Emmerdale star Charlie Hardwick to leave Val Pollard role

But the actress hopes that her exit won't be tied to Val's HIV diagnosis

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Charlie Hardwick is to exit Emmerdale after 11 years in the role of Val Pollard.

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Hardwick made the announcement on today’s edition of ITV’s Loose Women and thanked the fans of her character. “I’m leaving the show. I’d like to thank all the people who watch Emmerdale that have been so lovely to me over the years and who have enjoyed the ups and downs of Eric, Diane and Val, but the time has come,” the actress said.

B&B landlady Val has been in the spotlight during the last 12 months after her character was diagnosed HIV positive. But Hardiwck hopes that Val’s upcoming exit won’t be related to the illness:

“I’d be very angry if it was HIV related. I think the whole point of having Val as HIV positive is to show you can live a healthy, happy life. There’ll be hell to pay if they go that way,” she commented. 

Charlie Hardwick as Val with screen partner Chris Chittell, who plays husband Eric

Speaking about what lies ahead after she leaves the Dales behind, Hardwick added: “I’m going to have a break. When I first decided, it was a real struggle because I love Chris Chittell, who plays my partner Eric in it.

“I went to see him first and I said ‘I’m so sorry and I’ll make sure there are no repercussions.’ I’ve got no power but I’ll try and make sure.”

Details of Val’s exit are being kept under wrapped but show bosses have hinted that she may come to correct the recent bank fraud she was embroiled in with cafe owner Bob Hope…

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

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