This article contains discussions of suicide and suicidal thoughts which some readers may find upsetting.


When Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) contemplated taking his own life in Emmerdale, it was his devoted best friend Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) who was able to reach out and change his mind.

Wherever his mental health story goes next, Paddy has a long journey ahead. But those powerful words from Marlon brought something overwhelmingly positive to the distressing scene, acting as a love letter dedicated to the enduring relationship between the two men.

As Paddy's extended family searched for him, including estranged wife Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter), his father Bear Wolf (Joshua Richards) and brother-in-law Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley), we knew it had to be Marlon who made that crucial breakthrough.

The episode was a masterclass, and this scene in particular featured stunning, authentic performances from Brunt and Charnock.

"I knew things had got messed up," Marlon confessed. "But I didn't know they were this messed up. I'm your best friend. It's my job to know that."

As the conversation progressed, Paddy protested: "I know what you're doing. Tough love, and you have to stop it."

"No," replied Marlon simply. "It's just love."

Dominic Brunt as Paddy Kirk in Emmerdale.
Dominic Brunt as Paddy Kirk in Emmerdale. ITV

In the aftermath, Emmerdale signposted Samaritans, the charity the show has been working with on Paddy's story. We saw Marlon in need of advice over how he could help his friend, with Samaritans referenced as an ideal organisation to turn to. But alongside raising vital awareness - which this instalment achieved in spades - love was the order of the day.

As demonstrated by Marlon's words and Paddy's emotional reaction to them, the bond they share is everlasting; and actor Brunt acknowledged the importance of this in his exclusive chat with

"I don't think that will change in a hurry, hopefully," he said of his double act with Charnock. "That'll always stay. I've been very lucky, it's 25, 26 years working together.

"He's very giving. He doesn't mind if you say: ''Mark, I really liked it when you did that rather than that," or he'll say "why don't you try this?" So there's no ego there."

That easy working relationship allows the stars to portray a range of genres - and there has been such a mixture over the years.

Brunt explained that when he and co-star Charnock were first working together, their roles were all about entertainment. "We're not this miserable soap, we've got light and shade all the way through. Me and Mark, when we were here first of all, it was all light. We were part of the Dingles, and it was all funny; and then the Tates were the serious part."

Marlon and Paddy in Emmerdale
Emmerdale's Marlon and Paddy have been best friends for decades. (ITV) ITV

But over time, Emmerdale made changes and tasked the pair with delivering issue-based storylines, such as Marlon's stroke and the death of Paddy and Chas's baby daughter Grace.

"[As] the soap evolved, they've taken us along with them. So we could have been left in the dust, really, and they trusted us to give us serious storylines and keep stuff light as well."

This latest episode could not have been more of a contrast to Paddy and Marlon's previous shared plots, which have included being mistaken for a gay couple and dressing as giant bunnies, as well as their petty arguments - always combined with the perfect amount of silliness.

But the moment which saw Marlon get through to Paddy would not have been so effective had the pair not been through so much together - good and bad. Decades of unwavering friendship means that Marlon knows Paddy better than anyone else in the village. He knows all of his highs and lows, and viewers have watched each and every one of those stories play out; just as they'll watch the rest of this chapter unfold.

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Anything light-hearted had to take a backseat this week, of course; but knowing the duo as well as we do, it's guaranteed that we'll be seeing more of that side of them in the future. It's something that we expect to be tied in with Paddy's recovery wherever appropriate.

But, for now, it's all about that rich history which paved the way for Marlon's heartrending speech to Paddy - showcasing one of the strongest, most significant partnerships in soap.

If you have been affected by Paddy's story, you can find help and support by visiting the Samaritans and Andy's Man Club websites. The NHS website also provides advice on how to seek help if you're experiencing suicidal thoughts.

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Emmerdale airs on weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV1 and ITVX. If you’re looking for more to watch, check out our TV Guide and Streaming Guide or visit our Soaps hub.


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