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Emmerdale star addresses controversy of Down's Syndrome termination story

Emmerdale star Charlotte Bellamy has addressed the controversy around Laurel Thomas and Jai Sharma’s controversial Down’s syndrome storyline, saying that she has been ‘humbled’ by her experience on the show.

The ITV soap has been criticised by Down’s syndrome rights campaigners for the storyline. It sees Laurel and Jai explore the devastating decision of ending a pregnancy, after the couple discover that their child will be born with the genetic disorder.

Appearing on Lorraine this morning, Charlotte said: ‘Of course it’s going to cause huge debate. It’s a highly emotive subject.’

The actress also said it was important to remember that ‘Emmerdale is not taking sides’ on the storyline, adding that the show has done a great deal of research into the subject.

Emmerdale looked to Antenatal Results and Choices (ARC) for support and guidance on the show, attempting to reflect the reality many couples face.

Charlotte said that she found it ‘humbling’ and ‘insightful’ to speak to families affected by Down syndrome.

‘Soaps are at their most potent when they deal with important stories,’ the actress added. ‘It’s important that they don’t shy away from them.’

Speaking to Metro.co.uk about why Emmerdale have decided to explore this subject, Producer Laura Shaw previously said: ‘I think sometimes when a story idea is first pitched, it’s an instant: “Yes that’s brilliant, let’s do it”, or it’s an instant: “God no, let’s definitely not do that”.’

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV.

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