Emmerdale Marlon stars life – hidden family, tragic loss and horror obsession

Emmerdale charatcer Marlon Dingle has been an an favourite since he first appeared as a member of the Dingle clan in 1996.

As the son of Albert and Delilah Dingle, the Woolpack chef went on to become a father to April Windsor and Leo Goskirk in the ITV soap.

He’s been involved in a whole host of storylines over the years, including a prison stint, the death of his ex Donna Windsor and an ongoing bromance with best bud Paddy.

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But now Marlon is set for his most heartbreaking storyline yet, as he faces his fears following his stroke.

For actor Mark Charnock, though, life is thankfully a lot less chaotic as Daily Star delves into his life off-camera, from his "secret" family to his love of horror books.

Co-star friendships

Mark has a close bond with plenty of his co-stars, and, before pandemic restrictions hit, was often pictured with them on his Instagram page.

He seemed particularly close with co-star Gemma Atkinson, who played Carly Hope until 2017.

Mark shared a hilarious collection of snaps of the two messing around on set, with Gemma at one point strapped by the head to an air mattress.

"When you go to run lines in [Gemma Atkinson’s] dressing room and are greeted by this #idiot," Mark captioned the cheeky pic.

In another snap, Gemma could be seen posing on the staircase in Marlon’s house, with Mark writing alongside it: "When @glouiseatkinson insists that I take her photo. And does this. Every day is a nightmare."

He’s also headed out for drinks with Michelle Hardwick, who played Vanessa Woodfield, along with Danny Miller (Aaron Dingle) and Amy Walsh (Tracy Metcalfe).

'Secret' family

Mark likes to keep his personal life away from the limelight of Emmerdale.

But it is believed that he is married and has one son.

Mark lives in North Yorkshire with his family, and gorgeous pooch Freddie, a Golden Retriever.

Sharing a snap of the two cuddled up on the sofa, Mark rocked a cable-knit turtleneck jumper and glasses as Freddie looked up and off into the distance.

He’s a keen gardener, and enjoys planting in his vegetable garden back home, with a group of plants he calls his "little gang".

Tragic loss

In 2014, Mark paid tribute to his on-screen son Harry Whittaker, who had played Leo Goskirk as a toddler.

The child actor tragically passed away aged just three from a chronic lung disease, and was memorialised in an episode of the soap, with a placard which read: "To Harry, with love" alongside a photo of the child star.

Mark led tributes to the youngster, commenting: "Our superhero. We were lucky to know you and hear your laugh. You lit up our lives dearest, loveliest Harry."

Speaking to fans, he added: "Thank you all. We’ll all pass on your overwhelming response to Harry’s amazing family. Thank you for all your kind words. It means a lot.

"Just want to say a massive and heartfelt thank you for your amazing response to last night’s episode. So lovely of you."

Harry was the nephew of Doctor Who star Jodie Whittaker.

Mark also made a sweet tribute post to the youngster on what would have been his tenth birthday, writing on Twitter: “On what would have been his 10th birthday, thinking of this little Spider-Man today.

"Thinking of the joy he brought to everyone he encountered and of his giddy laughter.

"Thinking of our prince Harry with love and happy memories xxx."

Horror obsession

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Looking at Mark’s Instagram, it’s clear he’s rather obsessed with horror fiction.

Over the years, he’s compiled stacks of books including Jac Jemc’s haunted house novel The Grip of It, W. C. Ryan’s A House of Ghosts, and plenty more spooky stories.

He’s a self-confessed zombie lover along with co-star and on-screen best pal Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy in the soap.

Dominic has even directed his own horror flick Before Dawn, with Mark helping out to host a zombie film festival in Leeds.

The pair were even set on filming a Halloween special for the soap, with Dominic commenting: "I want to do a Halloween special – it’d be great. Everybody could be bitten to death by zombies and we all turn into zombies."

Mark chimed in at the time: "It might be genius. Someone get me a pen and paper. I need to speak to the producer immediately."

Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV from 7:30pm

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