Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock shares poignant tribute to his on-screen son Harry six years on from his death

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EMMERDALE star Mark Charnock has paid tribute to his on-screen son Harry Whittaker on what would have been his 10th birthday.

Harry played baby Leo Dingle in the ITV soap before he tragically died at the age of three in 2014 from chronic lung disease.

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Getty Images – Getty

Mark Charnock paid tribute to his on-screen son Harry on what would have been his 10th birthday

Mark – who plays Leo’s father Marlon Dingle – posted on Twitter today to commemorate what would have been Harry’s 10th birthday.

He wrote alongside a picture of the tot: “On what would have been his 10th birthday, thinking of this little Spider-Man today.

“Thinking of the joy he brought to everyone he encountered and of his giddy laughter. Thinking of our prince Harry with love and happy memories. Xxx (sic)”

Harry – who was the nephew of ‘Doctor Who’ actress Jodie Whittaker, and who also had Down’s syndrome – had filmed his final scenes as Leo just weeks before he passed away almost seven years ago.

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Twitter

He shared a touching tribute

Harry’s last appearance as Leo was broadcast on July 11 2014, 10 days after he died.

At the time, an ‘Emmerdale’ spokesperson said: “Very sadly we can confirm Harry Whittaker’s passing. We will all miss him greatly and have offered our sincerest condolences to his family at this very sad time.”

The show then paid tribute to Harry at the end of an episode by putting a picture of him at the credits.

Alongside the image, show bosses wrote: “For Harry, with love.”

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ITV

Emmerdale ran a tribute after Harry’s final episode

Meanwhile, Marlon and Leo’s tragic storyline wasn’t the only tough plot Mark has had to deal with during his time in the Yorkshire Dales, as in 2018, his character’s cousin Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter) gave birth to a daughter named Grace who died just 20 minutes after being born.

And last year, Lucy recalled the storyline as being the most “heart-breaking” storyline she has ever filmed for the show.

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ITV

Marlon Dingle has had it tough on the soap

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She said: “We had a meeting initially with the producers and they said you’re going to get pregnant and then they explained the whole situation that Grace wouldn’t survive.

“It was heart-breaking to think that we were going to have to do this storyline.

“I’ve done some hard episodes in the past, but I’d say this was the top one.”

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