Emmerdale star Mark Charnock explains how original Marlon plans changed

“Thank God I don’t have to pout my way through this.”

Emmerdale star Mark Charnock has explained how the soap’s original plans for Marlon Dingle changed.

The actor, who has received multiple British Soap Award nominations for Marlon’s stroke storyline, originally joined the ITV soap in 1996, after previously having bit roles in EastEnders and Coronation Street.

In a new interview, Charnock explained how unlikely it was that he’d land the Marlon job because producers at the time envisioned the character as a musclebound lothario.

“I went into the loo and looked in the mirror and thought ‘They have got the wrong guy’,” he told The Mirror about his audition.

“I said to the director, ‘Can I just ask you about this description?’ He said, ‘Oh yes, don’t worry, he’s now a nerd who thinks he’s those things’.”

Charnock was relieved to find out about the changes being made to Marlon, explaining: “They were going to have him as an absolute hunk, a beautiful, carved thing. At some point, someone said wouldn’t it be funny if he was just an absolute dweeb who thought he was that? That was why I got the audition.

“It made me feel great… I thought, ‘Thank god I don’t have to pout my way through this’.”

Over 25 years later, Charnock has won a British Soap Award and is now involved in the most important storyline of his career portraying the impact of Marlon’s stroke.

The actor recently said “the most amazing aspect” of this storyline has been the community that has developed among viewers, where they can share their real-life stories.

“I was really nervous about the reaction because as we keep saying in all the interviews, no strokes are the same. So I was worried about the online response, but it’s been remarkable actually,” he told This Morning.

“Even if Marlon’s stroke wasn’t like the stroke they had witnessed or experienced themselves, they’ve empathised with it.”

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV and streams on the ITV Hub.