Emmerdale’s Marlon Dingle will face a serious health battle in a new storyline.
Marlon, played by Mark Charnock, will be seen suffering a life-threatening stroke in heartbreaking episodes airing next week on ITV.
ITV share: “In the hope of raising awareness of the warning signs that come before a stroke, the programme’s narrative will focus upon Marlon and tell the story from his character’s perspective.
“The episodes have been produced with the support of the charity, the Stroke Association, who have worked closely with Emmerdale’s scriptwriters, story, research and production teams from the conception of the storyline to give a realistic and authentic depiction of Marlon’s journey.
“In the coming months, scenes will explore how Marlon and his family, friends and loved ones will come to terms with the diagnosis and how it will impact their future and the wider community.”
Emmerdale Producer, Laura Shaw, commented: “Warm, witty and kindhearted Marlon is undoubtedly one of Emmerdale’s most loved characters and with Mark Charnock’s sheer skill, craft and incredible range, it felt totally right to play such an incredibly important story as this, with Marlon highlighting that a stroke can happen at any time and showing the catastrophic consequences it can have on the person affected and their whole family.”
Laura continued: “When we first started researching this storyline I was shocked by the stark statistics that the UK alone has 1.3 million stroke survivors, so we knew we wanted to do those people and their families justice by showing the raw reality of a stroke as truthfully and honestly as we could.
“Extensive research was done for the actual stroke episode so we could step outside of our usual storytelling style and show the stroke from Marlon’s POV in a really impactful way because we wanted viewers to see what a stroke feels like in the moment.
“As the story unfolds, we follow the tragic and heartbreaking long lasting repercussions it has on Marlon and his friends and family and how their love for each other shines through as they all pull together at this most difficult time.”
Juliet Bouverie OBE, Chief Executive at the Stroke Association added: “Many viewers will be able to identify with Marlon’s storyline, including the 1.3 million stroke survivors living in the UK.
“A stroke can leave people facing the rest of their lives with a disability, and the emotional strain caused by the condition can be devastating on the stroke survivor and their family.”
Juliet continued: “We are delighted that Emmerdale and Mark Charnock are taking on this challenging story. As a charity, we are very pleased to have been able to offer our advice and support from the beginning of the process.
“A number of stroke consultants, stroke survivors and teams across the charity have helped the Emmerdale production team to ensure a realistic depiction of a stroke is portrayed on screen.
“We hope that Marlon’s stroke will raise awareness amongst viewers, as a quarter of all strokes happen to people of working age (under 65’s) just like Marlon. Stroke changes lives in an instant, but the brain can adapt. If you think you or someone you know is having a stroke you should Act FAST and call 999 as a stroke is a medical emergency. Anyone who’d like to find out more about stroke can visit www.stroke.org.uk.”
Mark Charnock added: “Working with Emmerdale‘s research team and the Stroke Association on this storyline has been a total eye-opener for me. We hear the word “stroke” bandied around a great deal, but being confronted with the sheer weight of numbers in this country alone has been a shock.
“A stroke occurs every 5 minutes in the UK. Over 100,000 a year. More can and should be done to raise awareness and hopefully, this story can help with that. It’s an enormous responsibility to try and get it right for the survivors and their families and for those who’ve lost loved ones to this awful event.
“No two strokes are the same, but the after-effects are devastating. I’m very proud of the show for telling it and for letting me be a part of it.”