Most brides panic about keeping one dress clean on the wedding day but Emmerdale’s Debbie Dingle didn’t have to worry about that – she had five spares on hand just in case.
Actress Charley Webb couldn’t possibly be expected to keep her gown clean amid the dusty drama of this summer’s big stunt – airing on ITV from August 3rd to 7th – so the costume team made six identical dresses for her to wear throughout the month of filming.
“There were so many days of it and a couple of them had to get destroyed” she explains. “They were getting dirty and y’know, obviously white is really hard to keep clean.”
Webb, who plays the bride torn between Barton brothers Ross and Pete, isn’t complaining. While she admits wearing a wedding dress for a few weeks was quite a challenge, she freely admits she wasn’t the one doing the hard work.
“One of our costume girls Laura, the poor thing had to literally follow me around carrying the dress because it was impossible to walk.” Webb reveals. “It’s so long, even though it’s not got a train or anything, so her back’s probably like broken because she was carrying the back of it to make sure I didn’t trip over.”
Tripping over is the last of Debbie Dingle’s concerns on her big day though. Having a secret affair with the groom’s brother, which has only recently ended because he’s your baby half-brother’s dad, tends to be the recipe for a less than successful trip up the aisle.
And when one of the groomsmen – youngest Barton brother Finn, the bloke giving Debs the sly eye above – knows your dirty little secret, pre-wedding jitters are bound to set in. Even if your dad’s already gone and dealt with your liability of a lover – Ross – in the most Dingle of fashions.
“Debbie’s really nervous that Finn’s going to destroy the day, or Ross could possibly destroy the day even though her dad’s kind of dealt with him”, explains Webb.
“Still, there’s always that chance he could come because she doesn’t know exactly what Cain’s done and how he’s got rid of him so yeah, I think between worrying about Finn and Ross it’s a little bit of a tense moment.”
We do know Debbie makes it up the aisle, and at least enjoys a few moments of happiness before her world – and the village – literally comes crumbling down around her.
“In terms of disaster, in terms of special effects, it’s quite a big one” says Webb of the show’s much hyped disaster episodes. “In terms of scale it would be really big, it’d be one of the biggest things we’ve done.”
And while she’s no stranger to stunts after that gruelling Woolpack siege, she explains that the wedding day drama was a lot of fun to film: “It was really exciting, the stuff that we did ourselves, our stunts were really good to do. It was very dusty, that’s all I can say. I was filthy.”
There is one thing Webb can say for certain though: Debbie’s life is most definitely in danger on her big day. Never mind whether her heart belongs to Ross or Pete, by the time we’re done in the village will it even still beat?
Webb’s staying tight-lipped on her summer fate: “Who knows if she gets out of there?”
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