Could Emmerdale’s next character have epilepsy?

Published: February 21 2024
Last updated: March 22 2024

Epilepsy needs more representation on our screens. We think it’s time Emmerdale had another character with epilepsy

Emmerdale pub The WoolpackWhen a member of Epilepsy Action’s communications team spotted the Assistant Storyliner role at Emmerdale, we couldn’t help but get excited. Epilepsy Action and Emmerdale are the perfect fit: less than eight miles from one another (an easy commute), both national institutions and devoted to improving the lives of ordinary people.

We often hear from our members that epilepsy needs more representation on our screens – both to raise awareness and educate others, and we couldn’t agree more. So, we applied.

You can see our CV and covering letter here. If you have any more ideas for Emmerdale storylines, get in touch on social media: @epilepsyaction

Emmerdale CV

Emmerdale cover letter

Ey up,

From one Leeds institution to another, Epilepsy Action (based just a stone’s throw from West Yorkshire’s very own international airport) would like to apply for the Assistant Storyliner role at Emmerdale.

With more than 50 years’ experience, and based just down the road from the Woolpack, we think we have everything you need for the role – and some epilepsy-themed storyline ideas to boot.

Epilepsy Action’s communications and digital team works with an amazing community of people with epilepsy to bring their stories to life and have expert understanding of how the condition impacts their lives and those of their loved ones.

We work hard (especially for people with epilepsy), we have strong decision making skills – evidenced by our new strategy – and award-winning communication skills. In fact, our helpline won Helpline of the Year 2023 at the Helplines Partnership Awards.

We have excellent IT skills – having built and launched a brand new website two years ago. We’re very used to working in fast-paced environments (did we mention the INTERNATIONAL airport just up the cobbles of Yeadon high street?). We also have great awareness of audience needs – you won’t find any flashing images in our social posts.

What do Martin Kemp, Prince, Elton John and Maisie Adam have in common? They all have epilepsy in real-life, which shows epilepsy can really affect anyone, even everyday people like we see in shows like Emmerdale.

In fact, we think it’s time Emmerdale had another character with epilepsy.

There are 78 characters and 79 people diagnosed with epilepsy every day. In fact, there’s a new diagnosis every 18 minutes meaning more than one person will be diagnosed during every episode.

But, Emmerdale is all about stories and epilepsy is about so much more than just seizures – getting a diagnosis can turn your life upside down. Here are some powerful potential epilepsy story lines we have come up with…

• Epilepsy often runs in families. Remembering that Aron’s sister Liv had epilepsy, he could also discover he has the condition. Aron, being a rebel, might try to fight back against the challenges he would face with the condition: his GP might tell him he can no longer drink, he might have his driving licence revoked – which would be an extra challenge in a rural area, his epilepsy medication might even affect his sex life.

• 18 months after Marlon Dingle’s stroke, he’s back working full time as a chef. The stress of the job can’t be good for his neurological health. In fact, strokes and epilepsy often go hand in hand. This would affect his employment status and how would they make reasonable adjustments for him to continue working in the kitchen?

• Eric Pollard has a new diagnosis of Parkinson’s. There’s a huge link to epilepsy and Parkinson’s. In fact a recent study found that people with epilepsy are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Older people with epilepsy face a host of different challenges. One in every 4 people who are newly diagnosed with epilepsy are over the age of 65. Epilepsy can have a big impact on memory as can age and both epilepsy and age can leave people feeling isolated.

• We love to see Down’s Syndrome represented by Leo Goskirk, Rhona and Marlon’s son. People who have Down’s syndrome are more likely to develop epilepsy in their lifetime than people in the general population. Being a child, Leo might be prescribed the ketogenic diet, which could have a big impact on the family. Specialist diets can be expensive and challenging for parents – but there are ways to make it more manageable.

• Another child whose storyline could include epilepsy is Frankie, the daughter of Tracy and Nate. Frankie might face challenges with her epilepsy at school. If she had absence seizures, for instance, teachers might tell her off for not listening or being badly behaved when really she’s having seizures because of her epilepsy.

Well, ta for reading. We hope to see you in The Woolpack soon.
The team at Epilepsy Action

Update March 22: One month on we still hadn’t hear anything from Emmerdale and so we sent them a little video here.