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Charity Dingle

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Charity Dingle is a fictional character in Emmerdale. She was a central character throughout 2000-2005 before becoming villainous after reprising her role in 2009-2013; appearing as the true main antagonist in 2014, the anti-villain in 2015, and the secondary antagonist in 2016.

She was portrayed by Emma Atkins.


Charity is a blunt, no-nonsense woman and knows how to get what she wants - mostly by flirting. She's self-sufficient, self-centered and will happily step over people, including her daughter Debbie, to reach her goal. However, she is trying to be a better mother. She’s also determined to better herself but it's money that drives her evil.


Charity comes to Emmerdale for her cousin, Butch's funeral It emerges that she is working as a prostitute and there is a warrant out for her arrest. Charity stays with Zak Dingle and his wife Lisa.

Charity begins dating Chris Tate, which his sister, Zoe Tate, is unhappy about and offers her money to end it but Charity refuses. Zoe and Charity then have an affair but Charity ends it when Zoe gets too possessive. Chris proposes marriage and Charity accepts so Zoe records Charity taking about their affair and blackmails her to sign a prenuptial agreement. However, Charity tells Chris about her affair and Chris forgives her, tearing up the pre-nup and Zoe moves out. Chris and Charity marry and Charity helps Chris run his business empire.

Chris and Charity eventually realize that Zoe is ill and she has to be sectioned. While in hospital, she is diagnosed with schizophrenia. Charity supports Zoe when she realizes she is pregnant and considers giving the baby up for adoption, revealing she had a baby girl that she put up for adoption. Charity is shocked when Paddy and Emily foster daughter, Debbie Jones, realizes that Charity is her birth mother. Charity initially refuses contact with Debbie but comforts her when her mother dies. Despite her reserve, she and Debbie bond so Charity files for custody and wins, much to Paddy and Emily's dismay. Charity is delighted when Chris and Debbie bond and he suggests adopting her. Cain Dingle later realizes that he is Debbie's father and bonds with his daughter, leading him and Charity to begin an affair. Chris sees them and throws her out. A month later, Charity goes to Home Farm to discuss her marriage, hoping they will reconcile. However, Chris knows that he has an inoperable brain tumor and frames Charity for his murder, before committing suicide. The police arrest Charity after finding her fingerprints on Chris's glass and her signature on an order for poison. She and Cain blame each other so Charity is released on bail when she learns that she is pregnant and moves in with Marlon. After getting drunk, they sleep together. Charity realizes Zoe knows that Chris killed himself and kisses her but Zoe testifies that Charity killed Chris so Charity is found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. While in prison, she gives birth to a son who she names Noah. Unsure of Noah's paternity, she arranges for Zoe, Cain and Marlon to do a DNA test and the results show that Chris is Noah's father. Charity strikes a deal with Zoe - she can have custody of Noah in return for £20,000 and evidence that Chris committed suicide. Zoe agrees and Charity is released. Zoe refuses to allow Charity any contact with Noah, who she calls Christopher, and plans to adopt him but permission is refused, due to already having 2 children and her daughter, Jean, running Home Farm and her mental health issues. Social Services ask Charity to decide if she wants to raise him or put him up for adoption elsewhere. She chooses to raise him and Zoe returns him to Charity.

Charity set her sights on Tom King and gets a job as his secretary. Tom's daughter-in-law, Sadie King, takes an instant dislike to Charity and tries to sabotage the plan. Unfortunately this doesn't work and Sadie is forced to accept that Charity is Tom's new partner. Eventually Tom proposes and Charity accepts but Sadie refuses to accept this and hires Cain to kiss Charity in front of a photographer and shows the pictures to Tom. He calls the wedding off, leaving Charity furious. Knowing Sadie is responsible, they fight before she returns to the Dingles. In revenge, Charity has an affair with Jimmy, Sadie's husband, looking for something she can use against Sadie. She is thrilled when Jimmy tells her that although he thought they were trying for a baby, she is still having contraceptive injections. Charity records Jimmy talking about this and her plan to set Charity up. Initially, she simply blackmails Jimmy but then plays the video at a party and Tom throws them out before begging her to give him another chance but she refuses and leaves with Noah.


Charity is shocked to see Cain and Debbie at her wedding to Michael Conway and Debbie's news that she and Michael were having an affair. Cain tells Michael that Charity used to be a prostitute and Michael leaves Charity at the altar. Charity reveals that she knew Michael was having doubts and told him that she was pregnant to stop him leaving. Michael is told, very clearly, to choose either Charity or Debbie. He chooses Debbie but she ignores him, choosing to spend time with Charity and Noah. Debbie invites Charity and Noah to move in with her, which they do.

