Eric isn’t himself (Picture: ITV)
Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) is an Emmerdale mainstay. The popular character has been part of village life since he first appeared in 1986.
Pollard’s life in the village has been fairly quiet recently, by Emmerdale standards. A year ago he was part of the poignant storyline surrounding the death of Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter), as the two old friends shared some emotional scenes together as Faith tried to make the most of her final weeks.
She confessed to Eric that she still loved him, and regretted that they didn’t give their relationship a proper chance. Eric’s current partner, Brenda (Lesley Dunlop), was also hugely fond of Faith and was happy to let him share some last special moments with her.
Eric had to bail David out when he got into a financial mess with his shop, and can often be seen behind the counter where he can indulge in his love of a good gossip.
But in episodes to be aired soon, Eric Pollard is facing some big worries in his life. Not wanting to upset his family he attempts to put a brave face on things, but Brenda soon notices that he isn’t himself.
She questions him about what’s troubling him, but rather than open up he lashes out at her, pushing her away.
Is romance dead?! (Picture: ITV)
It’s hugely upsetting for Brenda who can’t understand why her previously loving partner is acting in such a cold and cruel way. She seeks support from Nicola (Nicola Wheeler), who is never slow to give an opinion. And Nicola’s opinion is that Brenda could do a lot better than Eric Pollard!
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Brenda agrees with Nicola, as she’s angry and upset by the way Pollard has been treating her recently. She decides it’s time she moved on and found a man who will treat her better.
We know that Eric’s sudden change in behaviour is as a result of his Parkinson’s diagnosis.
The beloved character confirmed to Mandy (Lisa Riley) this week that he has the disease, but doesn’t want any of his loved ones knowing.
Mandy agreed to keep Pollard’s secret, but will things change once it starts to have an impact on his and Brenda’s relationship?
Actor Chris Chittell, who is Emmerdale’s longest serving cast member, gave his thoughts: ‘I feel really privileged to be given this storyline. Parkinson’s is indiscriminate, deceptive and wickedly unkind targeting so many. I want to do this storyline justice for the most courageous of people who are having to bear the brunt of this condition.’
You can find more information and support on the website of Parkinson’s UK.
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