Emmerdale's Emma Atkins says she loves co-star 'with all her heart' as she teases their upcoming scenes

Emmerdale stars Emma Atkins and Eden Taylor-Draper
-Credit: (Image: Eden Taylor-Draper Instagram)

Emmerdale star Emma Atkins has said she loves her castmate 'with all her heart' as she heaped praise on Eden Taylor-Draper. The actress is preparing for more scenes with her co-star, who plays Belle King - need Dingle - in the ITV soap.

It's been revealed that in upcoming scenes, Charity Dingle, played by Emma, will start to share concerns about Belle and rightly so as viewers know she is being abused by her new husband, Tom King.

The character, played by James Chase, returned to the Dales last year, after leaving in 2013 when he made it his mission to make Chas Dingle's life a living hell following the death of his father, Carl King.

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Following his return to the village as the new vet, Tom quickly rekindled a romance with Belle Dingle. Things were seemingly going well between the pair but concerns were triggered back in October when Tom popped the question to Belle and didn't take her turning him down very well, resulting in a scuffle with Belle left bleeding.

Belle forgave Tom and later popped the question with the help of none other than Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean. Then earlier this year, they tied the knot, Tom's coercive control over his new wife has only escalated with him tracking her phone, setting up a 'puppy cam' in the house and isolating her from her family and friends. He also recently found out she had an abortion, leading to him lashing out and electrocuting himself.

In upcoming scenes, Emmerdale fans will see Belle begin to panic as Charity, Chas Dingle, Mandy Dingle and Lydia Dingle question her on her relationship with Tom. Charity pushes Belle to tell her what’s really going on but Belle is angered by their incessant questioning and storms out.

Finding upset Belle outside the Woolpack, Charity kindly asks her once more to open up. Belle tears up, but spotting Tom coming she shoves Charity and flees home in a panic. Charity’s incredulous as Tom shuts down her pursuit of Belle and insists his wife is struggling with her mental health. The other women worry that Charity overreacted and she frustratedly leaves the room, afraid she’s missed her chance to convince them that something’s wrong.

Belle is being abused by her husband Tom -Credit:ITV
Belle is being abused by her husband Tom -Credit:ITV

Back home, Tom’s face turns cold, and he makes a phone call to confirm he wants to interview for a job in Wales. The next day, Charity tries to make good with Belle, but she’s unimpressed. Tom is in an online interview and is reminded that the job he’s applying for is in a very remote part of Wales. He suggests to the interviewer that Belle would be delighted to move there. After she’s returned, Tom offers to take Belle on holiday, keen to take her to a remote cottage, as she warms to the idea, he’s secretly pleased his plan is taking shape.

"As me, I felt that if anyone was going to recognise those signs of abuse, it probably would be Charity, because she's lived and breathed it in her past," Emma said of Charity's upcoming involvement in the storyline.

She continued: "I think she starts to let her know that she's picking up this vibe that something potentially might be wrong. But she knows at first she's got to play this very subtle, gentle game. She teases little things out of Belle, but not enough to really know. Nobody seems to be seeing it except Charity, so she says to the girls, 'help me - technically, for want of a better word - kidnap Belle from the house, and pretend that we're doing it for a girly night to cheer Lydia up.'"

"At this point, her suspicions of Tom's behaviour [are] ramping up, so there's even more reason: he keeps changing his mind; Belle's running around after him but she's like a frightened housewife, and her behaviour is just very staccato and he's saying jump, and she's saying how high, kind of mentality."

Charity will start to cotton on that something isn't right with Belle -Credit:ITV
Charity will start to cotton on that something isn't right with Belle -Credit:ITV

But it doesn't got to plan when Tom starts calling Belle in the middle of their get-together. Emma explained: "Charity's overzealous with her: 'Belle, just tell me if he's not right for you!' She goes inward and all the girls say, 'see what you've done, maybe you're the one with the issue.'

"I think the audience will be really frustrated by that. In a good way, because it shows you just how this sort of stuff does go on every day in people's domestic lives, they're living that hell. It's strong stuff, I spend a lot of my time screaming at Tom [when watching the show]. It's difficult to watch sometimes, I must say."

Speaking about her co-star, Emma told the Manchester Evening News and other press that there's more to come for the pair. "I love Eden with all my heart so working with her, because we do see each other socially, it's great because we've got some good stuff coming up," she said.

"So she's going to come over and stay and we're going to blast the scenes and work on it really hard. When we come to do this lovely episode and it will have real meaning because we would have worked on it. She's smashing it out of the park as the young ones would say."

Emma continued: "She is truly remarkable and I think she's really found herself and she's really coming into her own and she's dong stuff and being challenged in a way she's never been before and she's stepping up to the mark and I'm really proud of her as a friend."