Emmerdale legend Diane Sugden is to be the victim of a shock stabbing – and it’ll be Chas Dingle who’ll be wielding the blade.
Chas has become increasingly convinced of late that she’s being stalked by Emma Barton and next week’s episodes will find her increasingly on edge after she finds a knife by her pillow.
“Chas thinks the knife is a message from Emma that she really needs to watch her back,” says Lucy Pargeter, who plays the panicky Chas. “Chas thinks that her life is in danger and she completely freaks out.”
Her nerves jangled by what’s happened, Chas becomes ever-more watchful for signs of an attack. And, the next evening, when she overhears a noise in the pub, Chas heads downstairs to investigate.
“Chas wakes up and hears a noise. Even if it’s not Emma, it’s still somebody down there and she thinks that she might lose her life.
“So she grabs hold of the knife in order to defend herself. If anything happens, then at least she’s going to be armed and ready for it.”
The trouble is that the ‘intruder’ is a tipsy Diane, who’s clumsily wending her way through the bar, unaware that Chas is about to confront her.
Says Pargeter: “Chas’s instinct kicks in. It’s not self-defence, but it’s fuelled by everything that’s happened to her. And she reacts in the worst way possible. She lunges forward, thinking that it’s either them or me. And she stabs Diane.”
With Diane bleeding thanks to a serious wound to the stomach, a traumatised Chas then does the unthinkable and tries to flee the scene. So is this a sign that Chas has completely taken leave of her senses?
“Well, Chas can’t quite believe what she’s done. It’s fight or flight, so Chas panics and runs. Luckily, Cain comes after her. But yes, I think she needs professional help. It’s gone beyond Cain, Aaron and the rest of her family trying to aid her.”
Of course, if Diane doesn’t make it through this ordeal, it will also put an end to Pargeter’s working relationship with Emmerdale co-star Elizabeth Estensen, a prospect that she does not relish.
“I love working with Liz. She’s the funniest person on set. If she goes wrong at all, it’s just hilarious. We’re in the Woolpack for long days and we run things like a well-oiled ship. It’s great to have her around during days like those.”
And it does seem that it could be some time before the pair are reunited behind that bar. In the wake of her injury, Diane will be rushed to hospital, where complications in surgery will leave her on the receiving end of distressing news from doctors. Just what else can be wrong with Diane?
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
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