Emmerdale spoilers: Charity is “horrified” by pregnancy shock – Emma Atkins interview

"She’s absolutely gobsmacked. All this time, she’s been vowing not to have another child and now she’s in this predicament"

Charity is to have her worst fears realised next week when she discovers that she’s pregnant. After vowing that she never wanted to have another child, she now has to deal with this shock boyfriend. But will she end up revealing all to boyfriend Declan (Jason Merrells)? And will she keep the baby? Actress Emma Atkins tells us all about the latest twists and turns:


How does Charity feel about the prospect of being pregnant?
She’s horrified. She didn’t ever mean to get pregnant. She takes the pill religiously to stop that from happening. So she almost doesn’t know how it happened – she’s assuming that she forgot to take it on a morning that she was maybe hungover. So it’s a huge error. She’s absolutely gobsmacked. All this time, she’s been vowing not to have another child and now she’s in this predicament. She’s feeling vulnerable and sickened that she’s got herself into this situation.

She hides the information from Declan and ends up confiding in Debbie, who’s appalled. At first, Charity decides that she wants an abortion and runs to Debbie for help. And Debbie says, “Well, what does Declan think?” And, of course, Declan doesn’t know. So Debbie’s furious that Charity isn’t even willing to share this with someone she supposedly loves.

Does Declan end up finding out?
He stops her in the street as she’s about to get the abortion. He knows she’s been throwing up for a few days and he works it out. She’s been suddenly avoiding Declan and he clocks her strange behaviour. So that causes another hellish situation! He tells her he loves her – so the whole situation with Declan is becoming more complicated than Charity ever believed it would be. He’s desperate for a child because he lost his own daughter. So Charity’s pregnancy is a flicker of hope for Declan; he has a chance to be the father he always wanted to be. He wants this fabulous idea to blossom.

And what’s Charity’s reaction to this?
Charity tells her that she can’t even look after herself. She tells him that she’s so self-absorbed that she can’t have a child. She’s brutally honest with him!

And then he clumsily proposes to her…
Yes, it’s part of the fallout from the situation. Charity tells him that actions should speak louder than words and he ends up proposing. At the time, she doesn’t say yes. But already said to Debbie that she wants to test Declan to see how far he’ll go for her. She’s being quite devious. She wants to know whether he wants to be with her as well as her unborn baby. So Charity chucks Declan out but she’s very thoughtful about it all after he’s gone. She wants to see whether he’ll come back for more!

Does Charity really have feelings for Declan or is it a relationship of convenience?
It’s a mixture of both. I don’t think they’d still be together if there wasn’t something going on beyond the financial benefit for Charity. They’re really attracted to each other; they make each other laugh; they are both very sharp witted and bright people who like each other’s company. And then there’s the fact that he’s got money and the Home Farm estate – he’s offering her a bright future.  So there’s lots in there, all of which makes their relationship interesting. If she was just out for his money, then the audience would get bored.

Do you think she’d be a better mum with this baby were she decide to go through with the pregnancy?
Well, she does talk herself into having the baby. Declan has told her that they’ll employ a nanny so the responsibility for the child will be split three ways between Charity, Declan and a nanny – so that makes her think that this would be a doable scenario! Things are starting to look more appealing! Debbie is still wondering why Charity is doing this – but Charity is definitely a mixed-up person.

At one point, we see Debbie telling Declan that Charity could have ulterior motives…
Yes, which is brilliant! It’s such a bold move for Debbie to interfere in her mother’s situation. And when Charity finds out, there’s this great scene in the Woolpack toilets where she has a real go at Debbie. But Debbie says that she can’t help but feel that Charity is having this baby for the wrong reasons. And Charity knows that she’s an inherently selfish person, but she does vow that she’s changed. Reality dawns on her though further down the line though, especially when Declan starts buying Moses baskets and the like. That freaks her out and she realises what a hypocrite she’s being. So she then does go and see a private consultant…

Do you love this type of story where there are so many webs and tangles to the relationships?
Yes, I do. I think a lot of Charity’s can be so destructive and awful. People come up to me on the street and say, “Oh, what you’re doing at the moment is unbelievable!” But they do say it with a twinkle in their eyes. The things that Charity does are sometimes so unforgivable, but if you’re an Emmerdale fan then you’ll know about Charity’s history. People know she was a prostitute and that she gave Debbie up for adoption – but throughout that car-crash chaos, she’s made some wise moves. Hopefully, the audience know what journey she’s been on so they don’t out-and-out hate her! She does, sometimes, have a heart.