Emmerdale star Sally Dexter has spoken about her character Faith Dingle’s impending death, and revealed the kind of exit she wants for the much-loved Dingle matriarch.
Faith, who beat cancer several years ago, recently discovered that the illness had returned, and it was incurable.
She has had chemotherapy in a bid to control the tumour and give her more time, but a scan at the hospital in next week's Emmerdale reveals the cancer has spread, and she stoically decides to stop treatment.
Speaking about her hopes and wishes for when Faith reaches the end, Sally tells us, “I want all of the Dingles to be there, and I’d love for Cain or Chas to help her put some lippy on - I don’t want her to go without a bit of lippy on! If the hair isn’t quite right, she can stick on a fascinator!”
And looking ahead to Faith’s send-off, she adds, “I haven’t suggested this to anyone, but I’d love it at her funeral if she could somehow, in a ghostly fashion, fly up and join in with some wonderful wild dancing, and you see her floating about, having a whale of a time.
“I’d like her to be able to give some comfort to her family after her death.”
Though Chas has been a tower of strength to her ailing mum, Faith’s son Cain has so far failed to offer any support. The pair have long had a difficult relationship, which stems from the time Faith walked out on the family when he and Chas were children, and left them with her alcoholic and abusive husband, Shadrach.
Next week, in the wake of her scan results, Faith wants more than ever to build bridges with her son, and make him realise that her exit all those years ago was not his fault.
Adds Sally, ‘What she really wants is for them to know that her love for them is unconditional. She just wants them to know that they were always loved - it was never that they were not loved.
“That’s what she senses in Cain — that he feels he was abandoned — and Chas as well, although she had her older brother there for her. Who was there for him?
“Rather than burden him with, ‘Will you forgive me?’ it’s about saying, ‘It doesn’t matter if you don’t forgive me. I just want you to know that you are loved and you always were.’”
As Cain and Chas have a heart-to-heart about their traumatic childhood, and the emotional scars he was left with as a result of Faith leaving, can Cain be persuaded to hold out an olive branch to his mother, before it’s too late?
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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.