Ground-breaking Emmerdale episode developed in partnership with Andy's Man Club to air next month

Photo: ITVPhoto: ITV
Photo: ITV
A ground-breaking episode in Emmerdale that has been developed in partnership with Halifax-based charity Andy’s Man Club is set to air next month.

Andy’s Man Club was set-up in Halifax in 2016 and has since spread throughout the country with the mission to help men’s mental health.

For the first time in its fifty year history, Emmerdale will be airing an episode featuring an ensemble cast of only male actors.

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In coming weeks Marlon Dingle, played by Mark Charnock, will set up a late night lock-in at the Emmerdale Woolpack, with one thing on the agenda – men talking to each other.

This pub gathering will follow Marlon’s horrifying discovery that his friend Paddy was trying to kill himself. With Paddy's mental health continuing to be fragile, and after bringing him safely home, Marlon wants to do anything he can to help his friend.

Laura Shaw, Emmerdale producer, said: ““When we embarked on this heartbreaking storyline about Paddy's depression and attempted suicide we knew we wanted to shine a light on how important it is to just talk.

"Inspired by listening to real stories from the charity Andy's Man Club, we decided to have some of the men in our village come together for a very special episode which purely focuses on them and seeing them talking about whatever they are feeling or thinking.

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"If watching some of our most loved characters opening up to each other encourages just one person to reach out and start talking, we will be extremely thankful."

On Friday, March 10, the front doors of the Woolpack will be locked and the men of the village will stay behind for a late night lock-in with the hope of using the night as a forum to talk.

Paddy’s best friend Marlon, played by Mark Charnock, is the catalyst and said: ”Despite Paddy being home and safe back in the heart of the village Marlon is finding it hard to get through to him and is worried Paddy will never find the courage to open up and talk. When Chas and Jimmy both unwittingly give Marlon this idea it’s not long before Marlon is acting on their information and setting up this lock-in. He just hopes it will help.”

For this ongoing storyline Emmerdale have worked with Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club.

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Neil Waine, from Andy’s Man Club, said: “Today in the UK, three in four suicides are men.

"If this episode of Emmerdale can shed a light on how important it is for men to talk we will be delighted as it may just reach that one man who sees that #ItsOkayToTalk and makes that brave, life changing step to go to an Andy’s Man Club.

"Kudos to Emmerdale for approaching this subject so head on and with such accuracy which we all felt was important."