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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Hotel Babylon – Emma Pierson plays Anna Thornton Wilton

Sadly for fans of Hotel Babylon the kittenish, foxy and oft-times infuriating head of reception, Anna Thornton Wilton, will be leaving the hotel for good this season as actress Emma Pierson leaves the show to concentrate on other projects.

"It's heart-breaking in a way to be leaving Hotel Babylon as I have adored playing Anna but there comes a time when you have to move on from a show and this is my time. I can guarantee a great departure for her but all I'm prepared to say is that all her dreams come true."

When episode one opens we meet a very pregnant Anna Thornton Wilton who appears to be weirdly in denial of her predicament. She refuses to tell her Babylon colleagues who the father is. In true Babylon style the staff resort to running a book and no one is safe from speculation.

"Anna is incredibly vulnerable and hasn't really gotten over the departure of Charlie so has decided to ignore what is happening to her by going about her daily business – heels and all," says Emma.

"When she finds out that her friends are running a bet on the identity of the father she is absolutely horrified and randomly picks out hotel waiter, Darren, from the staff canteen and tells them that he's the dad. However, her confidence takes a serious knock when she is forced to look after the son of a guest couple and she begins to have serious doubts about her ability to bring up children alone," she recalls.

"Meanwhile, poor innocent Darren has begun to fall hopelessly in love with Anna and it all becomes a bit much when he starts talking nappies and paternity leave," she laughs

Emma Pierson has loved playing the part of the foxy and outspoken Anna mostly because she has been able to develop, contribute and create opportunities to take Anna to the extremes of comedy within the drama.

"I feel like I've created a character that audiences connect with and enjoy and I hope I've made people laugh with and at her," she says. "I've played all of my own stunts throughout the series and there have been some interesting ones like hanging upside down from the ceiling last year."

Anna has always loved her glamour and one can imagine her sitting at home in fluffy kitten-heel slippers, surrounded by Balenciaga and Gucci. However, in series three we saw a new dimension to Anna's character as her role became more prominent and her character more central. Unfortunately, in series four audiences will see Anna depart Hotel Babylon for good in what promises to be a tear-jerker.

"Anna fell for quite a few handsome men during her time at the hotel but none more than Charlie Edwards, the hotel's former General Manager played by my good friend Max Beesley,” she recalls.

"She definitely grew up a lot over the years and changed a little but she is still naughty and irreverent underneath. Despite being uncomfortably pregnant she still manages her witty one-liners and put-downs."

"As an actor who is in a returning show with great ratings, the audience know what they want from the characters and they expect to see on screen what they know and love and have invested in," she explains.

Emma went straight from the set of Hotel Babylon to play Fanny Dorrit in Andrew Davies' adaptation of Little Dorrit on BBC One before heading off on a four-month trip travelling to Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

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