Emmerdale reveals special episode with all-male cast for a very important reason

The men filming at the Woolpack in Emmerdale
Emmerdale will have an all-male episode to raise awareness of men's mental health. (Image credit: ITV)

For the first time in Emmerdale's fifty year history, the soap will be airing an episode with an all-male cast in aid of men's mental health.

Over the coming weeks, Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock), will arrange a late night lock-in at the Woolpack with the aim to get men talking to each other.

The gathering will come after Marlon makes the heartbreaking discovery that his best friend Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt) tried to end his life. 

As Paddy's mental health continues to spiral following Chas Dingle's (Lucy Pargeter) affair with Al Chapman (Michael Wildman), Marlon is determined to help his friend in any way he can after bringing him home safely.

Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said: “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. 

"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." 

A troubled Paddy Kirk sits at a table as blurred people walk around him

Marlon Dingle wants to help his struggling friend Paddy Kirk. (Image credit: ITV)

On Friday, March 10, the Woolpack will be locked and the men of the village will stay behind for a late night lock-in and use the opportunity to talk about their feelings and mental health.

Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon shared: ”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.” 

Emmerdale have worked with Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club for this storyline.

Neil Waine from Andy’s Man Club commented: “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."

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.