Chris Chittell has said that he feels "privileged" to be taking on the condition of Parkinson's Disease for a new Emmerdale storyline.
In Wednesday night's episode of the soap, Chittell's character Pollard revealed to Mandy (Lisa Riley) that he had been diagnosed with the neurological condition, admitting that he was terrified about his future.
The hard-hitting storyline for Chittell - Emmerdale's longest-serving cast member - has been developed in close consultation with the charity Parkinson's UK.
"I feel really privileged to be given this storyline," he said. "Parkinson's is indiscriminate, deceptive and wickedly unkind targeting so many.
"I want to do this storyline justice for the most courageous of people who are having to bear the brunt of this condition."
Producer Laura Shaw added: "When Eric Pollard is diagnosed with Parkinson's he's naturally very scared and unsure of what the condition means for his future.
"The unique position of a show like Emmerdale means we can tell this story really authentically over a long period of time and we can really shine a light on what a diagnosis like this means and follow Pollard on his journey of learning to live with it.
"Working closely with Parkinson's UK, who have been guiding us through every step of the way, we hope seeing Pollard's story helps to raise awareness of Parkinson's and show the day to day reality of those living with it, as well as the impact it can have on friends, family and the local community."
Emmerdale continues weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.