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Debbie Dingle (played by Charley Webb) was last seen in an emotional heart-to-heart with mother Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) on the outskirts of Emmerdale, minutes before she left to go to Scotland. And while the mechanic was meant to be returning this year, it seems the actress who plays Debbie has other ideas. How will Charity take the news her daughter is staying away for a little while longer?
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Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox) left the Dingle family behind last year after dying from a rare disease, but her departure also set several members up for life.
The matriarch had left her daughter Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) and step-granddaughter Debbie a car garage up in Scotland.
Following years of turmoil and heartache since Joe Tate (Ned Porteous) first arrived in the village, Debbie felt she needed to get away and fled to Scotland.
This coincided with the actress’ – who was pregnant with her third child – maternity leave.
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It was suggested Charley would be back playing Debbie later this year, but it seems the actress has extended her time off.
During a conversation with OK! magazine, Charley, who has been playing the fan-favourite character since 2002 said being “at home with the kids is where [she] needs to be at the moment”.
“We’re in talks and work has been amazing about giving me the extra time I need,” Charley added.
“The difference from two to three children feels huge, so I haven’t confirmed when I’m going back yet.
“Bowie starts school in September, and I want to be around for that.
“I can’t imagine being back at work at the moment.”
Charley shares three sons; Bowie, Buster and Ace with Emmerdale co-star Matthew Wolfenden who plays David Metcalfe.
But how is the soap going to address Debbie’s extended stay away from the village?
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ITV viewers know the difficulty Charity is currently facing; she and partner Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick) found out the latter had stage three bowel cancer earlier this year.
And those watching at home have seen Charity struggle, despite trying to put a brave face on for Vanessa.
The two ladies have also got their hands full, what with three sons between them and then looking after Debbie’s daughter Sarah Dingle (Sophie Moore).
But it seems Vanessa’s deteriorating health won’t persuade Debbie to make a comeback.
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In upcoming scenes, Charity is going to start looking into adopting Vanessa’s son Johnny.
But she is going to come up against some hurdles when she realises she needs to get the permission of his father.
Could finding Kirin Kotecha mean an exit for Charity?
Emmerdale airs Monday, Wednesday and Fridays at 7pm on ITV.
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