Laurel Dingle’s life is to be left on the line when she ends up drinking herself unconscious and choking on her own vomit.
“It was a really hard scene to film,” says actress Charlotte Bellamy. “Laurel chokes in front of both Arthur and April, so it was tough for me to do. But it’s a brave move of the writers to do something like this – it’s a real, raw experience that lots of people have been through. And it shows just how vulnerable both she and those children are.”
The shock moment comes after Jimmy turns Laurel down for a job as his PA after Jai gives his former employee a bad reference. In a desperate state, Laurel reacts in the way to which she’s become increasingly accustomed: by reaching for the bottle.
“It’s a really sad moment,” continues Bellamy. “During the interview, Laurel is feeling so positive and she has been honest with Jimmy about what’s been going on in her life. So when Jimmy doesn’t give her the job after leading her on, Laurel’s world comes crashing down. The audience will be left in no doubt that there’s a problem because Laurel drinks three bottles of wine, which leaves her unconscious.”
Scenes to be broadcast on Thursday 30 April see little Arthur rushing to the Woolpack after failing to wake Laurel, while a panicked but responsible April rings for an ambulance. And when Marlon and Doug finally get wind of what’s happening, they rush home to find Laurel being treated by paramedics.
“Laurel is rushed to hospital and everyone can see that, this time, her actions have had consequences not just for herself, but for the children too. Laurel was supposed to be looking after them, but she was doing anything but.”
It’s the most shocking moment so far in what has already been a hard-hitting storyline. So has Bellamy relished the opportunity to chart Laurel’s descent into alcoholism?
“There are so many moments of light and shade that you get to show when playing a drunk. Sometimes Laurel can be angry and aggressive, at other times she’s weepy or silly. So, yes, I’m really enjoying the challenge of showing the different sides to her personality, while also telling a very poignant, raw and real story.”
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