Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock slams trolls ahead of cyberbullying storyline

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Emmerdale’s Marlon Dingle has got his work cut out for him in the coming months as the wheels are in motion for a big cyberbullying storyline involving his daughter April.

Ahead of the dramatic scenes airing, we caught up with Mark Charnock – who plays Marlon – to find out how he felt about what is ahead for his character. Speaking with pride, the actor said he was “very pleased” to be tackling a story with such gravity. He also took the opportunity to speak out against trolls, saying: “it’s an awful thing.”

He continued: “These things don’t go away overnight. They're insidious and poisonous and the psychological after effects are obviously dreadful for kids – and their parents too.”

The story began to unfold when April tried to set up an online grief account to help those affected by Leanna’s death or other similar tragedies.

“It’s a beautiful intention that backfires terribly and people jump on it and give her loads of abuse and it’s pretty hideous,” Mark explained.

In scenes that are set to air early next week, Marlon finally finds out what his daughter has been going through after overhearing Cathy and Heath discussing it. Armed with the knowledge of his daughter’s torment, Marlon finds April at Donna’s grave and apologises for letting her down.

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“The stuff we’ve had so far has been really well weighted and written so carefully,” said Mark. “I think Emmerdale does this kind of story extremely well. The research is great and they take a real social responsibility about this kind of thing,” he continued.

Mark added: “It’s extraordinarily common – too common – we all talk about it on social media but on it goes.

“People continue to bully, so the only way forward is to keep talking about it. That’s why it’s important for shows like Emmerdale to do these stories and keep flagging it up.”

It’s no doubt a serious storyline and Mark had nothing but high praise for Amelia Flanagan – the young actress who plays his on-screen daughter.

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“I’ve run out of superlatives for her,” he told us. “We did a scene by Donna’s grave and she made me cry in the scene .

“I just went, ‘You made me cry and if you’re this good now how good are you gonna be when you’re 20?’ She’s so modest – her parents have done a great job.

“She’s so down to earth and normal. She’s just a great actress. She’s such a professional I’m so lucky to be able to work with her.”

These Emmerdale scenes air on Monday, July 26 and Tuesday, July 27 at 7pm on ITV. Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV.

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