It has been one of the soap's hardest-hitting storylines.


Emmerdale stalwart Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) found his life changed forever back in March after he suffered a sudden stroke.

The traumatic scenes came just after Marlon finally became engaged to on-off partner Rhona Goskirk (Zoë Henry) in a sweet double proposal.

Now, Marlon has finally married Rhona in a much-anticipated ceremony.

In the run-up to the ceremony, Marlon took a turn for the worse and found himself in hospital, accompanied by his best friend Paddy Dingle (Dominic Brunt).

But happily, recent scenes saw the pair make it to the church as Rhona and Marlon finally said "I do" in some of the most heartwarming moments in Emmerdale this year.

“I think the script was brilliantly written and the emotion came naturally for us when it was needed,” Henry said of the tear-jerking moments of the episode.

As the couple settle into married life together, will Marlon be staying in Emmerdale for the foreseeable future?

Is Marlon Dingle leaving Emmerdale?

The short answer is: no, he won't be leaving the show. So if you were concerned about losing your favourite character, worry no more.

Marlon may have suffered a traumatic and debilitating stroke, but this hasn't been designed to pave the way for an exit. Instead, Emmerdale aims to raise awareness of the illness, including how to spot the warning signs of a stroke and deliver hope for recovery. The show has been working closely with the Stroke Association to ensure a realistic portrayal that reflects true-to-life experiences.

Chief Executive of the charity, Juliet Bouverie OBE, recently told Radio and other press: "It is very sudden, and it is very frightening, but there are things that the public can do both to recognise stroke symptoms but also to recover afterwards. So hopefully [from this storyline] there's a message of hope as well about stroke."

What has happened in Marlon Dingle's stroke storyline?

The soap has focused on Marlon Dingle's long road to recovery.

Actor Mark Charnock previously detailed: "He has a thrombectomy, and they drag the clot out, but of course, it's only the beginning of the story really."

"[The surgery] helps with his facial drooping in the first instance, but he's still got a very long journey about learning how to move and to speak and do all that stuff again."

Speaking more about the physical consequences of Marlon's stroke, Charnock added: "It's all down his right side, and it's his arm, his leg, his mouth are all quite badly affected. He's got aphasia, which affects his speech and being able to express himself properly.

"Words, in the first few episodes, he just can't get to at all; but he often makes mistakes with words. He can see what he wants to say often, but can't express it." Charnock explains that his alter ego struggles further with the loss of his independence, as he must rely on Rhona and others around him to care for him. "He's devastated, his life really is all about being able to use his hands. It's everything to him, his dexterity is everything, and all that's taken away. It's just like the rug's been pulled from under every aspect of his life. He's crushed by it."

Emmerdale: Marlon struggles after stroke
Emmerdale: Marlon (right) struggles after his stroke but is supported by Rhona

The star also explains how Marlon's usual characteristics become lost after the stroke - so viewers can expect to see this reflected in the aftermath. "It's a mountain to climb. For Marlon, I think in particular, because he's such a mouthy character and physically expressive person, it's reducing him down to his eyes, really, is how he expresses himself in the first few days and weeks."

But the actor is also is keen to highlight that this storyline will have its lighter, more positive moments. "There’s some comedy in it too you know, there’s some fun to be had in it. There’s some lovely scenes with Paddy for example that are really funny, really well written, funny scenes in the hospital quite early on that hopefully will show that it’s not all like this gloom and depression.

More like this

"There’s also a great deal of hope that things can only get better from where they are. There’s positivity to be had from it too, so hopefully apart from it being distressing, apart from it being traumatic for the characters, also it will inspire them to get their lives back."

True to Charnock's promise, the ITV soap has blended some contrasting scenes within his alter ego's recovery. When Marlon first returned home from the hospital, his daughter April (Amelia Flanagan) gave him a drink of water, he choked. Rhona was able to help him and eventually, he learned to swallow all over again – and he was even able to taste small quantities of cake in preparation for his nuptials.

Marlon later ended up hospitalised again with aspiration pneumonia, and it took some time for him to recover enough to come back home. He didn't let this stop him from making solid progress though, deciding to get back on his feet so he could walk down the aisle. It was this pledge that led to him collapsing with high blood pressure, which was dangerous as it could cause another stroke.

But after being monitored by the medical team, Marlon was deemed well enough to be discharged, and he did indeed walk down the aisle where an emotional Rhona was waiting for him.

We know there's still plenty more to come from Marlon's recovery. So, keep watching Emmerdale as we continue to follow his story beyond that beautiful wedding.

Read more

You can access further information about recognising the signs of a Stroke by visiting the Stroke Association website.

Visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers. If you’re looking for more to watch check out our TV Guide or visit our dedicated Soaps hub.


The latest issue of Radio Times is on sale now – subscribe now to get each issue delivered to your door. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.