Emmerdale star Chris Chittell speaks out on soap’s grooming storyline

Emmerdale’s Chris Chittell, 70, causes outrage on Twitter as he calls soap’s controversial teacher-pupil grooming storyline ‘a young man’s dream’

Emmerdale star Chris Chittell, 70, has reportedly referred to the soap’s controversial teacher-pupil grooming storyline as a ‘young man’s dream’.

The soap actor, who plays Eric Pollard on the ITV series, has been slammed after taking to Twitter to share his thoughts on the scenes that have seen Maya Stepney (Louisa Clein, 39) grow inappropriately close to Jacob Gallagher, (Joe-Warren Plant, 16).  

In the tweet, obtained by The Mirror, he reportedly wrote: ‘Come on it’s a young man’s dream, okay okay I know, behave et bloody cetra! Don’t they ‘play’ it well!! Convincing don’t you think!!!!’

Opinion: Emmerdale star Chris Chittell, 70, has reportedly referred to the soap’s controversial teacher-pupil grooming storyline as a ‘young man’s dream’

TV: The soap actor is said to have taken to Twitter to share his thoughts on the scenes that has seen characters Maya Stepney, 39, grow inappropriately close to Jacob Gallagher, 16

Chris, whose Twitter account is private, sparked outrage among fans with his controversial tweet, with many branding the star ‘thoughtless’ while sharing their disbelief over his remarks. 


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One user penned: ‘Is @ChrisChittell joking? How can he make such thoughtless remarks in this day and age? People with opinions like that seriously need looking at! Need to stop protecting them with “oh it’s the era they were born in” pervert!’

Another agreed, as they wrote: ‘@ChrisChittell calls the @emmerdale teacher grooming storyline a “young lads dream…” I doubt you’d be making comments like that if it was an adult male grooming a teenage girl. #idiot’

A third simply said in response to Chris’ post: ‘You’re causing controversy again, I see?!

Outrage: Chris, whose Twitter account is private, sparked outrage among fans with his controversial tweet, with many branding the star ‘thoughtless’

An ITV spokesperson declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.  

Producers have been working with children’s charity Barnardo’s while developing the storyline.

Speaking about the storyline, Emmerdale producer Laura Shaw said show bosses hoped the storyline would make parents and young people more aware of these types of issues.

She said: ‘It was important for us to tell this storyline authentically, so we approached Barnardo’s for advice on scripts and character behaviour.

 Twitter: He wrote: ‘Come on it’s a young man’s dream, okay okay I know, behave et bloody cetra! Don’t they ‘play’ it well!! Convincing don’t you think!!!!’

Controversy: Emmerdale producers have been working with children’s charity Barnardos while developing the storyline

‘Our researchers, story team- along with actors Louisa, Matthew and Joe-Warren – met with Barnardo’s experts and young men who have been supported by the charity.  

‘We met some incredible individuals and were moved by their courage and willingness to help us tell this story sensitively.

‘Hopefully it will make young people and their parents more aware of these issues and their impact.’

In a statement, Barnado’s chief executive Javed Khan said that ‘outdated’ views still exist on boys who are groomed my adult women.

He said: ‘We were really pleased to be approached by Emmerdale to advise on the serious subject of adult women grooming and abusing boys. Too often this is seen as ‘taboo’ and not talked about.

‘Our specialist UK-wide services support thousands of children who have been sexually exploited by both men and women, to rebuild their lives; and we work with children at risk to help them stay safe. 

‘We know from research that outdated views still exist about boys who are groomed by adult women, but in reality it causes lasting harm, and problems with trust, affection, love and sex.’

Long serving: Chris has been a part of the Emmerdale cast as Eric Pollard for 32 years

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