Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt on ‘huge responsibility’ of Paddy’s depression storyline

Virgin Radio

1 Mar 2023, 07:14

Dominic Brunt as Paddy Kirk in Emmerdale

Credit: Rex

Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt has opened up about the “huge responsibility” he felt portraying Paddy Kirk’s devastating story. 

Trigger warning: Suicide and depression.

In Friday’s (3rd March) episode, Paddy battles with suicidal thoughts following the breakdown of his marriage to Chas Dingle after her affair with Al Chapman. 

The episode will feature an “all-male” cast talking about their feelings to raise awareness of depression and suicide in men with the help of suicide prevention groups Samaritans and Andy’s Man Club, 

Dominic, who has played Paddy since 1997, has opened up about what it has been like to film those episodes and why they are so important. 

Speaking to virginradio.co.uk and other press, the actor said: “I don't like putting any input into any of the scripts. I am definitely a pawn. I move where people move and I say what people have written for me, but I really felt included. 

“I felt a huge sense of responsibility on my shoulders to try and get it right. I've done my best. But I felt very looked after, and very involved and it made me trust the whole process. Having a peek behind the curtain at the scale of the whole thing.”

Dominic also revealed he had been given the script months in advance, which gave him time to prepare for such a heavy topic. 

He explained: “I appreciated the fact that I was being brought in so early. It’s very unusual.  I quite like getting the scripts every two weeks being a fan of the show, we kind of read through them all. 


“So to know what the story was months in advance, was really healthy, I think. And it helped me to start colouring in and start drip feeding the beginnings and the kernel of the story.”

As previously mentioned, a number of suicide prevention charities were involved in making the episode, which Dominic said was incredibly helpful. It also allowed the actor to meet and talk to people who have been through depression themselves and gave him an insight into the mental health condition. 

He said: “Talking to people who not only have been through this, but people that have been left behind by people that have killed themselves - it seems that almost every person I spoke to has said: ‘We didn't know, I wish that he had said something, we didn't know, we didn't expect it.’”

Dominic added: “I hope we’ve told the story as clearly as possible.”

It has been an emotional process for the actor, but he concluded: “It's been incredible. Not only has it been inspirational but it's been pitch black dark and it's made me appreciate what I have.”

Paddy’s story continues on Emmerdale on Friday 3rd March at 7pm on ITV and ITVX. The special all-male cast episode will air on 10th March.

At Virgin Radio, we are committed to improving the wellbeing of our audience wherever possible. Whilst we ourselves are not Mental Health experts or qualified to directly assist those in need, we have compiled useful resources to help point you in the right direction, should you need help, at virginradio.co.uk/mental-health-resources