For weeks now there has been a giant, gaping, Pollard-shaped chasm in Emmerdale. Everything else, from gripping lakeside dramas, to called off weddings to kidnap and the glorious hilarity of Jimmy and Kerry has been spot on the mark and Emmerdale continues to be the top soap by a long shot. But, in the same way that wiping out the Dingles would be catastrophic, it isn’t the same without Eric and Val, two of my favourite Dales characters of all time.
I remember Eric Pollard as a ruthless crook turned bumbling villain and I enjoyed all of his phases. Once more, the versatile Chris Chittell has given the multi layered character a brand new lease of life as Eric has been softened via a transformation that was not unlike that of the late, great Alan Turner. He maintains an edge (it wasn’t long ago that he was a bit mean with Edna’s medals let’s not forget) but overall he is pretty loveable and charming these days and, most importantly, the zing to Val’s zang.
Speaking of whom, I have missed the dulcet and often wildly inappropriate Geordie tones of Charlie Hardwick, who plays Val and it was great to see her back doing what she does best; being outrageous and hilarious during dramatic situations.
So where have Eric and Val been hiding? When Victoria and Finn were regaling a story about Val blowing up an oven I felt disappointed; thinking that this was a way to explain their absence for a longer period of time. So imagine my sheer joy when they burst into the Woolie and immediately befriended Lawrence who got Val sozzled on champagne. Val and Lawrence were cackling merrily together within half an hour, with Eric doing his utmost best, but ultimately failing, to reign his wife in.
Robert then suggested a merry party at Home Farm which involved Val explaining, and forgetting her trail, about how she loves the gays. This gave Robert a platform to expose Lawrence’s past, an awkward showdown that Val was enjoying a little too much.
The tense drama of what was a well acted face off between Robert and Lawrence was spliced beautifully with the comedy aspect brought by the Pollards. Leading his drunken Valerie out like a true gent, it was great to be reminded that Emmerdale have this fantastic, funny and ultimately, loving couple and I’m glad that they’re being used again.
I hope you enjoyed your rest Pollards – as I don’t want you off my screen again anytime soon!
What do you think of Eric and Val? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below and join in the soapy chat by following me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/Our_manPLA
Written By Our Man In The North