Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) meets a new man in upcoming Emmerdale episodes – but in true soap fashion he isn’t all he seems.
She meets someone who introduces himself as Simon at the HOP, where she’s gone for a drink after the sad occasion of visiting her daughter Grace’s grave on the anniversary of her death.
It’s a lot for Chas to deal with, especially now that she’s no longer with Grace’s dad Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) and he’s started a new life with Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) – so she needs some company and is having a chat with Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) when Simon appears.
‘They have a natter and she gets absolutely blotted,’ Lucy Pargeter told us. ‘He seems to be alright. He buys her a drink, he’s listening. She likes to chat about herself and he’s an open ear and helps purge her of her sadness.’
Simon reveals that he and Chas have something in common. ‘He comes back to the Woolpack and they have a chat, where he mentions he lost a child as well,’ Lucy continued.
‘There’s that kind of moment but then reality hits Chas and she realises that she’s had too much to drink and this might not be a good idea. She apologises to him and lets him stay over because he’s had a drink – but he’s staying on the sofa. For the first time in her life, she doesn’t want to wake up in the morning and think: “Oh god, not another one.”’
Although Chas resists Simon on that occasion, it’s not long before she’s in need of some company again after her daughter Eve (Bella James) decides she wants to live with Paddy and Mandy instead of back at the Woolpack with her. So she calls Simon.
What Chas doesn’t realise is that Simon is not his real name – and viewers will certainly recognise him as Harry (Robert Beck), the gangster who almost killed Caleb Milligan (William Ash) after Caleb disrupted his gun-running operation.
Asked whether this could be seen as payback from the soap gods for Chas’s betrayal of Paddy during her affair with Al Chapman (Michael Wildman), Lucy was certain about one thing.
‘I don’t know if she needs payback from the soap gods or the viewers,’ she said, ‘But I can’t see the viewers [forgiving her].’
Chas’s actions were massively condemned by viewers as she carried out the affair behind Paddy’s back over many months. Even worse, she and Al planned to leave Emmerdale for a new life and were even buying a house together – and they planned to take Eve with them.
Depriving fan favourite Paddy of seeing his daughter would have been a heartless thing to do, and knowing that she would have done just that if Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) hadn’t discovered the affair has meant that Chas as a character has had to work very hard to regain her place in the village.
Lucy acknowledged that the slate still hasn’t been wiped clean for Chas. ‘Definitely not,’ she said. But she does hope that Chas and Paddy can mend their friendship.
‘It’s got to get back on track because they’ve got a child together,’ she reasoned. ‘And they live in the village together and they see each other all the time. They were friends first before anything else.’
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