Feisty newcomer set to join the cast of ITV1 soap ''Emmerdale'' later this year

Gemma Oaten is set to join the cast of ITV soap Emmerdale as feisty Rachel Breckle. The actress will play Rachel who arrives in the village in July when she defends her niece Amelia (Daisy Campbell) who is accused of bullying little Samson Dingle.

Rachel is defensive, argumentative and insistent whilst dealing with the rowdy Dingle clan. Oaten may already be familiar to viewers as the 27-year-old actress starred in BBC1's Doctors as well as various stage productions in Drama Studio London.

Talking about her casting, Oaten said: ''I'm thrilled to be joining Emmerdale. I've always watched the show and getting the part of Rachel is a dream come true.  She is a fantastic character and I'm so excited about filming my first scenes.''

Series producer of Emmerdale Stuart Blackburn commented: ''I'm delighted to welcome Gemma to the cast. Rachel will certainly ruffle a few feathers with her straight-talking approach but underneath the surface she is fiercely loyal with a heart of gold.''

Viewers will see Rachel appear on screen from late July.