Emmerdale star Roxy Shahidi on the red carpet and looking shocked as Leyla Cavanagh comp image

Roxy Shahidi: Emmerdale’s Leyla’s life vs actress’s happy marriage

The Leyla Cavanagh actress has a famous other half

Emmerdale star Roxy Shahidi is a far cry from her alter ego Leyla Cavanagh in real life.

As Leyla car crashes through relationship, after relationship, Roxy is a happily married mum-of-one.

But she did have a rather soapy proposal from her Line of Duty stay husband!

Who is Roxy Shahidi’s husband? How old is she? Here’s everything we know about the Leyla Cavanagh actress.

Leyla’s not had the best year (Credit: ITV)

Who is Leyla Cavanagh?

Leyla Cavanagh arrived in the village in 2008 clad in a PVC catsuit and immediately made her mark!

She left in 2011, but returned in 2014 and, apart from a brief absence while Roxy took maternity leave, Leyla’s been in the show ever since.

Leyla’s one of Emmerdale’s most unlucky-in-love residents with most of her romances ending in disaster – some more dramatic than others!

Leyla’s first romance in the village was with David Metcalfe. She fell for him hard, but ended up cheating on him with her boss, Nathan Wylde.

After her departure and subsequent return in 2014, she started an affair with Jai Sharma.

Later, Leyla began seeing Pete Barton and they got engaged. But their relationship ended they both got cold feet on their wedding day!

Leyla found happiness with handsome village doctor Liam Cavanagh. But they were immediately struck by problems when his daughter Leanna was murdered by Meena.

She then suffered a miscarriage and after that got shot by Meena!

It was hardly surprising when Leyla developed a cocaine addiction to help numb the pain.

Callum leans to talk to tied-up Leyla on Emmerdale
Leyla’s been kidnapped! (Credit: ITV)

Split from Liam and future love?

Leyla took an overdose and had a heart attack.

Despite Liam standing by her as she went to rehab, the cracks in their marriage were just too deep and they called it quits last year.

Desperate Leyla almost replapsed, but was caught by her son, Jacob. He took matters into his own hands and confronted her drug dealer, but things went wrong when he got stabbed.

Jacob cut his mum off, but has warmed to her again recently.

However, she’s put them in danger once again by trying to get revenge on dealer Callum.

After reporting him to the police, Leyla and friend Suzy went too far and told Callum’s dodgy associates he was working with the cops.

It resulted in a brick over the head for Suzy and Leyla is kidnapped.

But will she survive?

And if she does, can she find new love?

Rumours are rife that she is to hook-up with village newcomer Caleb Miligan, but will that be a match made in heaven?

Emmerdale star Roxy Shahidi stuns in yellow strapless jumpsuit on the red carpet at the 2017 British Soap Awards
Roxy has been in Emmerdale for 14 years (Credit: SplashNews.com)

How old is Roxy Shahidi?

Roxy, whose full name is Rokhsaneh Ghawam-Shahidi, was born on March 12, 1983.

She is 40 years old.

Her dad is Iranian and her mum is English. She grew up in Manchester.

Roxy became a vegetarian when she was eight years old and turned vegan at 21.

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A post shared by YogaRox (@roxyshahidi)

Is Emmerdale star Roxy Shahidi married? Who is her husband?

Roxy is married to fellow actor Arsher Ali. He is known for roles in hit dramas such as Line Of Duty and Ackley Bridge.

The couple have been together for 10 years after he proposed within two weeks of meeting her!

They were working on a play together at The National Theatre at the time and Roxy 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.”

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

“I half wanted to laugh and say, ‘That’s absolutely ridiculous!’ and the other half thought, ‘Oooh, kiss me passionately!'”

How many children do they have?

Roxy and Arsher announced they were expecting their first child in 2017.

The couple shared the exciting news with OK! Magazine, Roxy said: “To be honest, I was absolutely terrified when I saw the test was positive. I burst into tears.

“We had only been trying for a few weeks and I was sure it was going to take us much longer! It took a few weeks before I got my head around it but, once I did, I was filled with joy.”

The star went on to explain that it was her co-star Charley Webb, who plays Debbie Dingle, who was convinced she was pregnant.

Roxy continued: “It’s weird as Charley actually told me she thought I was pregnant before I did the test. We had been working together and she called me when I got home and said my boobs gave it away.

“Arsher also guessed too because one day I had a sudden craving for Hula Hoops, which isn’t something I’d usually eat!”

Roxy gave birth to a baby girl in January 2018.

Dressed in red Roxy Shahidi performs a yoga pose
Roxy is a yoga instructor too (Credit: YouTube/Yoga with Rox)

Read more: Who’s leaving Emmerdale this year?

Emmerdale star Roxy Shahidi teaches yoga too

Roxy is also a qualified yoga instructor.

She juggles her time on Emmerdale with teaching yoga classes and has free sessions on her YouTube channel.

Speaking in 2014 to Your Healthy Living, Roxy explained she was inspired to take up yoga by a DVD her grandma owned!

“When I was a teenager I borrowed a Barbara Currie yoga DVD from my grandma,” she said.

“Barbara wore luminous lycra outfits and the DVD had cheesy 90s backgrounds, but it really inspired me.”

Explaining her passion for yoga, she added: “If I’m feeling like I’ve got loads of energy and need to calm down, 30 minutes to an hour of Ashtanga yoga really helps to calm me and use up some of that excess energy.”

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Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV, with an hour-long episode on Thursdays.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)