Emmerdale: They’ve turned Eric into a wimp – I loved when he was naughty, says Chris Chittell

The actor was overcome with emotion when discussing Pollard's history and Val's death on Good Morning Britain

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It’s been an emotional week for Emmerdale fans as disaster unfolded in the Dales but the helicopter crash storyline and all it entails has had quite the impact on the actors too – including Chris Chittell, who plays Eric Pollard.

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The actor, who has been with the soap for 29 years now, became rather emotional when discussing his character’s development over the decades on the Good Morning Britain sofa.

“I loved when he was naughty” Chittell said, “I’d switch the box on just to see if the scene had worked out and I’m killing myself laughing because he’s done such terrible things and got away with it.”

“Now, all of a sudden…” he began before becoming misty-eyed and pausing for moment to take stock of his time on the soap, and his long-running on-screen partnership with Charlie Hardwick’s Val, who was killed off amid the drama.

Pollard, who has spent the week in the pub with Rodney and Dougie, has yet to learn of his wife’s death on screen.

“They wrote a lot of stuff which Pollard would have been up to for Valerie and although that was good, I’m thinking they’ve turned him into a wimp” Chittell said. “And he’s not a wimp.”

The actor also revealed that he’d been as shocked as the viewers to discover that Michael Parr’s Ross Barton had met a grisly end at the hands of his brother: “I hadn’t seen the week’s viewing so that was a shock to me. You read your own bits, you don’t read other peoples’ bits. It’s like ‘What? Ross is gone?’ Another baddie, gone down the drain.”

He initially seemed critical of the show’s disaster week, telling presenters Ranvir Singh and Ben Shepherd that he often found himself asking the producers why they even needed a big disaster in the first place.

“You think, ‘why do we need it?’ because the show sits very well in its own right. It’s a great show and to go to all this expense for just one week?” he explained.

“And then you realize , I’m being Devil’s Advocate ever so slightly, that it has its repucussions and it will go on and it has induced people on Twitter, I don’t watch it, but they’ve been watching it all week and it’s just incredible.”

“It’s great to be a part of it.” he continued. “When we did the promo, there’s this silly white haired old goat dragging along behind these guys. I think ‘I’m part of it’, it’s just great.”

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