Emmerdale’s Sam Dingle star in ‘tears’ as he reacts to Lydia rape storyline
5th September 2023

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Emmerdale actress Karen Blick, who portrays Lydia Dingle on the ITV soap, has opened up to Express.co.uk about being part of a harrowing rape storyline which turns her character’s life upside down. 

Fan-favourite Lydia has reconnected with Craig Reed (played by Ben Addis), who viewers were recently introduced to on the Yorkshire-based soap. 

The pair share a difficult past, having met at a children’s home and going on to lose a child when Lydia was a teenager. 

In upcoming scenes, Craig reveals his true feelings for Lydia and she’s left terrified when he forces himself on her.

In a state of utter shock after being raped by Craig in the workplace, she’s unable to process what just happened.

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Craig drives an utterly broken Lydia home and she rushes into her home to escape from him.

She silently sobs in the shower as hot water runs over her as she comes to terms with the ordeal.

However, Lydia decides to hide away the clothes she was wearing during the time of the assault in a bid to keep her trauma a secret.

Speaking to Express.co.uk about the difficult storyline, Lydia actress Karen explained: “It’s a shocking thing to hear and I saw the look in James’ [Hooton] face and he was shaking his head and saying, ‘I didn’t expect that.’”

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James Hooton plays Lydia’s husband Sam Dingle in the serial drama, and the pair are one of the village’s strongest couples. 

Karen continued: “Both of us had tears in our eyes and it was a moving reaction, certainly the strongest reaction I’ve ever had to a potential story emotionally.

“We talked to Jane [Hudson] about what would happen and how it would come about, and how Craig would be introduced as a character from Lydia’s past.

“We came out of the meeting and we were like, ‘OK, buckle up’, that was the feeling. This is a huge story and we want to do this sensitively, realistically and appropriately.”

She added: “This impacts so many people’s lives and the first thing I did was go on the Rape Crisis website just to give myself a bit of background and a bit of research to process. 

“I did speak to people who worked for Rape Crisis and I did meet with women who had similar experiences as Lydia.” 

Will Lydia end up reporting the rape to the police or opening up to her husband Sam about it?

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV. If you have been impacted by the storyline, help is available on rapecrisis.org.uk.

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