Emmerdale stars Charlotte Bellamy and Mark Charnock talk to TV Times magazine about the soap romance we all wanted to happen…

How do you feel about Marlon and Laurel getting together at long last?
Mark: “It feels really right. I love the fact that the writers didn’t allow them to consummate their relationship. They have had these amazing romantic feelings for each other for so long and now it is OK to reopen that door. It’s what viewers want too and now they can enjoy the romance without having to wag their moral finger at the characters.”
Charlotte: “It is such a lovely climax to the whole Brief Encounter-style story. I think they are really great together.”

What was it like filming the moment when Marlon tells Laurel he loves her?
Mark: “I don’t think I have ever rehearsed anything as much since I have been at Emmerdale. There is so much subtext in the scenes that we really wanted to get it right. I liked the fact that it feels really different from the way soap couples usually get together.”
Charlotte: “The scenes are funny, sweet and romantic. We need a bit of that in our village I think because everything is a bit heavy at the moment.”

Are you looking forward to playing them as a couple?
Mark: “I am. It’s a blank page really because even though Laurel and Marlon are friends, we have never really seen them do that much together, so there are lots of adventures the writers can send them on.”
Charlotte: “For me it is a new journey as I have been with Ashley on screen for eight years. It’s a big change and that’s exciting.”

Do you think it will work out between them?
Mark: “I hope they run with it. There is a really good chemistry between them on screen and we are really good mates off it. It feels like a new lease of life for Marlon. It has been a long time since he has been in an equal loving relationship and I think they are perfect together. They both have a lot of love to give, they are quirky and it is a meeting of minds. She is everything his heart desires.”
Charlotte: “I don’t know what will happen. Laurel comes with a lot of baggage – Sandy and her two children. And Marlon has a child. It’s a big new family, so who knows what pressures and adventures that will bring.”

What is your favourite romantic movie?
Mark: ‘The Goodbye Girl with Richard Dreyfuss. It’s a comedy set in New York about an actor who moves in with a woman who has just come out of divorce. It is unapologetically romantic. I fell I love with it when I was 15 and have watched it once a year, every year since. I am a sucker for romance and romantic comedies.”
Charlotte: “When Harry Met Sally. I loved the way that they were friends and were trying to work out where you draw the line.”

Your favourite romantic destination?
Mark: “I went to Venice 11-years-ago when we shot ‘Dingles In Venice’. Every time you turn a corner, your heart melts. It is like a movie set designed for the best-ever romantic comedy.”
Charlotte: “I fell in love with Venice too when I went there aged 19. I was blown away by it. The boats, the beautiful flowers at the windows, the hotels…”