EMMERDALE’S Charity Dingle will make a dramatic return to the village as the new landlady of The Woolpack in tonight’s episode.
The reappearance is typically dramatic - she arrives in a stolen Ferrari.
Actress Emma Atkins said it was “just brilliant” to see her character behind the bar in ITV’s long-running rural soap.
Much to the surprise of the villagers, Charity announces herself as The Woolpack’s co-owner alongside family member Chas Dingle, played by Lucy Pargeter.
Talking about Charity’s new role, Atkins said: “It is just brilliant to see her behind the bar.
“She will be under the watchful eye of Chas, but both characters can give as good as they get so it will be a colourful dynamic.”
Not long after shocking the residents, Charity causes chaos for her ex Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) and his wife Moira (Natalie J Robb).
Unfortunately for him, his former flame’s new status as landlady does not result in her cleaning up her act.
But the chemistry between the scheming blonde and her cousin has long captured the imagination of fans, who have welcomed Atkins’ return.
Charity was written out of the soap early in 2015 after being imprisoned for perverting the course of justice.
The plotline was a necessity because Atkins, 40, was pregnant with her first child.
She gave birth to a son in March last year.
In a funny twist, Charity also welcomed a new baby in 2015 while behind bars.
It is not the first time she has given birth in prison.
In 2004, her son Noah was born while she was serving time for the murder of Chris Tate (Peter Amory).
Atkins is looking forward to her new Emmerdale storylines, even if she is yet to fully master pulling a pint.
“My pint pulling can literally floor my workmates by being brilliant one minute and horrendous the next,” she admitted.
“It’s a continuity extravaganza as I’m learning the ropes from the props guys and Lucy.
“It’s a skill in itself having to say the lines, work the props and try and give a fluid performance without having an expression of dread wondering if the pint will have a good head of froth on it!”
Atkins made her debut as the troubled Emmerdale resident in 2000. She left five years later before returning full-time in 2009.
“The bar is a bit like a stage for Charity where she can show off and deliver her explosive one-liners to the locals,” she said.
“Her behaviour will no doubt fluctuate from good to bad to ugly, with a decent dose of naughtiness thrown in.”
WOOLPACK LANDLORDS AND LANDLADIES THROUGH THE YEARS
1948–1973: Amos Brearly
1973–1991: Amos Brearly and Henry Wilks
1991: Henry Wilks
1991–1994: Alan Turner
1994: Alan Turner and Shirley Turner
1994–1999: Alan Turner
1999–2002: Diane Blackstock and Bernice Blackstock
2002–2006: Diane Sugden and Louise Appleton
2006–2008: Diane Sugden and Val Lambert
2008–2010: Diane Sugden
2010: Jimmy King and Nicola King
2010–2011: Diane Sugden
2011–2016: Diane Sugden and Chas Dingle