Emmerdale star Mark Charnock on alcoholic Laurel’s health crisis – “It’s unspeakable horror”

"It's like a picture has been painted of his worst nightmare and it's right there in front of him"

Marlon Dingle will be forced to face the true extent of wife Laurel’s alcoholism next week when she passes out after drinking three bottles of wine and almost chokes on her own vomit.


The shock scenes – to be broadcast on Thursday 30 April – find a panicked Marlon reeling from the sight of Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) being aided by paramedics, her life on the line following a booze binge.

“Laurel’s got breathing apparatus in, she’s on a stretcher and the paramedics are there. It’s actually just unspeakable horror,” says actor Mark Charnock. “It’s like a picture has been painted of his worst nightmare and it’s right there in front of him.”

The hard-hitting storyline will see Laurel drink herself unconscious while looking after little April and Arthur. After the children find her comatose, it’s left to them to raise the alarm. And, once the emergency services finally arrive, Marlon finally finds himself facing the stark reality of his wife’s addiction.

“The way Emmerdale has depicted Laurel’s alcoholism has been really subtle and very cleverly structured,” continues Charnock.”For the last few months, they’ve dropped in little moments of Laurel having a glass of wine. They just drip-fed it in. And suddenly you realise what you’ve been watching.”

And it seems that there’s going to be no let-up for Marlon and Laurel in the wake of this health crisis. “It’s an ongoing rollercoaster. And we’re just trying to tell the story correctly and reflect what people go through. We’re all doing our very best for it to be as authentic as possible.

“And what it comes down to is that there’s not really a right way of dealing with the problem. Especially if the person doesn’t go to Alcoholics Anonymous or some sort of detox. As an actor, though, it’s these stories that you wait for. It’s brilliant and I can’t tell you how good Charlotte has been. She’s hit the ground running with it and been amazing.”

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.


And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.