Emmerdale star Mark Charnock reveals surprising hobby that no one knows about

Emmerdale's Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock)
Emmerdale's Mark Charnock has a surprising hobby away from the soap world. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale favourite Mark Charnock, who plays Marlon Dingle, has revealed his surprising hobby that he hopes to be acknowledged for one day.

Mark has become an Emmerdale legend playing Marlon since 1996 and was met with huge praise after his recent performance, which saw Marlon have a life-threatening stroke.

However, when he’s not busy acting as the cheeky chef in the soap world, he has another pastime he likes to do away from our screens.

In an interview with The Guardian, Mark revealed that he is an avid writer who hopes to get recognition for his work one day.

He said: “I want to be a writer. All my closest friends are writers. I’d like to be acknowledged. I’ve got hundreds of thousands of words – novels and short stories. By the time I pop my clogs, there’s going to be this vast JD Salingeresque locker of unpublished stories. Somebody will read them and go: ‘Oh, let’s burn them.’” 

We’re sure Mark will be offered a publishing deal in no time!


Mark has played fan-favourite Marlon Dingle for 25 years. (Image credit: ITV)

Recently, Marlon suffered from a stroke that left him paralysed and unable to speak.

Mark touched upon this in his chat with The Guardian, where he revealed that he suspects the writers made this choice because Marlon was always so physically animated.

“I think they thought: ‘We could reduce him down to a pair of terrified eyes and work from there,’” he commented.

Of course, we can't imagine anyone else playing the iconic role of Marlon, but the soap star thought there was no way he'd land the part because the soap's producers originally pictured him very differently.

He was just 26 years old when he auditioned for the role, saying: “I’ll never forget the script. It said: ‘Marlon appears. He is an Adonis. A Greek god who makes women melt.’ 


Marlon had a life-changing stroke. (Image credit: ITV)

“And I swear to you, I went to the loo, looked in the mirror trying to be an Adonis. I went into the audition and I said to the director: ‘This thing about being Adonis … ’ And he said: ‘Don’t worry. He’s now a nerd who thinks he’s an Adonis.’”

25 years on from that audition, Mark won the Best Dramatic Performance at this year's British Soap Awards.

Emmerdale airs weeknights from 7.30pm on ITV — see our TV Guide for full listings.

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.