Who plays Leyla Harding in Emmerdale and how old is she?

18 June 2021, 09:11

Leyla Harding has been in Emmerdale since 2008
Leyla Harding has been in Emmerdale since 2008. Picture: ITV/Instagram

How old is Leyla in Emmerdale and what do we know about Roxy Shahidi?

Leyla Harding has become an Emmerdale favourite after joining the soap all the way back in 2008.

Over the past decade, Leyla has been part of some major storylines, including her romance with David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden) and having a baby from a one night stand with her sister's husband.

She was also part of the soap's Big Night Out episode involving Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein).

Leyla Harding has been part of some huge Emmerdale storylines
Leyla Harding has been part of some huge Emmerdale storylines. Picture: ITV

But who plays Leyla Harding and what else has she been in? Here’s what we know…

Who plays Leyla Harding in Emmerdale?

Roxy Shahidi has played Leyla Harding since 2008.

Her full name is Rokhsaneh Ghawam-Shahidi and she was born on March 12 1983, making her 38-years-old.

How old is Leyla in Emmerdale?

Leyla was born on March 4 1984, making her one year younger than actress Roxy.

Leyla Harding is played by Roxy Shahidi
Leyla Harding is played by Roxy Shahidi. Picture: PA Images

After joining in 2008, Roxy quit her role in 2011 before returning full-time in January 2014.

In January 2018, Roxy took maternity leave from the show whilst pregnant with her first child and returned in October.

What else has Roxy Shahidi been in?

Roxy kicked off her acting career at Contact Young Actors Company in 2004 and then worked as a drama workshop leader in Oldham and Bolton.

She also appeared in theatre shows such as East is East, Janus (for West Yorkshire Playhouse) and Christie Malry's Own Double Entry at the Palace Theatre.

The star has appeared on the TV show Sinchronicity.

Away from acting, Roxy is a Yoga instructor and shares her videos on Instagram and YouTube.

As for her personal life, she has been married to fellow actor Arsher Ali since 2010.

The pair met while working on a play together back in 2007 and they welcomed their first daughter together in 2018.

Opening up about the moment her husband asked her to marry him, she previously told The Mirror: “He just looked me in the eye at a cast party and said, ‘Will you marry me?’ ”

“I didn’t answer and he said, ‘You will be my wife’ and that was it. I didn’t quite know what to make of it because I didn’t know him that well.

“I knew that he liked me but we hadn’t really said anything. We hadn’t even kissed!”