Emmerdale to air special showing two viewpoints amid domestic abuse storyline

Belle and Tom King will host a drama-filled dinner party.

The newly married couple are played by Eden Taylor Draper and James Chase
The newly married couple are played by Eden Taylor Draper and James Chase

Emmerdale is to air a special episode that showcases two different viewpoints of the same dinner party amid an ongoing storyline about domestic abuse.

In the episode, airing on Tuesday May 7, viewers will watch Tom King (James Chase) and his wife Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper) host a dramatic dinner party that ends with the guests leaving after married couple Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) and Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) come to blows.

The first half of the special will focus around the perspectives of Rhona and Marlon while the second part of the episode will rewind to the start of the dinner party to capture the events from Belle and Tom’s point of view, offering a glimpse into Tom’s controlling behaviour.

Eden Taylor-Draper attends the British Soap Awards 2023
Eden Taylor-Draper attends the British Soap Awards 2023 (Danny Lawson/PA)

Charnock, 55, said: “It’s a one-off in terms of structure and it’s a very different sort of episode where you kind of go back and forth in time during the dinner party.

“What it’s really cleverly done is it’s got what’s happening on stage, which is the dinner party, and what’s happening off stage, which is in the kitchen between Tom and Belle.

“So we see two charming hosts hosting these different couples and then when the hosts go back into the kitchen we see the darkness of what’s going on between them. Meanwhile on stage you’ve got these happy couples – Mandy and Paddy and Vanessa and Suzy.

“And then there’s Rhona and Marlon who appear to be completely falling apart in front of everybody.”

In the episode Tom invites his colleagues to dinner after messing up at work.

During the dinner party he becomes critical of Belle and asks her to change while Marlon and Rhona have a fight which leads to the guests making excuses to leave.

After Belle fails in her attempts to get them to stay viewers see the reality of her life at home with Tom.

Speaking about public reaction to the Tom and Belle storyline, Taylor-Draper, 26, said: “People have reached out which I think is a great sign that everything is resonating in some way.

Mark Charnock at the Inside Soap Awards
Mark Charnock at the Inside Soap Awards

“So many people go through this and I’m really grateful that I’ve been able to play out Belle’s story.

“We’ve worked with charities and people that have gone through this and it’s important that what we’re portraying is real.”

Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said: “The dinner party episode puts a sharp lens on the relationships of the gathered people and gives the audience a unique view into their lives.

“Stepping away from the usual Emmerdale format, it offers our viewers the chance to see how some relationships like Rhona and Marlon’s can very publicly unravel and fall apart, whereas other relationships, like Tom and Belle’s, can present in public as perfect and behind closed doors tell a very different, much darker story.”

Emmerdale have been working with Refuge for the Tom and Belle storyline. Refuge’s 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline is available on 0808 2000 247 and digital support via live chat Monday-Friday 3-10pm via www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk.

Emmerdale airs weekday nights at 7.30pm on ITV and STV.