Emmerdale: Rhona Goskirk tries to kiss Marlon Dingle
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Emmerdale actor Mark Charnock was left in “shock” after doing research for the show’s storyline that sees his character, Marlon Dingle, suffer a stroke. The 53-year-old told Express.co.uk and other media outlets how finding out more about the condition has been a “total eye-opener” for him.
He also highlighted the “sheer weight” of the stroke figures in the UK, where “a stroke occurs every 5 minutes”.
Mark said: “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.”
Mark has expressed hopes that his portrayal will raise awareness on the “devastating” consequences of a stroke.
He said: “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.
The TV star continued: “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.”
Elsewhere during the interview, Mark reflected on how the stroke changed Marlon’s life “forever”.
He explained that, following the stroke, Marlon’s outlook on the future changed as he feared he “can’t be the dad he wanted to be” for his children.
Mark said: “I don’t think he’s going to get to where he wants to be for a long time, and we’re just at the beginning of his journey.
“He can’t work anymore, and he feels, wrongly, that he can’t be the dad he wants to be anymore, which is everything to him, because of his incapacitation.”
However, other characters supported him following the traumatic experience and ensured there is “some comedy” in the scenes.
The people rallying around Marlon to support him include his love interest, Rhona Goskirk, played by Zoe Henry.
Mark stressed that after the stroke there was hope and positivity for Marlon’s recovery.
He continued: “But because of Rhona and Paddy and other characters who come into this story who are a big support, there’s some comedy in it too.
“There’s some fun to be had in it and some lovely scenes with Paddy, really funny and well written in the hospital quite early on.
“There’s a great deal of hope that things can only get better from where they are, there’s positivity to be had from it too.
“So, hopefully apart from it being distressing, traumatic for the characters, also it will inspire them to get their lives back,” he said.
Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV, with an hour-long episode airing on Thursdays.
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