Emmerdale Eric Pollard star says he asked ITV bosses to bring back ‘powerhouse’ co-star

Chris Chittell BEM, an Emmerdale actor, has said he once requested the return of a co-star who was in his very first scene.

The 74-year-old actor is most known for playing Eric Pollard, the longest-serving cast member and character in the history of the ITV soap opera, from 1986.

He has shared his memories of his first day on set, which was 36 years ago, as part of the 50th anniversary festivities for Emmerdale.

Chris recalled: “I was portraying a somewhat shady character at the Otley Cattle Market back in 1986.

I had the pleasure of working alongside Jane Hutcheson, who played Sandie Merrick and was simply fantastic.

“I get a kick out of chutzpah, and she had plenty of it.

“I did try to urge the powers that be to bring her back a few years ago since she is a powerful atom and I enjoy working with powerful people. She was fantastic.

In the past few years, particularly after Eric’s marriage to Val Lambert and the emergence of his long-lost son, David Metcalfe, Pollard’s role as the show’s antagonist has been dramatically diminished (Matthew Wolfenden).

Speaking candidly about his favorite aspect of playing the cheeky villager Eric, Chris said: “My character immediately gets on people’s nerves.

“One of the fun things about the character is that he can do that and it seems like he’s going to manipulate everyone,” the author said.

“People wouldn’t tolerate him if he was shown to profit from what he did. I occasionally watch his shenanigans and just crinkle up at what he gets away with, or doesn’t.

Chris continued by stating which former character he’d want to see return. Chris has collaborated with several outstanding stars throughout the years.

He said, “Paula Tilbrook as Betty.” She was still making people laugh at a young age and had such a strong personality.

“The fact that I have such admiration for folks who take their lines off the page and do something truly great with them is one of the pleasures of being a part of the program. There is a long list of individuals who have done that over time.”

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