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Wales Online
Annie Roberts & Laura Williams

What happens to Marlon in Emmerdale? ITV trailer shows soap character's emotional health battle

One of Emmerdale's longest running and much-loved characters, Marlon Dingle, is in for a devastating shock this week in scenes which will see him suffer a stroke. It will start a lengthy storyline, set to play out over the coming months, of a health battle which will have a huge effect on his whole family.

ITV have released a first-look trailer showing what is in store for Marlon from Monday (March 21) as he is rushed to hospital and his loved-ones including girlfriend Rhona, daughter April and best-friend Paddy struggle to cope with the aftermath.

The clip shows the distressing moment Marlon - played by Mark Charnock - looks in the mirror and realises something is wrong when his vision becomes blurred, he collapses onto the floor. His young daughter April is then seen standing over him saying: "Dad, just speak to me please".

Marlon is rushed to hospital whilst his partner Rhona stares down at an engagement ring as she was planning to surprise him with a proposal during his birthday party. Marlon's best friend Paddy is shown at his bedside, crying and telling him: "Will you just come back to me, please. I can't cope."

Rhona is then heard saying: "It doesn't matter how long this takes, or how hard it is, we're gonna do it together." Rhona's mother Mary is also shown in the first-look clip supporting a devastated April and holding out her hand to Rhona who is crying as the trailer ends.

The Yorkshire soap will be doing a special episode to tell the story from Marlon's perspective in the hope of raising awareness of the warning signs that come before a stroke. Emmerdale's scriptwriters, story, research and production teams have been working closely with the Stroke Association to ensure character's journey is "realistic and authentic".

The family have been under a lot of stress and turmoil since the pub explosion on Christmas Day, which left Marlon worried about his job and whether he'd lose the money he invested in the pub. Rhona's evil ex Pierce asked for help finding his son who then turned up in the village and caused division between the couple and they've recently had a unexpected visitor staying with them in the form on Rhona's mum.

Speaking about his upcoming storyline, Mark Charnock, who has played Marlon Dingle for more than 25 years, said he was "very proud" to be working on this journey with his character. He explained “Working with Emmerdale‘s research team and the Stroke Association on this storyline has been a total eye-opener for me.

"We hear the word “stroke” bandied around a great deal," he added: "but being confronted with the sheer weight of numbers in this country alone has been a shock. A stroke occurs every 5 minutes in the UK. Over 100,000 a year. More can and should be done to raise awareness and hopefully, this story can help with that.

"It’s an enormous responsibility to try and get it right for the survivors and their families and for those who’ve lost loved ones to this awful event. No two strokes are the same, but the after-effects are devastating. I’m very proud of the show for telling it and for letting me be a part of it.”

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV from 7.30pm.

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