Scheming, manipulative, money grabbing, selfish. These are a few words that would have once come to mind when we think of Emmerdale legend Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins), but beyond these traits lies a vulnerability that was explored during her abuse storyline last year giving viewers an insight into how Charity came to be the person she is today.
Who doesnt love a complex character? Theyre arguably the most interesting characters in soap with many layers to their personality to explore further. Charity has graced our screens for ten years on the show since she returned to the village in 2009 and what a journey she has been on.
From the beginning, viewers have been led to believe that Charity was a woman that was only out for what she could get, her main passion being about money. This was portrayed in her relationship with Chris Tate who she married, living a life of luxury up at Home Farm and running his business empire.
Then there was the love triangle between wealthy businessman Michael Conway, Debbie and Charity. It was a massive shock to the both of them on Charity and Michaels wedding day when mother and daughter found out they had been sleeping with the same man! Awkward doesnt even cover it. Debbie comically said: ”Maybe we could share him, Ill sleep with him and you can bank his cheques!
Charity reached peak ruthlessness when she framed her cousin Sam Dingle for setting fire to Home Farm when it was in fact Declan Macey. She came up with a scheme to claim an insurance pay out and in the process was responsible for Rachel (Sams girlfriend at the time) leaving the Dales and he was devastated. When the truth came out the Dingles disowned Charity and it took a long while for her to regain their trust.
Debbie once implied that her mother was never happy unless she was making other peoples lives a misery, feeling as if blokes and money always came before family. An emotional Charity responded by saying: I am really empty, and it doesnt matter what I do.
Back then there was no way we could have known what she meant but this line now takes on a whole new meaning and we finally have an understanding as to the root of some of her more ruthless behaviour, her barriers and the role of men in her life. She had to face her demons from the past when D.I Bails, who had sexually abused her when she was a young teenager. With Vanessa Woodfield by her side supporting her, Charity opened up about what she went through and she went on to win the court case against him.
Charity believed that her baby boy had died at birth but this was far from the truth as her son Ryan had actually been adopted. They finally reunited after Bails return and have since formed a bond. The other villagers have often commented on her track record as a parent but she is more than trying to make up for her mistakes. She very much loves and cares about her family and part of her relationship with Vanessa has shown us a domesticated Charity rather than the loose canon we have been witness to in the past.
Since her relationship with Vanessa viewers have witnessed a vulnerability to Charity and a softer side that we had never seen before. When Vanessa went on a night out at a club with Robert and the girls, Charity said she felt uncharacteristically jealous at the thought of Vanessa meeting someone else. The Charity we know is never one to do the chasing in a relationship and she went as far as turning up at the club to put her thoughts at ease. By the end of the night their relationship was made official.
It has been a beautiful thing to see her fall deeply in love and open up her heart to Vanessa and now they are engaged to be married. Charity always goes that extra mile and on this occasion it was no different. Who else would highjack someone elses proposal? Vanessa wasnt pleased initially but Charitys heart was in the right place as she desperately tried to impress her. The pair have become one of Emmerdales most loved couples and we hope they have a long and happy marriage together.
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