From family gossip, Charity learns that Cain stole money from the Kings and teams up with Carl King to get it back. She reconciles with Cain and learns that the money is kept in a storage unit. She takes the money but changes her mind but Cain and Debbie catch her. Cain gives Charity the money and leaves the village. Charity moves in with Marlon and tries to give Debbie the money but she refuses so Charity donates it to the church but Debbie retrieves it. Cain returns and he and Charity agree to be civil. During an argument, Debbie sets fire to the money and realizing they have nothing left to argue about, Charity proposes to Cain and he accepts. Cain organizes a surprise wedding and Chas brings Charity to the registry office. Charity is surprised but won't marry Cain, telling him that she loves him but is not ready to settle down yet.

Charity and Cain start stealing cars to make money after Charity steals a businessman's keys after flirting with him at a local hotel. However, the second time they try this, they learn that their target, Declan Macey, knows people in the village and spots Charity. Declan tells her that he will not go to the police if she returns the car and has a drink with him.

Charity helps Chas get revenge on Carl for cheating on her and begins working for Jai Sharma. Charity advises Jai on the restoration of the barn next to the Dingle farm. Jai pays Charity to persuade Lisa to sell the farm and move to Hotten, but Lisa refuses. Cain is jealous of Charity and Jai's relationship and warns Jai to stay away. Jai buys Charity a new car and takes her to a hotel but she insists they have they have separate rooms. Charity ends things with Cain after learning that he slept with Faye Lamb, thinking that she had slept with Jai. Charity and Noah move in with Jai and Nikhil, at Holdgate Farm. Charity and Jai begin dating and Cain tries to win Charity back but Charity tells him that she is not interested. Charity tries to make Nikhil look incompetent, wanting his job, so Jai throws her out. Charity apologizes and proposes to Jai. He initially refuses but later accepts. Charity, Cain and Cameron Murray steal the Kings' haulage trucks and sell them. Refusing to accept Charity is with Jai, Cain starts attacking the Sharmas forcing them to call off their wedding when the threats become more severe. Cain is attacked and Charity is questioned by the police but she insists she did not do it. Charity and Jai reconcile and she supports him when he is charged with assaulting Cain. Charity reveals she found Cain the night he was attacked and walked away. Cain changes his statement and the charges against Jai are dropped. Charity is late for her wedding as she visits Debbie but does marry Jai. Charity tells Jai that she does not want any more children, leaving him disappointed but he suggests that he adopt Noah. Charity disapproves, worried the affect it will have on Noah if the marriage failed, so they compromise and change his surname to Sharma.

Months later, Charity supports Debbie after Cameron cheated on her with Chas and he and Cain vow to get revenge on Cameron and Chas for Debbie's sake. She leaves Cain to support Debbie while she begins an affair with Declan. However, Cameron discovers this and the two fear that he might reveal the truth to Jai and Kate Sugden, Declan's wife. Cameron blackmails Charity into laying off Chas while blackmailing Declan for keeping an eye out on his nephew, Robbie Macey, for his relationship with Debbie otherwise he'll tell Jai and Kate. Despite escaping Cameron's blackmail however, their affair is exposed and Kate throws a drink at Charity before slapping her while Jai confronts her and Declan about this. However, they all make amends and Jai forgives Charity before resuming their relationship. Later, Jai has a drunken one-night stand with Rachel and Charity has a one-night stand with Declan and admits it immediately. Jai forgives her as he feels guilty about his own indiscretion, knowing that Rachel is pregnant and later has a son, Archie. Charity becomes suspicious so Jai's father, Rishi, claims to be Archie's father to save Jai's marriage and ensure that Jai can spend time with Archie. However, Charity realizes the truth when Jai overreacts to an injury Archie sustains in an accident with a sparkler and ends the marriage, moving in with Debbie and her children.


Charity sees Declan attempting to commit suicide by burning down Home Farm, unaware that his sister Megan Macey is inside. Charity persuades Declan to frame her cousin, Sam, so that they can split the insurance money and deprive Jai of his son, thinking Sam, Rachel and the children would go on the run but Rachel refused, insisting that they clear their names. Before Sam's court date, Charity tells Rachel that she and Declan framed Sam and Rachel can clear his name by giving a statement to the police, admitting that she started the fire or Sam will go to prison. Unwilling to see Sam go down, Rachel does as Charity and Declan ask and tells the police that she was the arsonist. When she gets bail, Charity and Declan give her everything she will need to start a new life with Archie. Rachel's sister, Ali, knows that Rachel is innocent but keeps quiet after Charity and Declan threaten her daughter.

