Emmerdale: Charity’s son is still alive! Emma Atkins reacts to shock twist

Flashback episode delivers game-changing bombshell

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Emmerdale has revealed Charity Dingle’s secret son she had as a teenager is still alive – unbeknown to his mother who has spent the last 27 years believing he died shortly after being born.

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Tonight’s much-anticipated flashback episode focused on Charity’s traumatic past as a 14 year-old prostitute, showing how she was groomed and abused by corrupt police officer Mark Bails and trapped in a sex ring.

As Charity confessed the gruesome details of her life as an underage sex worker to girlfriend Vanessa Woodfield in the present day, the past came to life as she recounted her upsetting story – with actress Mica Proctor playing her younger self.

Revealing she fell pregnant after systemic sexual abuse from a number of different men, then managed to get away from Bails and his sleazy cohorts to give birth in hospital, Charity was full of emotion as she told Vanessa there were complications and doctors battled to save her newborn son when he couldn’t breathe.

Unable to cope with the loss, young Charity fled the maternity ward and ran into the night, evading her midwife who was desperate to keep her in hospital – but viewers then saw the midwife return to the incubator where it was revealed the little one had survived after all…

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Speaking of the surprise twist for her character, and discussing the possibility she may find out her child’s true fate at some point, Emma Atkins said: “Charity was convinced her child never survived, so the impact if she discovers the truth would be huge and the audience will clearly be waiting for that moment.

“Going forward, Charity will face a lot of dilemmas,” teased the star, short-listed as Best Actress in this Saturday’s British Soap Awards. “She has to face up to what went before, it’s quite unpleasant and intense but a joy to play. I think it’s an amazing idea, it gives me chills.”

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Viewers will now be wondering if, and when, Charity will be reunited with her son following the bombshell. And if evil Bails can be proved to be the father of the child, will he finally go down for his sick crimes?

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