Emmerdale star Charley Webb defends ‘saviour sibling’ storyline
Charley Webb, who of course plays Emmerdale character Debbie Dingle, has defended the show’s ‘saviour sibling’ plotline, and praised the decision to air it as it will raise awareness of the rare, but potentially deadly, Fanconi Anaemia.
As fans of the show will know, Debbie’s young daughter Sarah (Sophia Amber Moore) was diagnosed with the illness a few weeks ago, and having learned that a sibling would be the best donor for life saving bone marrow, Debbie and her ex Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) have decided to conceive another baby.
However, the storyline has of course caused controversy, particularly among those who believe it is morally wrong to bring a child into the world for the primary purpose of saving another.
Speaking to The Sun about the plotline, Charley – whose partner is her Emmerdale co-star Matthew Wolfenden, who plays David Metcalfe – also said that now she’s a mother herself, she can totally understand why Debbie would set out to do whatever it takes to save her daughter’s life…
Charley and Matthew welcomed baby son Buster to the world 18 months ago.
She told the paper, “I hope the majority of viewers will see why Debbie feels she needs to have another child to save Sarah and also ask themselves, ‘What would I do?’
“I think it’s positive that we are posing these questions and making people think.
“I’m confident most people will understand that when it comes down to saving your child’s life, you will do whatever it takes.
“Personally, I wouldn’t care what it took. I would do absolutely everything and anything to save my child.”
And of how having Buster has changed her outlook on life, Charley said, “Buster has changed my life in every way and I would go to any lengths to protect him.
“Because of that I can relate to Debbie and what she’s going through.”
Charley then conceded that she can understand why some viewers are up in arms about the plotline, but stressed again that she believes this is an important storyline to raise awareness about.
She said, “Subjects like these are difficult because this is real life for some people.
“There are currently families going through it. So it’s very important to get it right.
“All I can do is imagine how I’d feel in Debbie’s shoes. There is nothing worse than having a sick child.
“I don’t believe anyone who says they wouldn’t do whatever it took to make them better.”
Of course, this is a very emotive issue, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the fact that a soap – which is of course primarily for entertainment purposes – is handling such a subject…
Is it right to take on such emotional plotlines, or should our soaps stick to less nitty gritty subject matter?