Emmerdale star issues warning to viewers over abuse plot that triggered 100s of Ofcom complaints

It’s been tough to watch beloved Emmerdale character Belle Dingle (Eden Taylor-Draper) suffer abuse at the hands of her new husband Tom King (James Chase). With a pregnancy twist now in the mix, viewers are keen for the story to begin winding down and Tom’s violent streak to be uncovered.

However, actress Eden teases there’s still so much more to come for the newlyweds. “We have just had a couple of massive weeks of filming,” she says. “So we’re definitely not at the end of the story. We’re covering so many different forms of abuse within the storyline, and we’re trying to show the red flags of different avenues that it can take.”

Tom King and Belle Dingle
Tom has been manipulating Belle since when they first met -Credit:ITV/Mark Bruce

It’s been a tough watch for viewers in certain parts, and fans were particularly horrified when Tom poisoned the new family dog, Piper. In recent scenes, Tom was seen petting the pooch, before he sinisterly loomed over the adorable family pet with a syringe in his hand as a way of luring Belle back home.

Tom then bitterly said to the animal: "Don't worry, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you... then again, maybe not." The cameras cut away as the pup started whimpering.

Tom King with Piper
Tom has been harming Piper to get to Belle -Credit:ITV

Emmerdale’s official social media wrote: "These scenes can be distressing to watch, but we want to remind you that Minnie (AKA Piper) is a very good actor and is always living her best life on set! We can confirm that no harm has come to her whatsoever.”

Nevertheless, the scenes resulted in 313 complaints sent to watchdog Ofcom. One viewer commented: “first time i had to turn off Emmerdale it’s hard to watch”.

Another added: “No I'm sorry! But this is too much now, I understand these storylines are for awareness but this storyline needs to end now, I refuse to watch anymore until Tom is gone!”.

Belle Dingle's husband Tom King turned physically abusive
Viewers have made complaints about recent Emmerdale scenes -Credit:ITV/Mark Bruce

As Eden chats to OK! she assures us that actually the dog, called Minnie, in real-life, and James are good pals. “James makes such a point, after being horrible to her, to then give her a cuddle,” laughs Eden. “But she’s amazing, she is such a happy little thing, we sneak treats over to her, and most of the time she trots along, she treats it like it’s her house! I’m obsessed with her.”

Obviously filming Emmerdale takes up a lot of Eden’s time, so with such intense scenes, how does she relax? “The main thing I do is try to get outside and get some fresh air. And I love to cook, so I often try a new recipe and just focus solely on that. I’ve been cooking a lot of pad thai recently, and prawn linguine.”