As Emmerdale’s bed-hopping mucky Moira, actress Natalie J Robb must know you can’t keep secrets on soaps.

And even off set it’s difficult as Natalie, 45, found out when she was outed for dating Dales co-star Jonny McPherson, 38.

They started going out at the beginning of the year and kept it under wraps until a cast online Zoom call for the 50th birthday of fellow star Liam Fox, who is Dan Spencer.

Natalie and Jonny who plays Dr Liam Cavanagh, were pictured together for the first time looking cosy as they sat at the kitchen table.

A source said: “Natalie has had her fair share of romps as Moira but this time she’s found love off screen. Everyone is so happy for them.

The online chat for the 50th birthday of fellow star Liam Fox, who is Dan Spencer

“Lockdown gave them some quality time together and they couldn’t be happier. It’s still early days but Natalie can’t stop smiling.” Moira, married to Cain Dingle, has had an affair with newcomer Nate.

But Natalie was happy to remain single. In October she said: “I don’t have time for romance. Statistics prove you are a lot happier and healthier now if you are single, because you don’t have to compromise.

“You are in control. You get pickier when you get older, you know what you don’t want.”

Sources said Natalie and Jonny have been friends for a couple of years after meeting on the show and even went on holiday together to Lapland just before Christmas.