EMILY Symons is all of a twitter. She's back in London for the first time in years and is excited about meeting up with all her old pals from Emmerdale.
The 43-year-old Australian actress moved to the UK for seven years in 2001, to play barmaid Louise Appleton in the ITV soap.
However, she left to move back Down Under and in 2010, reprised her role as blonde waitress Marilyn Chambers in the Aussie soap Home and Away.
And Marilyn's the reason she's back in Britain now - she's visiting to discuss the latest drama in the character's life. Symons is delighted to have the chance to catch up with old friends while she's here, though.
"I'm meeting up with Emmerdale friends. That's quite a lot of girlfriends to catch up with," she says, smiling widely.
Dressed in a dark shirt, fitted trousers and heels, with her blonde hair tumbling over her shoulders and minimal make-up, she is a lot more elegant than her soap characters Marilyn and Louise, but just as bubbly, talking 19 to the dozen and brimming with enthusiasm for everything she mentions.
There's seeing the sites in London again, her stint on Emmerdale and the imminent catch-up with her former Dancing On Ice partner Dan Whiston.
But it's not all smiles and sunshine in Symons's life. The chirpy actress admits that she went through a dark time when she returned to Australia after leaving Emmerdale.
Her mother died not long after her return, making Symons reflect on her life so far.
"I spent 20 years off on this mad adventure, and then when I finally came home my mother died. I know everyone has tragedy in their lives, but I think that particularly rocked me. Turning 40 and losing my mother will always have an effect on me."
Family is incredibly important to Symons. She has previously spoken of her struggle to have children (while married to British aristocrat Lorenzo Smith, descendent of WH Smith) and is now a devoted aunt.
When she's not working her favourite thing to do is spend time with her young niece.
Her caring nature is something she shares with her character Marilyn, who's so kind that it can sometimes work against her.
Her latest love interest is the Braxton brothers' charming criminal father Danny, a dalliance which is dangerous territory for sweet-natured Marilyn.
"Marilyn sees the good in everyone and I think that's an honourable trait," says Symons.
The recent scenes have been a bit of a key change for Symons, who spends most of her time in the soap acting out comic scenes in The Diner with fellow long-time cast member Ray Meagher, who plays grumpy Alf Stewart.
"It's been scary for me because Steve (Peacocke; who plays oldest Braxton brother Brax) has slammed a few doors in my face and had to be quite menacing towards me.
"I just want to do comedy, that's really what they asked me to come back to do.
After years playing Marilyn, Symons feels at home in Summer Bay but there's one thing she still relies on to help her get into character: Marilyn's stilettos.
"There's always a director who says, 'Nobody wears high heels on the beach!'" she says, giggling.
"And I say, 'She does wear high heels at the beach, she always has'. So I never back down on that one.
"I can walk on sand - easy."
Home And Away continues on Channel 5 on week nights