Emmerdale's Chris Chittell to receive a British Empire Medal for drama services

Emmerdale actor Christopher Chittell has said he’s ‘overwhelmed’ after it was announced he was due to receive a British Empire Medal as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

The 71-year-old soap star is best known for his role of Eric Pollard, the longest-serving resident of the Dales after first arriving in 1986.

Chittell is not only being acknowledged for his services to entertainment and drama, but also for his charity work.

Speaking about the achievement, he said: ‘When I first heard I would be receiving this honour I couldn’t quite believe it.

‘Then I thought of the hundreds of people I have met along the way who give up their time for others and are not set to receive an accolade, so I share this with them.

‘I am overwhelmed I’ve been given this for my drama and charity work.’

The actor joins a number of TV favourites who have been acknowledged in the Royal honours list this year – including Olivia Colman and Bear Grylls.

Back in the Dales, Eric is currently in the midst of the child predator storyline between teacher Maya and Eric’s 16-year-old grandson Jacob, putting his own plan into action when the twisted abuser ignores restraining orders to come and find him.

Instead of Jacob, she finds Eric, who tells her in no uncertain terms to end things for good with the teenager or face the wrath of the courts.

Over the years, Eric has been involved in a number of high profile storylines and romances – getting married five times in his 33-year tenure in the Emmerdale village.

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