Emmerdale villagers struggle with beloved character’s life-changing diagnosis

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Emmerdale spoilers have revealed Manpreet Sharma (played by Rebecca Sarker) does her best to support Eric Pollard (Chris Chittel) and Brenda (Lesley Dunlop) as they struggle to come to terms with his life-changing diagnosis on the ITV soap.

Eric is suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and he initially found a friend in Mandy Dingle (Lisa Riley) who was supporting him as he pushed everyone else away.

His grandson Jacob Gallagher (Joe Warren Plant) also knows about his condition as does David Metcalfe (Matthew Wolfenden).

But Eric is clearly struggling to accept his fate as the condition worsens for him and he continues to spiral.

However, this difficult time brings the community together as Manpreet offers him a shoulder to cry on.

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Will he start feeling more optimistic about life thanks to the support of his friends and family?

Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said: “When Eric Pollard is diagnosed with Parkinson’s he’s naturally very scared and unsure of what the condition means for his future.

“The unique position of a show like Emmerdale means we can tell this story really authentically over a long period of time and we can really shine a light on what a diagnosis like this means and follow Pollard on his journey of learning to live with it.”

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Eric has been a part of Emmerdale since September 30, 1986, and Chris, who plays him, is the longest-serving actor in the history of the ITV soap.

Laura added: “Working closely with Parkinson’s UK, who has been guiding us through every step of the way, we hope seeing Pollard’s story helps to raise awareness of Parkinson’s and show the day-to-day reality of those living with it, as well as the impact it can have on friends, family and the local community.”

According to Parkinson’s UK, around 153,000 people in the UK suffer from the illness which is the fastest-growing neurological condition in the world.

There is currently no cure for Parkinson’s, with men being more likely to be diagnosed with it. A statement on Parkinson’s UK reads: “More men than women get Parkinson’s.

“We don’t know why men are more likely to develop the condition than women, but it may be due to a combination of biological factors (such as hormones or genetics) and lifestyle factors (such as exposure to chemicals).”

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV and ITVX.

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