Emmerdale’s Charity Dingle and Frank Clayton are a match made in soap heaven – they’re both fun, feisty characters with a mile-wide naughty streak, and neither would trust the other as far as they could throw them.
Their sizzling chemistry has quickly made them the village’s newest dangerous duo, pulling off a jewellery heist at Home Farm and developing a dangerous mutual attraction. According to Emma Atkins, who plays Charity, this frisson with Frank means we’re seeing the character at her best.
“Charity just loves getting up to high jinx – it’s when she feels most alive. Not only has she managed to pull off a scam with one of the most mischievous men in the village, she’s got one over on the Whites, one over on her old rival Megan, and on top of that, she’s got Frank over a barrel. What’s not to like!?”
As ever with Charity, she’s unlikely to do anything unless there’s something in it for her, so what’s Frank got to offer? “He’s charismatic and has a naughty side, so she’s attracted to that,” ponders Atkins. “But I also think Charity is feeling a bit lonely after the break up with Cain, and she likes to have male attention.
“From Frank’s point of view, I think he recognises a bit of himself in Charity and quite likes her cheekiness.”
Charity may be the Queen of soap scams, but there’s the distinct feeling she may have met her match with Frank – having double crossed him, he’s surely biding his time before he gets revenge… does Atkins agree? “I have no doubt that Frank will try and get his own back on Charity. They are two peas in a pod and are always looking for the next con. Charity will just have to watch her back!
“If he were to betray her then no doubt there will be some kind of chemistry-fuelled warfare between them. But you can expect her to seek sweet revenge in some way.”
Their union has reignited Charity’s old feud with Megan Macey, who she is battling for Frank’s affections. In next week’s episodes Charity plots to use Frank to get revenge on Megan, but on Thursday when she thinks she’s successfully tempted him away, she may have a nasty surprise in store – and fans will discover whether Frank is genuinely interested in Charity or whether he is the one using her…
Atkins loves the Charity/Megan dynamic, and praises the abundance of strong female characters in the Emmerdale cast: “It’s great for Charity to have a good sparring partner like Megan, they are strong women. And Chrissie White is becoming the latest super bitch, I think Charity versus Chrissie would be a really fun dynamic to explore.”
And who would her money be on if they went head-to-head? “Of course I’m going to back Charity every time!”
Visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.