Emmerdale reveals devastating new storyline for broken Paddy

Paddy Kirk sits on a table with blurred people in the background in Emmerdale
Paddy Kirk's story is about to take an upsetting turn in Emmerdale. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale's Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) is currently in turmoil following his wife Chas Dingle's (Lucy Pargeter) affair with Al Chapman (Michael Wildman) and now his grief and isolation is set to take a devastating turn as he considers taking his own life next month.

Feeling alone and struggling to find his place in people's lives, Paddy will begin to have suicidal thoughts and as he faces these, the viewers will see the extent of Paddy's deep depression.

Much-loved Paddy has been struggling to cope after Chas' infidelity and the broken couple have been trying to co-parent their young daughter Eve while they unhappily live together at The Woolpack. 

On top of this, he's had to cope with the constant reminders of Chas' adultery, the grief of losing their daughter Grace and the daily arguments which have all now taken their toll on Paddy's mental health.

Emmerdale spoilers, Chas Dingle, Paddy Kirk

Paddy and Chas Dingle have been constantly bickering following her affair. (Image credit: ITV)

His anguish has also impacted his work as a vet and he has made some uncharacteristically careless mistakes. Paddy has been unable to reach out for support, despite having his lifelong friends Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) and Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) close by.

In the Emmerdale episode set to air on Thursday, February 9, Paddy will suddenly leave the village without telling his friends or family. Although he will be found staying at a local guest house, it's apparent his mental health is spiraling and doesn't want to reconnect with his loved ones for some time.

Paddy will return to the village in March, where, unbeknownst to his friends, he will make some veiled goodbyes and leave again with the aim of ending his own life.

Emmerdale has been working closely with both Samaritans and Andy's Man Club for this storyline in order to tell Paddy's story as authentically as possible.

Paddy sitting alone and looking sad.

Paddy is in a dark place since his split with Chas. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said:  “As soon as we started discussing this story we knew that it was vital for us to get it right and that we needed to open up the conversation about male depression and suicide. Paddy is usually very happy-go-lucky in life, always joking and having a laugh, but what we see is that recent events have really taken their toll. 

"Despite him being popular and having lots of friends and family around him, Paddy starts to feel increasingly lonely, isolated and overwhelmed by his feelings and this leads to him having some very dark thoughts. We've worked really closely with Samaritans and Andy's Man Club every step of the way through this story and their incredible support and insight has helped us to shape Paddy's journey into a true reflection of what thousands of men sadly go through every year.” 

Lorna Fraser, the Executive Lead for Samaritans’ Media Advisory Service commented: “Paddy’s story creates an opportunity to show others, particularly middle-aged men, however difficult times can become, it's always possible to get help and get through, and ultimately recover. 

"Depression and suicide are extremely serious topics, so we’re pleased to have seen the producers work so hard to ensure they got this story right in its telling. We encourage anyone touched by this story to reach out to Samaritans, our amazing volunteers are always here to listen, day and night.”  

Paddy Kirk on the phone standing outside on a bridge in Emmerdale village

Emmerdale has worked with suicide charities to portray Paddy's story as accurately as possible. (Image credit: ITV)

Neil Waine from Andy’s Man Club explained: “ANDYSMANCLUB are a men’s suicide prevention charity, offering free-to-attend peer-to-peer support groups across well over 100 venues in the United Kingdom and online. We want to end the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and help men through the power of conversation and we are absolutely delighted that ITV and Emmerdale are tackling this vitally important subject and helping raise awareness that #ITSOKAYTOTALK." 

Dominic Brunt said of taking on this storyline: ”It’s a huge honor and a great responsibility to be portraying this storyline. It’s an inherent problem in today’s society that most men don’t talk enough about their problems. We bottle them up, we don’t want to bother anyone, we become embarrassed, we feel we should be strong and not show weakness. 

"If this story can shine a light on the issue or make even a small change to someone’s outlook or viewpoint, then it will have been worth it. It’s also a privilege to be working alongside The Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club in highlighting this issue.”

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7.30 pm on ITV1, with a hour-long episode on Thursdays — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on ITVX.

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides, recaps and features for must-watch shows and delivers all the latest soap news and reactions. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.