The village boozer was gutted in a fire at Christmas started by Al Chapman, who co-owned it with Chas and Marlon Dingle. Shady Al had plans to turn the building into trendy apartments with dodgy business acquaintance Gavin.
But Gavin later pulled out of the deal, and the popular watering hole recently went under the hammer, with Charity and son Ryan eventually being revealed as the winning bidders.
Chas was expecting to stay on as bar manager, but walked away when power-hungry Charity put her through a humiliating interview. Charity’s lover Mack then insisted on stepping into the role.
The pub currently remains closed, but it will soon re-open, and viewers can expect a few changes.
Reveals Atkins, “The refurb is brilliant and well thought out. They manage to maintain that country pub style, but with a modern twist, using a really vibrant velvet upholstery in wonderful autumnal colours.
“The new snug area is my favourite part. During the design process, Ryan rightly points out that the pub is in need of wheelchair access, and suggests one section of the bar be lowered in order to cater for everyone.
“I think it’s going to be a good old fashioned regular pub, with the potential for one-off events to jazz it up a little."
She adds, “Charity, Mackenzie, Marlon and Ryan all want to have their say on the way it should be run. Marlon suggests bringing a modern twist to his menu, Mack fancies DJ events, and Ryan is busy helping with the re-design.
"There was a mention in a script that Charity’s role will be more managerial and hands on, and Ryan, being a computer wizard, will be behind all the admin, marketing and financial stuff.”
Charity previously co-owned The Woolpack with Chas for several years, but she was forced to sell her share in 2021 when the Dingles turned on her after her wreckless decisions led to her driving both son Noah and daughter Debbie away.
Marlon bought her stake, but he and Chas ended up in financial difficulty and were forced to accept Al Chapman as an investor.
When the pub came up for sale, Charity not only had the cash from last year’s transaction, but she boosted her coffers by selling her share in the haulage company to Kim Tate.
Ryan, meanwhile, had been left money in late mum Irene’s will.
Adds Atkins, “I cannot wait to get back behind the bar. I love the atmosphere. It’s always the central hub of the village where the audience witness all sorts of drama, revelation, gossip and conflict.
“It’s the best place for all those memorable one-liners between the punters and bar staff.”
Alison Slade has over 20 years of experience as a TV journalist and has spent the vast majority of that time as Soap Editor of TV Times magazine.
She is passionate about the ability of soaps to change the world by presenting important, issue-based stories about real people in a relatable way.
There are few soap actors that she hasn’t interviewed over the years, and her expertise in the genre means she has been called upon as a judge numerous times for The British Soap Awards and the BAFTA TV Awards.
When she is not writing about soaps, watching soaps, or interviewing people who are in soaps, she loves going to the theatre, taking a long walk or pottering about at home, obsessing over Farrow and Ball paint.
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