Emmerdale star on the storyline she pitched that ‘never got through’March 13, 2023
Emmerdale star Charlotte Bellamy, who’s played Laurel Thomas in the soap since 2002, has been discussing a storyline that she once pitched to her bosses but which never made it to our screens.
Talking to Inside Soap, the actress said that the idea came to her when her character was working at the factory alongside Dawn Taylor (Olivia Bromley), Kerry Wyatt (Laura Norton) and others.
‘I pitched a story about a group of women becoming addicted to gambling, which is actually really common,’ she said. ‘I thought as a collective of women desperate to make a living, that would be quite interesting.’
While Charlotte took the idea to her bosses, that’s as far as the story got, but she said that she fully understands the reasons why it was never taken forward.
‘As actors we don’t see the bigger picture and what other stories are going on,’ she reflected. ‘It’s all about timing.’
Charlotte revealed that one character she’d love Laurel to interact more with is Kerry.
‘Laura Norton is my friend,’ she said. ‘I’d love those two characters to have more scenes because it would bring out Laurel’s comedy side. I was brought in as a comedy character, so I always like the opportunity to do more of that. And Kerry brings out the lightness in people.’
She reflected that the tone of Emmerdale had changed since her arrival, and that her character had certainly changed during the last 21 years.
‘Any new character who comes to live in the village is very exaggerated at first,’ she said. ‘Laurel was crazy and quirky with mad hair. That was 21 years ago and since then all of those traits have simmered down.
‘The show has changed too, it’s maybe not quite as cartoonish as it was when I first came in. Now things are generally more realistic. But the essence of Laurel has stayed the same, the goodness and the kindness.’
Laurel’s kindness and empathy have really come to the fore in her most recent storyline, which has seen her sticking up for her son Arthur (Alfie Clarke)’s friend Marshall (Max Fletcher) – a young man who’s been completely under the thumb of his bullying, homophobic father Colin (Mark Noble). When Arthur revealed he was gay, Laurel was hugely supportive and she’s extended this care and concern to Marshall, whose father was far less supportive of him being gay.
When she realised that Colin was hurting Marshall physically as well as emotionally, Laurel made the snap decision to invite the boy to live with her family, branding Colin, ‘A bully and a bigot and I’ve seen you for the hypocrite that you are.’
‘She’s really evolved since she’s become a mother,’ Charlotte told Inside Soap. ‘She’s always good, isn’t she? Three words I’d use to describe Laurel are heart-warming, matriarchal and honest.’
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