Emmerdale to make history with soap first following Paddy Kirk storyline

Emmerdale are set to make history this week, as they air a soap first to highlight the importance of men talking to each other about their mental health.

An episode of the ITV soap, due to be broadcast on March 10, 2023, will see Marlon Dingle set up a late-night lock in at The Woolpack Pub with the aim of getting men talking to each other – and will feature a male only cast for the first time in the soap's 50 year history.

The pub gathering follows Marlon's discovery that his best friend Paddy Kirk had attempted to commit suicide, with Marlon aiming to do whatever he can to help Paddy, as he continues to struggle with his mental health.

READ MORE: Paddy Kirk's story to take a heartbreaking turn in Emmerdale after marriage breakdown

Viewers recently saw Paddy continue to struggle with the breakdown of his marriage, constant reminders of Chas' infidelity and their shared grief over the death of their daughter Grace, which has all taken a toll on Paddy's mental health.

Feeling alone and struggling to find his place in people's lives, Paddy considered taking his own life, where the audience saw the true extent of his deep depression.

Marlon actor Mark Charnock explained that Marlon wants to help Paddy and other characters in the village to open up and talk, saying: "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 the first time in Emmerdale's history, the special episode will only feature male actors, with the characters coming together in The Woolpack to discuss whatever they are thinking or feeling.

Soap producers have worked with Samaritans and Andy Man's Club on the storyline, with producer Laura Shaw explaining that she hopes the episode will "encourage just one person to reach out and start talking."

"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," said Laura.

"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.

"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."

Neil Waine from Andy’s Man Club also added: "Today in the UK 3 in 4 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 AndysManClub.

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

When life is difficult, Samaritans are here – day or night, 365 days a year.

You can call them for free on 116 123, email them at [email protected], or visitsamaritans.org to find your nearest branch.

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