Emmerdale's Marlon Dingle is set to face a tough health battle when he suffers a life-threatening stroke next week.
The character, played by Mark Charnock, will survive his stroke but will have a long road to recovery ahead of him and will need the help of family and friends.
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Writers on the ITV soap have been working closely with charity The Stroke Association to give a realistic portrayal of the signs to look out for and how recovery works.
Charnock, who has played Marlon for 25 years, said: "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. A stroke occurs every five 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."
He added: "No two strokes are the same, but the after-effects are devastating. I’m very proud of the show for telling it and for letting me be a part of it."
The episode where Marlon has the stroke will look different to a usual instalment of the soap as it shows what happens from his point of view.
Producer Laura Shaw said viewers would see a different style in the stroke episode and added: "We wanted viewers to see what a stroke feels like in the moment. As the story unfolds, we follow the tragic and heartbreaking long lasting repercussions it has on Marlon and his friends and family and how their love for each other shines through as they all pull together at this most difficult time."
Shaw explained why Marlon had been chosen for the storyline: "Warm, witty and kindhearted Marlon is undoubtedly one of Emmerdale's most loved characters and with Mark Charnock's sheer skill, craft and incredible range, it felt totally right to play such an incredibly important story as this, with Marlon highlighting that a stroke can happen at any time and showing the catastrophic consequences it can have on the person affected and their whole family."
Emmerdale continues on week nights at 7.30pm on ITV.
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