Marlon’s Christmas wish…

Emmerdale‘s Mark Charnock tells Soaplife that all Marlon wants for Christmas is his baby – but fate might rob him of the greatest gift of all…

First Marlon thought all his Christmasses had come at once when he got together with Rhona… But he was wrong. Then he thought Christmas had come early when Rhona told him she’s having his baby… Until he found out her new love and his best friend Paddy would be Daddy. Now he could lose not just his heart but his dearest-ever wish when Rhona’s scan reveals their baby could have Down’s syndrome. “Marlon had put up a wall about the baby but this news turns everything around,” says Mark. “It makes him realise what’s important – the baby, his baby. He wants this baby so much.” Only now he’s in serious danger of losing it…

What does Rhona say to Marlon when they discuss the implications of their baby having Down’s?

“She’s in pieces, understandably, and says it’s her decision as to whether she has a termination. It’s a highly complex situation and we’ve made sure we all play it very carefully. Marlon just has to persuade Rhona it will be wonderful.”

How does he try to convince her?

“He tells Rhona everything will be OK and they can do this. Like her he’s worried but he truly believes what he’s saying. He promises to love the baby unconditionally.”

Is Paddy involved in the decision?

“Marlon does talk to Paddy, too, but Paddy’s in love with Rhona and her welfare is his primary concern.”

Does Marlon feel any differently when the Down’s is confirmed?

“He still wants the baby as much as ever, but the bottom line is it’s Rhona’s decision. She goes away for a while to decide what to do. The wait for Marlon is agonising.”

In the end it’s not Marlon or Paddy who help Rhona decide… Who does?

“Rhona talks to Hazel who explains that, as a parent, you never stop looking after your children. Marlon’s elated when Rhona decides to go ahead with the pregnancy.”

Does this help ease Marlon’s pain over his break-up with Rhona?

“Absolutely. It’s made it seem so irrelevant. Marlon’s convinced the three of them can make it work. They’ll support each other.”

So the baby will have three parents. Do you think that can really work?

“Issues will come up but they are three good people who care for each other. Marlon now has his head around the fact that Rhona’s with Paddy – the baby is all that matters now. It’s an inspirational storyline.”

Will Marlon make a good dad?

“He’ll be great. Being a dad is something he’s been waiting for his whole life.”