I’m a soaps expert and this is why Emmerdale’s Chas is misunderstood

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CHAS Dingle has been under fire in recent months after embarking on an affair with Al Chapman.

But after many harsh comments and complaints, it’s time to put a stop to the hostility thrown at the Emmerdale icon. Here’s why.

Why is Chas the only one to get all the hate?

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Why is Chas the only one to get all the hate?Credit: ITV
The character hasn't made the best decisions in recent months

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The character hasn’t made the best decisions in recent monthsCredit: ITV
But why is she alone to take the blame for everything?

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But why is she alone to take the blame for everything?Credit: ITV

Lucy Pargeter made her debut in the eponymous ITV village in 2002.

Twenty years have passed since she dressed up as a nun for her on-screen cousin Marlon’s stag do but viewers don’t seem to have grown any fonder of her character.

In fact, Chas has even been caught in a huge wave of criticism from fans who are eager for her to be axed altogether.

Viewers were firstly disgusted to watch her embark on an illicit romance with Al Chapman, a man who once did everything he could to make her life harder as he fought for The Woolpack.

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Yet while she initially tried to maintain a modicum of respect for her marriage with beloved Paddy Kirk (portrayed by Dominic Brunt), Chas eventually grew increasingly shameless and even careless.

To top it off, Chas’ behaviour grew more erratic and unforgivable throughout recent weeks as she went as far as to manipulate, neglect and even violate the people she loves the most.

But how can we not see that her actions, as despicable and selfish as they have been, are a cry for help?

Chas’ turmoil began as she became secretly involved with Al – while her mother Faith revealed she was battling cancer.

While this isn’t a good enough excuse to sneak around with a third party, the possibility of a loved one dying is devastating enough to make anyone spiral.

Adding insult to injury, Chas later realised she was powerless to do anything to keep her mother around as Faith refused treatment for her illness – before depriving her daughter of her last moments.

For somebody like Chas, who is used to tending to a bar AND keeping her whole family together, the loss of control was indubitably unbearable.

As a result, one could suggest Chas took on a lover not only as an escape from her own reality but also as a way to regain control over her life.

And with a devoted Al by her side, ready to do anything to keep her happy (even leaving his own partner behind in the Dales), her illicit romance became the only thing she felt she could manage.

But Chas couldn’t escape the unpredictability of love in the Dales and was pushed over the edge when Al was shot amid a confrontation with her brother Cain.

At the time, Chas was planning her escape from Yorkshire with Al and her daughter, meaning she had found an escape route away from the suffering the village represented for her.

With Al dead, Chas lost that chance for a fresh start and was sentenced to remain in Emmerdale.

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To make matters worse for her, she was also forced to keep her pain a secret, leaving it all to fester.

While the authenticity of her love for Al can be questioned, how should we react after losing something we were holding on to as our only hope for a better life?

Moreover, one can’t help but notice the sexist undertone in the criticism of Chas’ character while Al seems to be spared from all the hostility.

Are we forgetting that Al also had his own partner waiting for him at home while he snuck around the village with Chas?

Much like Chas, Al had a past with infidelity, proving he wasn’t the most reliable of partners to Priya Sharma and Debbie Dingle in 2021.

Unlike Chas, however, Al had nothing else on his plate albeit an unfulfilling relationship with Kerry.

Fans may have even more reason to lash out against Al due to his constant troublemaking and shady nature – which even led him to steal a business idea from a young Belle Dingle.

Yet only Chas’ name appears in every single angry Tweet penned by a plethora of frustrated Emmerdale fans and the comments keep flooding social media.

Although fans may find it easy to criticise her, Chas is the typical overwhelmed and overworked family woman trying to hold herself together as her world appears to crumble.

Pain and obstacles aren’t comparable but many before Chas, in the likes of serial killer Emma Barton, have acted in worse ways after hardship, becoming irrecuperable.

Soapland has made fans grow accustomed to imperfectly perfect characters prone to some major breakdowns in troubling times – and Chas is no different.

She may reject the help given to her, but is it always easy for us to accept we need support?

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Emmerdale airs on ITV.

Chas has been brutally criticised by Emmerdale fans

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Chas has been brutally criticised by Emmerdale fansCredit: ITV
What if Chas simply needed help?

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What if Chas simply needed help?Credit: ITV



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