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ITV Emmerdale star issues warning ahead of ‘dark ugly’ dinner party special episode

Dinner parties in TV soaps usually result in food fights, juicy secrets being revealed or insults being thrown – and they nearly always end in disaster. It is no surprise then that an upcoming Emmerdale soirée is sticking to that tradition – but with a dark twist.

In a one-off special episode, the lives of two couples in the village will be explored. Belle Dingle and new husband Tom King’s relationship behind closed doors will be exposed to viewers, while Rhona Goskirk and Marlon Dingle’s marital problems will also be brought to the fore, resulting in a very tense gathering.

“It is essentially an episode of two halves,” says Zoë Henry, who plays Rhona. “The first one is the surface stuff, what you can plainly see going on, particularly dominated by Marlon and Rhona’s now dysfunctional relationship and how real and ugly that currently is. The second half is a repeat of the same action, but this time it’s the under-the-surface stuff, the hidden agendas, the secrets, the unspoken.”



The dinner party will expose the lives of these two couples behind closed doors
The dinner party will expose the lives of these two couples behind closed doors

Rhona and Marlon are still at odds after the court case in which she landed Gus Malcolms in prison for stealing her embryos. While this means the couple have custody of Ivy, it hasn’t given them the happily ever after they thought it would.

“Marlon isn’t always reasonable in the story. He overreacts, but I get it up to a point,” reasons Mark Charnock, who plays the long-running character. “I feel sorry for Rhona because he does overreact, but at the same time I also see it from his point of view.

“They are meant to be a couple and it’s such a tense situation and so personal that to not be involved in the huge decision that she makes, I think he resents her for it.”



Tension between Marlon and Rhona reaches boiling point at the dinner table
Tension between Marlon and Rhona reaches boiling point at the dinner table

Belle, played by Eden Taylor-Draper, organises the dinner party. She invites Rhona and Marlon, as well as Paddy Kirk and Mandy Dingle, Suzy Merton and Vanessa Woodfield. And having the presence of two very in-love couples around the table only worsens the situation for Rhona and Marlon.

“That’s tough, it’s a stark reminder of how good they used to be together,” says Zoë. “And it’s sickening to watch, isn’t it? People in love and smooching near you when things are dire in your own relationship. In a way, how bad your marriage is feels magnified by everyone else’s intimacy.”

Meanwhile, the atmosphere between Belle and Tom (James Chase) in the kitchen is very tense, but do the others realise what’s going on?

“Nobody has the slightest clue what Belle’s going through,” says Mark. “There’s this tension there all of the time and the audience will be wanting one of the couples to see it. It’s right in front of them but they just don’t. What you see public-facing doesn’t always reflect what’s going on behind closed doors.”



Tom terrifies Belle when he confronts her in the kitchen
Tom terrifies Belle when he confronts her in the kitchen

Belle is beginning to realise her husband does not have her best interests at heart. What she doesn’t know yet is that Tom has had her under surveillance, and attacked Vinny Dingle when the two got too close. During the special episode the situation will only get worse, reveals Eden.

“You can expect to see everything escalate throughout the episode,” she says. “You’ll see how easily Tom can switch on and off and how he truly feels and his anger towards Belle.

“He’s so good at turning it on her and I think when that’s being drilled into her constantly, every day for everything, it’s easy for her to believe that she’s the one at fault.”

“Tom is a master of performance,” agrees James. “He’s able to hide his true feelings and convey something very different to get people on his side. Also Rhona and Marlon’s rising tension only helps to disguise Tom and Belle’s true situation.”



The pair put on a happy face in front of their guests
The pair put on a happy face in front of their guests

Tensions in the kitchen reach boiling point when Tom discovers Belle’s hidden contraceptives, but with guests in the other room, he bides his time before he confronts her.

“From the minute they got married, Tom was very quick to bring up having a baby. Belle quite clearly said, let’s slow down,” says Eden. “Tom put the pressure on by saying, ‘Well, I don’t have a family, you are my family and I want a family.’

“Belle, after quite a few episodes of him pushing for it, says, ‘OK, yeah, we can have a baby.’ But she doesn’t want to have a baby right now. I don’t think Belle quite realises herself that she knows she doesn’t want to have a baby with him.

“She goes to see Manpreet to organise collecting her pill, so Tom doesn’t find out, which is huge for her. I think that’s the first time she’s done something that she thinks if he finds out, this would be terrible.”



James says his character Tom is a 'master' of performance
James says his character Tom is a ‘master’ of performance

Rhona and Marlon’s fighting means the guests make a quick exit, leaving Tom and Belle alone, where James says “the dark reality of their relationship comes to light”. Dark scenes can be tough for some actors, and there’s one way Eden unwinds that is a little ironic.

“I love cooking,” she laughs. “I cook every night! Either that or I have a bath or I go for a run. I feel like the minute I finish on set, I leave the building, I do something active and I try to switch off.”

View news Source: https://www.ok.co.uk/tv/itv-emmerdale-star-issues-warning-32691650

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