and her latest Emmerdale storyline, left