Emmerdale star Emma Atkins talks talks us through a dramatic flashback episode exploring Charity’s horrible history with a copper called DI Bails…

The highly anticipated Charity Dingle flashback episode is finally here and it kicks off when an old song on the radio transports the abuse victim back in time to when she was 14 and in the unscrupulous hands of DI Bails.

What’s the story?

“We get to see what happened to her back then,” actress Emma Atkins tells Soaplife. “A young actress called Mica Porter plays the young Charity and she’s fantastic. Charity opens up for the first time and she tells Vanessa Woodfield exactly what Bails did to her.” Will remembering her past help Charity cope with the present?

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Emma Atkins’ chat with Soaplife about Charity Dingle’s harrowing flashback episode in Emmerdale…

Soaplife: How does Vanessa find out that Charity had a baby boy?

Emma Atkins: “She overhears Harriet Finch mentioning Charity’s dead son. She wants to help, so she goes to the hospital to try and find out more, but she does it behind Charity’s back. Vanessa thinks the baby is a way to get DNA evidence to nail Bails, but the idea of digging up her dead son is unthinkable to Charity.”

S: What do we learn about Charity’s past?

EA: “There are some dramatic scenes, which show you what happened to Charity when she was 14. It is quite dark.”

S: What was it like seeing another actress play Charity?

EA: “I was blown away by Mica’s performance. She didn’t have to speak as her eyes said it all really. We weren’t in any scenes together as you see Charity’s past in a series of flashbacks. I watched her filming. I’ve got her phone number, so I must text her to say how brilliant she was.”

S: We hear there are some emotional scenes for Charity… What was it like filming them?

EA: “It was the hardest thing I’ve done on the show. It’s extremely difficult for Charity to talk about this baby she had that passed away. You have to pull on personal emotions when you do a scene like that. It isn’t particularly pleasant, but it is something you have to do as an actor. It’s a weird trick to play on your body to make it cry all the time.”

S: What is Vanessa’s involvement in this?

EA: “Charity tells Vanessa what happened to her all those years ago. She’s there letting Charity speak about things she’s never full opened up about before.”

S: How do you switch off after doing heavy scenes?

EA: “I have to because I have a little boy and a dog and my house is very hectic. As soon as I drive home with some music on, I get back to real life. You have to separate the two.”

S: How old is your son now?

EA: “He’s three. He’s gorgeous. When I come home, he asks me about my day and I say, ‘I’ve been crying all day’! Then when I tell him it’s my job, he replies ‘You’ll have to find a new job!’”

S: Should DI Bails be worried?

EA: “There needs to be some kind of justice, so yeah, he should be very worried.”