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Emmerdale's Eric Pollard and wife open new Teenage section at Children's Ward

Emmerdale's longest-serving cast member and bit-of-a-baddie, Eric Pollard, was a real goodie on the children's ward at Calderdale Royal Hospital.


Actor Chris Chittell turned up with real-life wife actress Lesley Dunlop for the opening of the new teenage section on the ward.


Chris, in the soap since 1986, was an immediate hit with staff and patients. He dished out high-5s and joked to all the youngsters about the hospital food and wanting to share in the ward cakes.


For the group photo, Emily Caldwell perched on his knee. Some of the money towards the room came from the donations at the funeral of William Caldwell, Emily’s husband. Their granddaughter Beth Armitage is a nurse on the children’s ward.


Sister Fiona Stuttard had emailed around for a celebrity guest and was amazed when, at lunchtime, on the day of the opening, Chris phoned in to say he would love to attend.


Fiona said: “He was fantastic. He went right round the ward and was lovely with everyone. When he rang and I picked up the phone and he said Eric Pollard could come I couldn’t believe it. We were all so excited.”


The room has been totally redecorated in bright colours and refurbished and created in what was a former secretaries’ office. It has been equipped with a Wii and X-Box and a blue tooth speaker. Staff have also been fundraising and Tesco has donated £500.


Fiona added: “It is nice to be able to offer a special space for our older patients away from the younger ones – especially at times when the little ones and babies can get noisy. We are very grateful to Mrs Caldwell and to everyone who made donations who made it possible. And our very big thanks to Chris and Lesley for making our special day even more special.”