As girlfriend Jessie Grant plans an epic surprise wedding, Emmerdale actor Mark Charnock explains Marlon Dingle’s shock Christmas present.

Tues 25 Dec 2018: The guests and Marlon are shocked to see Jessie Grant in a wedding dress.

When it comes to weddings, it’s not like Marlon Dingle, played by Mark Charnock, hasn’t had his fair share of practice but at least he knew he was getting married. This wedding (his fourth by the way) will be a complete surprise as he isn’t even engaged to girlfriend Jessie Grant (Sandra Marvin).

Realising what an amazing bloke Marlon is, Jessie has been planning a surprise Christmas wedding with the help of her son Ellis, Marlon’s daughter April, and local legend Lydia Hart (Karen Blick). The confusion comes when Marlon gets wind that Lydia is up to something and all of a sudden thinks the wedding is actually Sam Dingle (James Hooton) and Lydia. Next minute he’s catering his own reception.

Mon 24 Dec 2018: Soon the drayman, pulls away unknowingly carrying away Marlon and Sam who are fast asleep in the back.

Believing Sam is going to be getting married, Marlon takes Sam on his stag night but the drunken pair are thrown out of the Woolpack when Charity (Emma Atkins) catches them drinking from the taps. As Marlon and Sam stagger down Main Street, they stop in their tracks to see the truck containing Charity’s booze delivery sitting open. Soon the drayman pulls away, unknowingly carrying Marlon and Sam who are fast asleep in the back.

When they wake up on Christmas morning, in the middle of nowhere, Sam can only see the funny side until Marlon is forced to ‘incorrectly admit’ that it’s actually Sam’s wedding day. Hungover, Sam and Marlon make their way back home with Sam getting emotional at the thought of marrying Lydia.

Will Sam and Marlon make it back in time and will the wedding even happen after Marlon faints when it’s revealed it is in fact his own wedding day? And what about poor Sam, who is crushed to learn he’s got it all wrong! Actor Mark Charnock reveals all the shenanigans from filming this year’s comedic Christmas Day episode of Emmerdale…

Are you excited for the Christmas storyline?
“Yes it came out of the blue and we jumped on it. The storyline is great, a really well written script, genuinely laugh out loud funny, very sweet, romantic, farcey and just lovely. And I got to work with someone who I don’t get to work with that often in James Hooten. We don’t really do that much together, so that was a real bonus on top everything else. It’s a lovely Christmas Day storyline, a real heart-warming, funny, silly Christmas Day feel to it.”

Tues 25 Dec 2018: Will the wedding go smoothly especially after Marlon Dinlge faints when it’s revealed it is in fact his own wedding day.

How did you feel when you found out you were ‘getting married’?
“It was a shock! They’ve been really clever in how they have structured it because they’ve not been together that long but I think it has got to the point where, despite his failed marriages and losing people, he feels instinctively that she’ll be the one to close the circle for him. And it’s on quite an equal footing, as she’s quite a vulnerable person, has lost people, so they have got that in common and he completes her circle too potentially so it is a really combination. I love working with Sandra, she’s funny and great with the drama stuff – it’s just really a well put together story.”

This will be marriage four for Marlon! Is this it for Marlon?
“I’ve been in Emmerdale 22 years so a marriage every five years feels about right. And this time it just feels like there is lots of backstory with Jesse that we haven’t yet seen that I think could make the pairing genuinely interesting as a blended family especially with April and Leo in the mix. I am genuinely quite excited about it too.”

What’s Marlon’s reaction like when he finds out? We know he faints…
“He’s just overwhelmed by everything and also very lightheaded because he got so hammered the day before. I don’t know whether it’s a bad sign or not but coming out of that is really delightful. It turns out to be very romantic. You always know it is funny when the crew laugh. It’s a real treat for me because I also get to throw up twice on British television on Christmas Day.”

Tues 25 Dec 2018: Whilst poor Sam Dingle is crushed to learn he’s got it all wrong and he’s not getting married today.

What makes Marlon and Jessie have a strong relationship?
“Jessie is someone who is as vulnerable as he is but needs him as much as he needs her and I don’t think he’s been with anybody like that for a while who generally needs him and likes him for his flaws, whereas she accepts all of it. They’ve met at a time in their lives where they’ve had kids and need loving companionship at the same time. It feels right. It feels like Marlon is now at the age he was always meant to be. I don’t think he’s gone out looking. But he was overwhelmed by this woman. And yes then he pursued her and had to break her down to get her. It feels strong because they’re both at the exact right moments in their lives for it to happen for them.”

How is this wedding different?
“It has an Afro-Caribbean theme to it which was fantastic and there’s a great dance sequence in the middle of it. I loved it. Learnt it all on YouTube – nailed it of course. Like Marlon knew it already. It’s the funniest of his four weddings. What was fantastic was watching Cain getting dragged up and made to do this dance is one of the funniest things. It’s funny, it’s brilliant.”

Will you watch it with your own family?
“I still after all this time get nervous about those big eps. I have to just watch it after it’s been and gone. It shows you’re still nervous about getting it right. I don’t ever what to feel like “I’m sure this is going to be great”. I always want to have that nervousness about it. It keeps it fresh. You’re going to see things you’ve done right and wrong.”

Don’t miss Mark Charnock in the hour-long Christmas Day episode of Emmerdale on Tuesday 25th December at 7.15pm.

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