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'Emmerdale' Lucy Pargeter talks Chas's big decision - interview

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Lucy Pargeter as Chas Dingle in Emmerdale

© ITV

Emmerdale's Chas Dingle loses all hope for her future next week and vows to plead guilty to Carl King's murder.

Chas has always hoped to fight for her freedom, but upcoming episodes see the troubled landlady sack her solicitor and announce that she wants to pay for her crime.

When a guilty Cameron Murray (Dominic Power) struggles to change Chas's mind, Carl's brother Jimmy (Nick Miles) is the unlikely person who steps forward to talk some sense into her, but will his efforts work?

Here, Lucy Pargeter - who plays Chas - discusses the latest twists in her character's storyline.

How is Chas coping in prison?
"Chas is struggling - she really finds it hard to be cut off from everyone. It's very depressing and scary. She is also very worried about her future."

Next week, Chas's prison friend Tracey commits suicide after receiving a five-year sentence. How does Chas react to that?
"She is very shaken when Tracey kills herself, as Tracey had been so positive and had actually made Chas feel better about it all. She was fun and very bright and breezy. They had been talking about the best tactics for getting off with a lighter sentence - flashing a bit of thigh or a top lawyer.

"So Chas takes her death very hard - she is numb with shock and fears the worst for herself, as she could be facing a tougher sentence than Tracey as she is up for murder. It makes Chas very scared that someone like Tracey felt that was the only way out and she didn't even get a very long sentence."

6413: Chas is numb with shock when she discovers that her prison friend Tracey took her own life after being given a five year sentence

© ITV



How does Chas feel when Cameron pays a visit and tells her that Jimmy has decided to cover her legal fees?
"She is surprised at first, as Cameron says he has some money but when she pushes him to say how he got it, he admits it was Jimmy. She does wonder why when she's the one that killed his brother."

Is Chas willing to take the money?
"Not really, as by now she is fairly apathetic and doesn't really see that anything is going to help her case. Cameron is shocked by her defeatist attitude."

Why does she feel so hopeless?
"She just feels really negative about the whole thing after her friend's death, and then she sacks her solicitor. The solicitor had got frustrated that she was not helping the situation.

"It all happens when they have an unproductive meeting, where Chas is so despondent that the solicitor gets annoyed with her for being so negative. She thinks it's just a job to him and he doesn't really care what happens to her, so she sacks him."

Why does Chas then give up fighting and decide to plead guilty?
"I think Chas thinks being found guilty is the only outcome anyway - she can't see why anyone would believe otherwise. She has lost all hope at this stage.

"She actually has a line in the script where she says to Cameron that short of someone walking into the court and admitting they killed Carl, she is going down for a very long time.

"Cameron is shocked by Chas's opinion that it's not worth doing anything but plead guilty, so he tells Jimmy who takes it on as his mission to try and change her mind."

6415: Jimmy is astonished as Cameron furiously explains Chas has sacked her brief

© ITV



How does Jimmy's visit go?
"They talk about Carl and you'll see Jimmy's raw emotion concerning his brother and the conflicted feelings he has. Chas initially is quite light with Jimmy, but they both know the seriousness of what is about to happen.

"Jimmy does his best to put his case across and then leaves. That night, you'll see Chas in her cell just staring into space and you'll wonder if Jimmy's words might have made an impression on her. He told her to fight and not to let Carl's death get to her - she did what she had to do as Carl was attacking her."

Has Chas noticed that Cameron is behaving in a shifty way? How would she react if she knew that he was Carl's real killer?
"I think Chas is just so convinced that she dealt the fatal blow, it's not really been something she has picked up on. As for how she'd react if she knew the truth, I don't even want to go there, as it's a volcano of a secret that would be very destructive!

"Chas is actually really touched that despite everything Cameron has chosen to stay around. She's not aware of the conflict he is fighting to tell the truth."

What's it like filming the prison scenes, and do you miss being on set?
"It's really bleak as the set is very convincing and Chas is without make-up so it does feel different. But the set is in the next-door building, so I haven't been too far away!"

What kind of reaction have you had from viewers since Emmerdale's live episode?
"I have been staggered by the feedback we have had after the live. It was really exciting to be part of it. We had the best team in the world, and it really did feel like a team effort and a team achievement. It did feel very different returning to normal scenes afterwards as we had stood down on all our normal filming while we rehearsed."

So is Chas going to be behind bars for Christmas?
"I couldn't possibly say!"

> Read the latest 'Emmerdale' spoilers and news

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV1, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays. Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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