Emmerdale fans brace yourselves – Emma Atkins will be returning to the soap as Charity Dingle.

Charity’s return is guaranteed to throw the village into turmoil and shock her daughter Debbie (Charley Webb) and her bad boy ex-lover Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley).

She was last seen in March 2005 fleeing the village with her son Noah after getting revenge on Sadie King (Patsy Kensit) by having an affair with her husband Jimmy (Nick Miles).

Debbie was left heartbroken after begging her mum to stay and has been estranged from Charity ever since.

Charity’s comeback will come hot the heels of Jeff’s return as Cain next month.

Emma said: “Charity is a wonderfully complex character and an absolute joy to play. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to explore a new era of Charity, Cain and Debbie and will relish seeing what she’s been up to since we saw her last.”

First arriving in Emmerdale in March 2000 as a prostitute on the run, Emma enjoyed an eventful five years playing Charity.

She married Chris Tate, has an affair with his sister Zoe and was later framed for Chris’s murder.

She was due to marry Tom King until arch-rival Sadie told him Charity was having an affair with Cain.

Gavin Blyth, series producer, said: “It’s going to be an incredibly exciting year for Emmerdale with Charity and Cain back at the heart of the action.

“This is the first in a series of new signings and intriguing characters on the horizon and we’re going to delight in reminding viewers that when it comes to compelling drama and commanding characters, Emmerdale is a force to be reckoned with.”

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