Charity and Declan then start dating but no one thinks it will last. Charity realizes she is pregnant in April and plans to have a termination, feeling that she and Declan couldn't cope with a child. However, Declan finds out when Megan finds the positive test in the bin at Debbie's house. He is happy and proposes to her, making her walk out. Later, Charity accepts Declan's proposal and Declan announces their engagement in the Woolpack and Charity's pregnancy, just as Jai walks in. Charity later decides to go ahead with a termination and offloads to her consultant, bursting into tears and telling her how she gave Debbie up for adoption. However, after booking an abortion, she finds that Declan has told Noah about the baby. Charity marries Declan with only Noah, Megan and Robbie at present (due to everyone else, including Debbie, attending to Cain's wedding on the same day as he married Moira Barton). Megan tries to sabotage the wedding and sets off the fire alarm. Charity realizes what Megan is up to and a catfight broke out. She panics when Declan reveals he has booked a month's holiday to Barbados for them and Noah as she worries over how to have her abortion. However, a confrontation with Megan a few days later gives Charity an opportunity to feign miscarriage when she is accidentally knocked to the floor. A scan at the hospital confirms she has lost the baby, leaving Declan devastated. Wracked with guilt, Megan tells Declan that she is resigning and won't move into Home Farm but Jai advises her to test Charity's intentions. Charity is shaken when Megan says she may stay after all and is horrified to find Megan telling Declan that she caused the miscarriage. Enraged, Declan throws Megan out. Charity, relieved, agrees to rearrange a late honeymoon for them and Noah, but insists it is too soon for another baby, much to Declan's chagrin. A vengeful Megan then decides to spy on Charity with Nicola at Home Farm. After returning from Barbados, Charity agrees to try for another baby.

When Declan finds out about Charity's abortion, he keeps quiet and takes her away for a romantic break but tries to kill her, hitting her with a mallet and tries to shoot her with a flare gun. However, Declan accidentally shoots Robbie, when he tries to save Charity and later dies from the blast. Declan tries to drown Charity by pulling her into the lake but she hits him over the head with an anchor and he sinks into the water. Charity then passes out on the boat, stating "You were never a match for me", while Megan watches. Charity is extremely paranoid when she returns to the village and manages to patch things up with Megan before Robbie's funeral. Declan later returns and drugs Charity, while holding Megan, Jai, Cain, Debbie, Sam, Zak, Chas and Ashley hostage at the Sharma house. He tells them how Charity framed Rachel for the fire at Home Farm, before leaving the village. The Dingles and Jai then confront a bitter Charity, who eventually confesses. When they turn on her, Charity retaliates that they are all hypocrites and that she no longer wants to be part of the family. Zak promptly disowns her before leaving with Chas and Sam, who expresses his hatred towards Charity. Jai leaves too, but not before vowing to make Charity suffer for what she did to him. Debbie and Cain reveal their disgust and, despite Charity's pleas, walk away. When trying to leave, Charity is attacked and kidnapped by an unknown culprit and held in a shipping container in the woods. It was later revealed that the kidnapper is Jai. He tells Charity that unless she reveals Rachel and Archie's location, she will be left to die. While arguing with Sam about Rachel's whereabouts, Jai falls down the stairs and falls into a coma, but reveals where Charity is. Sam goes to the shipping container and hears Charity stating that she only cares about herself and should care more about Debbie and Noah. Sam leaves Charity there but eventually tells Cain where Charity is and he and Sam save her. To redeem herself to her family, Charity drives off with Maxine, a woman who is blackmailing Cain's wife, Moira. She drives extremely fast down narrow country lanes and threatens to kill her if she gives Moira any more grief. Moira worries that Charity has made things worse, while Cain is proud of Charity's actions.

Charity, meanwhile, is found guilty for perverting the course of justice and is sentenced to two years in prison. When Cain takes Noah to visit Charity in prison, she tells him that she has a plan in the works that might help her get early release. Charity goes into labour while Debbie is there, unaware that Charity is pregnant. She gives birth to a baby boy and hands him to a social worker, telling them Debbie is the legal guardian until she is released from prison. Knowing that Charity confessed her love for Cain after her imprisonment, Debbie and Chas suspect that Cain is the father, which he denies. He visits Charity in prison and demands to know who the father is, otherwise he will sever all contact but she refuses to divulge the father's identity so Cain walks out. The Dingles name the baby Moses. Charity calls the father, Ross Barton, when Moses is rushed to hospital and needs an operation. Soon after, Cain tells Debbie that Ross is Moses's father, to stop her leaving the village with him

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