Emmerdale’s Marlon Dingle star Mark Charnock ‘exhausted’ by ‘hellish’ stroke storyline

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Emmerdale star Mark Charnock, 53, underwent extensive preparation to truthfully portray Marlon Dingle’s stroke on the ITV soap. Speaking to Express.co.uk and other media outlets, the actor revealed the “intense time” he went through behind-the-scenes of the storyline.

Mark admitted that the preparation process was “exhausting”, but said he felt honoured to have been chosen to represent real life people who have suffered strokes.

He said: “It’s been exhausting and it’s been very, very intense.

“Everything is obviously highly emotional, highly charged, every moment is absolutely crucial. So it is all high stakes.

“The cast have been fantastic and it’s been a very rewarding thing to be a part of.

“You feel honoured you try to represent so many people who’ve been through such hellish things.”

Mark concluded: “I think there has been a real sense of purpose around set.”

In order to give viewers an accurate portrayal of a stroke, Mark worked closely with the Stroke Association.

He described his work with the charity as an “eye-opener” as he stressed that the statistics of strokes in the UK left him surprised.

Mark said: “It was extraordinarily helpful. I’m constantly asking the medical professionals, ‘Can I do this? What can I do with my good hand at this point?’

“It details that are going to sell the story to people who have been through it. The research has been everything.

“Working with Emmerdale‘s research team and the Stroke Association on this storyline has been a total eye-opener for me.

“We hear the word ‘stroke’ bandied around a great deal, but being confronted with the sheer weight of numbers in this country alone has been a shock,” he added.

Elsewhere in the interview, Mark highlighted the importance of showing an accurate portrayal of the stroke for those who suffered one in real life as well as their loved ones.

Speaking about his “enormous responsibility” as an actor, Mark said he hopes the plot can bring awareness to viewers.

He said: “A stroke occurs every 5 minutes in the UK – over 100,000 a year.

“More can and should be done to raise awareness and hopefully, this story can help with that.

“It’s an enormous responsibility to try and get it right for the survivors and their families and for those who’ve lost loved ones to this awful event.

“No two strokes are the same, but the after-effects are devastating.”

Mark finished: “I’m very proud of the show for telling it and for letting me be a part of it.”

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7:30pm on ITV, with an hour-long episode airing on Thursdays.

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