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Monday 24th June 2019

A short history of Emmerdale's Priya Kotecha

Party-girl, single mum, and sometime diva...

If we had to pick one phrase to describe Emmerdale's Priya Kotecha (nee Sharma), it would probably be 'pampered princess'!

She's spent her whole life surrounded by adoring men, doting on her every need - from her dad and brothers, to her string of romantic partners. Priya is a girl who's used to getting what she wants.

But she's also smart, sassy, and determined to succeed, with a stunning wardrobe that we would love to get our hands on!

Here's the story of one of the Dales' feistiest characters...

Read more: A short history of Emmerdale's Maya Stepney

Who are Priya Kotecha's family, the Sharmas?

Priya has dad Rakesh and brother Jai wrapped around her finger! (Credit: ITV)

Priya (originally played by Effie Woods) arrived in the village in 2009 along with her older brothers Jai and Nikhil, who moved to Emmerdale to open a sweet factory.

While her siblings were all about business, Priya was a flighty girl who was more interested in having a good time than working hard. This caused a lot of tension between Priya and Nikhil, who wasn't keen on his little sister freeloading off him and Jai.

After a brief stint away from the village, Priya (now played by Fiona Wade) returned with her parents Rishi and Georgia. But Priya's relationship with her dad was tested when Rishi announced the he was the father of Rachel Breckle's son, Archie!

Priya was disgusted that her dad had slept with a woman young enough to be his daughter, and she refused to speak to him. However, it was later revealed that Rishi was just covering for his son Jai, who was the real father. With the truth out in the open, Priya reconciled with her dad.

Priya and Jai have always had a close relationship. But things became tense between the siblings after Priya lost her temper at Jai's daughter Eliza, scaring the poor little girl.

When Eliza then started to develop suspicious bruises, everyone was quick to point the finger at Priya, causing a brief rift between her and Jai. Thankfully, the bruising was revealed to be a result of the epilepsy medication Eliza was taking, and Jai was forced to apologise to Priya.

When was Priya with David Metcalfe and Rakesh Kotecha?

Priya tried to make her marriage to slippery lawyer Rakesh work (Credit: ITV)

Not long after returning to the village, Priya became embroiled in a steamy fling with village bad boy, Cain Dingle! Jai warned her to stay away from the rotter, but Priya wouldn't listen. However, Jai was proved right when Cain got teenager Amy pregnant, and Priya dumped him.

Priya later developed a crush on David, who was married to Alicia at the time. But with Alicia in prison, Priya made her move - and before long, she and David were having a secret fling.

After David and Alicia's marriage was revealed to be a sham, he and Priya became engaged. Their wedding day ended in disaster, though, when David left Priya to get back together with Alicia! And to add insult to injury, Priya then discovered that she was pregnant with David's baby...

Priya was heartbroken by her split from David - so much so that she asked her parents to arrange a marriage for her. She was introduced to charming lawyer Rakesh Kotecha, and soon the pair were engaged.

Priya was a loyal wife to Rakesh - until his money worries caused their marriage to crumble. Not only did he burn down Mill Cottage as part of an insurance fraud - leaving a handful of villagers seriously injured - he also embezzled money from Priya's family. When Priya found out, she sent him packing.

As her marriage to Rakesh fizzled out, Priya began a steamy affair with Pete Barton - who happened to be engaged to her best friend Leyla. The truth about the fling eventually came out, and all hell broke loose.

What have been Priya Kotecha's biggest storylines?

Priya was involved in the mystery surrounding Maya's disappearance (Credit: ITV)

When Priya became pregnant with David's baby, she developed an eating disorder. Leyla soon worked out that her pal wasn't eating, and revealed the truth to the midwife during Priya's ultrasound. But poor Priya's misery didn't stop there...

After collapsing in the cafe, Priya was rushed to hospital - where she was told that both she and her baby were suffering from anorexia. It took a long while for Priya to accept help, but she eventually admitted herself to a special eating disorder clinic. And a few weeks later she gave birth to her daughter, Amba.

Priya also found herself in terrible danger when serial killer Lachlan set his sights on her. She'd uncovered part of the message that kidnapped Rebecca White had left in a shack in the woods, and threatened to go to the police about it. Thankfully for Priya, Lachlan's murderous plan was foiled, and she lived to fight another day.

More recently, Priya was caught up in a scandal when she was the one to discover teacher Maya's abuse of pupil Jacob. After revealing what she'd seen to Tracy and Leyla, the three of them confronted Maya, resulting in her going missing.

Why did Leyla and Priya have a catfight?

Priya and Leyla's friendship fell apart after Priya slept with Leyla's fiance, Pete! (Credit: ITV)

Priya doesn't seem to keep her friends for very long - mainly because she keeps stealing their men!

She once got into a massive catfight in the middle of the village with Rachel and Alicia. The argument initially started between Priya and David, but it had soon escalated, and before long Priya, Rachel and Alicia were furiously slapping one another!

Priya's closest friendship has been with Leyla, but the pair fell out when Leyla discovered that Priya had been sleeping with her fiance Pete.

Leyla was furious that her best friend had betrayed her in such an awful way, and launched herself at Priya - dishing out a slap across her face. The pals have since made up, and were recently united in their hatred for Maya.

Read more: Emmerdale's Fiona Wade announces engagement

A classic Priya quote

Priya's the queen of the one-liners! (Credit: ITV)

"You might own half this village, but you do not own this factory, and I don't have to grovel to you." Priya's brilliant take-down of snooty Chrissie White left all the factory girls impressed!

Do you have a favourite Priya moment? Leave your comments on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!