Emma Atkins has become something of an Emmerdale legend as Charity Dingle

She’s been part of the Dingle dynasty for such a long time that it’s hard to remember Emmerdale without troublemaking Charity. But while actress Emma Atkins might have been on our screens for almost 20 years, there are still a few things we didn’t know about her…

1. Emmerdale was her first ever TV role

Emma Atkins as Charity Dingle in 2000

Emma Atkins as Charity way back in 2000!

Emma has been entertaining the nation as feisty Charity Dingle since 2000, and believe it or not the Emmerdale role was her first on British TV. During her time on the soap Emma has taken various breaks from filming, giving her the chance to try her hand at roles in Dalziel and Pascoe, Doctors, Heartbeat and Casualty to name but a few. She also took to the London stage to play Carry On legend Joan Sims in Stop Messing Around in 2009.

Emma Atkins as Joan Sims on the London stage

Emma Atkins as Joan Sims on the London stage in 2009

2. She kept her pregnancy secret for 8 months

Emma had to keep the fact she was having a baby under wraps thanks to an Emmerdale storyline. When Charity went to prison back in 2015 Emma was actually going on maternity leave, but she had to keep her pregnancy a secret to stop viewers working out that Charity would be found guilty at her court case!

3. She has a long-term partner and three-year-old son

Emma, who welcomed her son, Albert, with partner, Tom, to the world shortly after announcing her pregnancy, told The Sun in 2015: “We’ve had a lovely healthy baby boy. He arrived just before my 40th birthday, which was the best present. I’m so delighted.”

4. She juggles motherhood and work – just like everyone else

Speaking about balancing being a mum and her return to Emmerdale following maternity leave, she told OK! Magazine: “I was trying to learn my lines yesterday and Albert was really grabbing everything! It was so messy. But I have managed to balance it – I don’t know how!”

5. Emma Atkins is nothing like Charity Dingle – phew!

Emmerdale’s Emma Atkins on the bombshell that Charity’s 'dead' son is alive!

Emma Atkins as Charity Dingle in Emmerdale

Actors always say they love playing their character because it’s nice to become someone else for a while, and that couldn’t be more true for Emma. After coming back from maternity leave Emma told OK Magazine: “I did wonder if Charity might have changed after being in jail, but then in my first episode she was robbing a Ferrari – so there was no way! I love playing her because she’s such a badass!”

6. She’s a passionate photographer

When Emma isn’t busy filming at Emmerdale or being a mum, she likes to relax by taking amazing pictures of nature and sharing them on social media. You just have to take one look at her Instagram page to see she has a real eye for capturing something special. Follow her on www.instagram.com/pratkinsphotography

7. She’s great at helping others

Emma Atkins

Emma does her bit for others

Charity Dingle isn’t the only charity that Emma likes to get involved in. She can often be found doing her bit for others and recently took part in a 40 mile walk in aid of Lancashire Women’s Centres. She told Lancashire Telegraph: “I felt privileged when I was asked to lend my support, especially after the recent storyline I’ve been involved in. I was so excited to walk the walk and meet everyone who is part of such a wonderful community.”

Emma Atkins main picture: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock; Emma in Emmerdale in 2000: ITV/REX/Shutterstock; on stage: Jonathan Hordle/REX/Shutterstock; This Morning pic S Meddle/ITV/REX/Shutterstock