'Emmerdale' star Charlotte Bellamy celebrates 20 years on ITV soap: 'It's part of my blood'

·3-min read
Charlotte Bellamy has defended Emmerdale's Down's syndrome storyline. (PA)
Emmerdale star Bellamy celebrates a big milestone this year (PA)

Emmerdale star Charlotte Bellamy will be celebrating 20 years on the show this year, and she considers herself 'very, very lucky' to be where she is.

Bellamy has played Laurel Thomas since 2002, and her character has endured plenty of love, loss and laughter over the years.

Speaking at a recent press event, the actor says she 'never ever' imagined that she would still be a part of the ITV soap two decades on. “But it’s kind of like Emmerdale is part of my blood, really,” she smiles.

Read more: Emmerdale 2022 spoilers revealed: Soap bosses promise 'biggest year yet'

“My children were all born in Yorkshire, I live round the corner from the village. I feel so lucky to be part of a team that is just so genuine and brilliant and hard-working, and I never ever take that for granted. I feel very, very lucky.”

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO
Print media - No Use Before Tuesday 25th January 2022
Online Media - No Use Before 0700hrs Tuesday 25th January 2022

Emmerdale - Ep 9275

Tuesday 1st February 2022

Laurel Thomas [CHARLOTTE BELLAMY] gives Liv Flaherty [ISOBEL STEELE] her old job back. 

Picture contact - David.crook@itv.com

Photographer - Mark Bruce

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Emmerdale's Laurel has no idea that partner Jai has been lying to her (ITV)

Laurel is about to experience another tough time, as she discovers that partner Jai Sharma has taken out a loan in her name. While their relationship is set to implode, it also puts Laurel’s family home at risk.

Read more: Next week on Emmerdale

Viewers will remember that Laurel spent many years living there with late husband Ashley and their children. Bellamy admits that the concept of losing Mulberry Cottage is almost as difficult for her as it would be for Laurel.

“I’d be devastated, actually! That set is like part of my house, I’ve spent 20 years on that set so I would be devastated if I had to move out. I have so many memories.”

FROM ITV

STRICT EMBARGO 
Print media - No Use Before Tuesday 16th February 2021
Online Media - No Use Before 0700hrs  Tuesday 16th February 2021

Emmerdale - Ep 8978

Wednesday 24th February 2021

Laurel Thomas [CHARLOTTE BELLAMY] feels betrayed by Jai Sharma [CHRIS BISSON] when he doesn’t trust her not to drink. 

Picture contact David.crook@itv.com 

This photograph is (C) ITV Plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. Once made available by ITV plc Picture Desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission [TX] date and no reproduction fee will be charged. Any subsequent usage may incur a fee. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk. This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on  www.itv.com/presscentre/itvpictures/terms
Emmerdale's Mulberry Cottage set has become like home for Bellamy (ITV)

Looking back on that era, which storylines stand out the most for her?

“The cot death obviously was pretty hard to play,” Bellamy replies. “But very, very memorable. And of course Ashley’s dementia storyline. Goes without saying that it was such an amazing story to tell, and John [Middleton] was so brilliant. So I felt very proud of that, or to be part of that.”

Read more: Emmerdale star Zoë Henry praises 'uncanny' casting of Pierce's son

Both Emmerdale plots aired almost a decade apart, and fans praised the sensitive performances from Bellamy and her co-stars.

John Middleton and Charlotte Bellamy with the award for best soap storyline, at the TV Quick and TV Choice awards 2008, at The Dorchester, Park Lane, London.
Bellamy with long-time co-star John Middleton (PA)

Asked whether she would like to see Laurel having more fun to balance out the drama, the actor notes that when she first joined the soap, her character was brought in to entertain.

Read more: Emmerdale: Turmoil for Rhona as Pierce's son Marcus arrives in the village

“I love all the comedy, in fact Laurel came in as a comedy character,” she recalls.

“A bit of comedy would be great, but I just feel so lucky to have this job, especially in today’s climate. I think the best storyline is to be kept alive in the village!”

Watch the latest Emmerdale spoilers