Emmerdale actress Emma Atkins talks about Charity Dingles’ shock sexual abuse revelation, and why she thinks Charity and Vanessa will stay an item.

Emmerdale star Emma Atkins has told Soaplife that vet Vanessa Woodfield has helped Charity Dingle face her demons.

What’s the story?

Having opened up to Vanessa Woodfield about the abuse she suffered in her past, Charity Dingle’s horrified when she looks at a newspaper and sees the perpetrator – policeman DI Mark Bails. Worst still, Tracy Metcalfe is under his spell and she wants to help him with a campaign to help sex workers.

“Charity’s completely freaked out,” actress Emma Atkins tells Soaplife. “She tells him to stay the hell away from Tracy.”

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Emma Atkins interview with Soaplife about what’s next for Charity Dingle

Soaplife: Why is Bails in the paper?

Emma Atkins: “He’s fronting this campaign to help vulnerable women. He’s fighting to get sex workers the right support, but Charity knows him as the guy who abused her years ago and who is also a liar.”

S: Why is Charity being so nice to Tracy?

EA: “The horrendous blackmail situation Tracy went through with Phil is not too dissimilar to what Charity went through. Charity urges Tracy not to be ashamed of what she had to do to survive.”

S: Why did she open up to Vanessa?

EA: “She never intended to. It was a bit like opening Pandora’s box. She connects with Vanessa and she trusts her.”

S: Why hasn’t Charity told Tracy about what happened to her?

EA: “It’s too delicate to discuss with anyone other than somebody she is close to.”

S: When does Charity confront Bails?

EA: “Tracy’s been asked by Bails to be the face of his campaign and she’s flattered as she thinks he’s this fantastic ally she has in the police force. Charity and Vanessa interrupt the meeting Tracy has with Bails. You can tell how shaken Charity is by him. He still has this power over her. She tries to warn him off.”

S: How does she warn him off?

EA: “She explains if he pursues Tracy, she will let everyone know her own story, which is very brave of her. Bails replies nobody will believe Charity’s sordid lies and it’s a stand-off.”

S: Does Bails take it seriously?

EA: “He’s panicked because it wouldn’t look good for him if this came out. He’s a happily married guy now. He reacts with a proposition and it’s a question of whether or not Charity will accept it.”

S: Are you pleased things with Vanessa are going so well?

EA: “I am, as I love working with Michelle Hardwicke, who plays her. I didn’t think it would work when they first told me. I imagined it would be one of Charity’s flash in a pan things and a way to shine a light on Vanessa’s sexuality.”

S: Do you enjoy playing Charity’s softer side?

EA: “Yes. It’s more interesting than being an out-and-out badass. She’s the underdog in their relationship and that is nice to see.”