Emmerdale’s Emma Atkins and Lucy Pargeter gush about real bonding and Dingle solidarity
One of the first things we notice about Emmerdale co-stars Emma Atkins and Lucy Pargeter is that they couldn’t be more different than their soap operas Charity and Chas Dingle.
The two enjoy sharing jokes and discussing how to organize joint childcare for their children – Lucy, 45, has daughter Lola, 16, and twins Betsy and Missy, five, while Emma, 47, has son Albert, seven .
“We are each other’s rock,” explains Emma. “There’s an innate trust, an authenticity. We make each other laugh and it’s never been fun working together.”
Emma and Lucy have been playing cousins in the Dales for almost 20 years and it’s clear they’re like family in real life too.
“When the cameras stop rolling our relationship is exactly the same, we know each other so well,” Lucy tells us. “We feel just as old as when we started. That’s why we’re quite youthful!”
Recently in Emmerdale, the characters Emma and Lucy had a huge argument after it was revealed that Charity had bought Chas’ pub The Woolpack at auction – with the couple even having a food fight.
But that couldn’t be further from the truth for her in real life, as Emma tells us: “We’ve never had a fight. There is a brilliant union that cannot be priced.”
The duo have been there for each other off-screen, even sharing childcare as their children go to the same school.
“If we can help each other, we will. It goes without saying that in a friendship where you work together, spend time together and your kids go to the same school, you pull together,” says Emma.
And their children also support each other at school. “They know who to go to and the girls always say if anything happens they go to Albert,” adds Emma.
“Albert will come home and go. ‘I waved to Missy and Betsy today. I saw them play and I waved and walked over.’ It feels so great to hear that they look out for each other.”
It’s obvious that family comes first, as Emma reveals they often watch videos of Lucy’s daughters filming the soap. They also strictly protect their privacy and choose not to share details of their personal life and family on social media. “Our privacy is everything,” explains Emma.
Lucy adds: “The youngsters have no idea what I do for a living and they don’t have to. As long as I take care of them, they don’t have to be part of this madness.”
The stars understandably want to protect their privacy, especially after Lucy told us about a “strange” time when a fan asked for a photo of her just moments after the birth of her twins in 2017, which left a stunned Emma with her hands leaves in front of the mouth .
“I was just wheeled into the hospital from a cesarean with my girls in my arms and someone asked for a photo,” explains Lucy.
“I just came off the operating table with my newborn twins looking like death and someone asked if it was ok if they had a picture. I said, “Well, that’s not really appropriate,” and he said, “It’s okay, I’ll just take one of you guys.” That was a bit odd and inappropriate.”
However, there were some humorous moments for Emma and Lucy as they try to navigate their on-screen careers as well as their off-screen motherhood.
Emma remembers: “The other day Albert really wanted a magazine. He said, ‘Mom, mom, can I get a magazine?’ I said, ‘Just wait, be patient.’ Eventually we got to the aisle and he ran down and said, ‘You! It’s you, you’re there!’
“I was like, ‘Albert, shut up, it’s okay.’ There were people looking. I know it’s part of the job, but I often forget and then suddenly I’m like, ‘This is a bit crazy.’ I didn’t even know I would be there [the magazine] because sometimes I’m not aware of storylines because I’m too busy being a mom. You lose track.”
While Lucy adds: “The girls came out of the bathroom the other night and Emmerdale happened to be there because the TV was on. [I said] “Look, look, that’s mom’s work,” and they said, “Oh no, it’s not! Can we see something else?’”
Aside from their own children, Emma and Lucy share a strong loyalty to their on-screen Dingle family, as they are both still close to their former co-stars Charley Webb and Danny Miller, who played Charity’s daughter Debbie and Chas’ son Aaron, respectively .
Emma, who compares Charley to a mother figure despite being 13 years her junior, tells us they live around the corner and their children are “inseparable”. Charley has sons Buster, Bowie and Ace with Emmerdale star Matthew Wolfenden.
Speaking of their friendship, Emma says: “She’s very organized and considering she’s 13 years younger she often has a maternal instinct with me. We have a really nice friendship.
“We had a lot of emotional scenes together as a mother and daughter. I miss that. There was a lot of authenticity again because of our history as friends.
“I took her under my wing when she came on the show at 14 and I think she looked up to me – I felt honored to connect with this young girl who felt like she was too.” could come to me for advice and such.”
Lucy adds: “I see Charley Webb more outside of work than at work anyway, so she’s still a big part of my life and all of our lives.
“Danny, I miss him all the time. We always had this closeness – if he was ever in trouble or if anything happened, he would call him for advice.
“He’s got his wedding coming up, so I got a day off work!”
Lucy jokes she’ll be like a “proud mom” watching her son tie the knot with Steph Jones on screen.
This isn’t the first Dingle Clan actor to get married, as Lucy and Emma both attended Charley’s surprise wedding to Matthew in 2018, which guests actually thought would be her 30th birthday celebration.
Emma says: “I was disappointed because I didn’t look great and she [Charley] said, ‘Make sure you look great.’ I thought, ‘Okay, it’s only a 30th!’ Well, when it turned out I was one of the bridesmaids… I thought, ‘This dress should have been a better dress!’ and Charley said, ‘Well, I told you!'”
And the cast are set to celebrate even more as Lucy, who jokes it’s like “having a party every weekend” with her co-stars, will celebrate her 20th Emmerdale anniversary in October, also marking the 50th anniversary the ITV soap picks up.
“20 years! I don’t know where it went to be completely honest,” admits Lucy. “Once you got in [Emmerdale], it will always feel like you’re the new girl. It’s like a little time capsule or time machine.
“As a group of friends we think quite young because we all still feel the same age when we first met and connected. I’ve managed to pack a lot into the show and I’ve been presented with some amazing opportunities over those 20 years.”
Lucy, who originally auditioned to play Emma’s character Charity before being cast as Chas in 2002, adds, “I have no plans. I think the 50th will be like a celebration in itself so I don’t know.
“I should probably throw a party, but we all get together anyway, so it’s like a party every weekend.”
Lucy has been involved in several hard-hitting storylines over the years, but she admits her most difficult scene to date was when Chas lost her baby Grace in 2018.
“It was very, very difficult,” says Lucy. “I had only just gotten the girls [her twins]so knowing the joy I got from them and then understanding the loss people go through when they lose a child was really juxtaposed in my mind.
“This story was rewarding but extremely heartbreaking.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/emmerdales-emma-atkins-lucy-pargeter-26780095 Emmerdale's Emma Atkins and Lucy Pargeter gush about real bonding and Dingle solidarity