Emmerdale’s longest-serving cast member and bit-of-a-baddie, Eric Pollard, was a goodie on the children’s ward at Calderdale Royal Hospital.
Actor Chris Chittell visited with real-life wife, actress Lesley Dunlop for the opening of the new teenage section on the ward.
Chris, in the soap since 1986, was an immediate hit with staff and patients, having fun and joking to all the youngsters about the hospital food and wanting to share in the ward cakes.
Some of the money towards the room was from the donations at the funeral of William Caldwell. His granddaughter Beth Armitage is a nurse on the children’s ward.
Sister Fiona Stuttard had emailed around for a celebrity guest and was amazed when, at lunchtime, on the day of the opening, Chris phoned in to say he would love to attend.
Fiona said: “He was fantastic. He went right round the ward and was lovely with everyone. When he rang and I picked up the phone and he said Eric Pollard could come I couldn’t believe it. We were all so excited.”
The room, which was a former office, has been redecorated in bright colours and has been equipped with a Wii and X-Box and a blue tooth speaker. Staff have also been fundraising and Tesco has donated £500.
Fiona said: “It is nice to be able to offer a special space for our older patients away from the younger ones – especially at times when the little ones and babies can get noisy.
“We are very grateful to Mrs Caldwell, William’s husband, and to everyone who made donations who made it possible. And our very big thanks to Chris and Lesley for making our special day even more special.”