His on-screen alter ego has been something of a TV villain over the years but yesterday one soap actor proved that in reality he is anything but.

Chris Chittell, aka Eric Pollard in Emmerdale, was spotted outside the new Fishermen's Mission charity shop in Coinagehall Street and was only too happy to be pictured outside as he chatted to staff.

He had previously posed for a similar photo for the charity two years ago with his wife, actress Lesley Dunlop, when the shop was based in Meneage Street.

Shop manager Mel King said: "He was walking past the shop and we spotted him.

"He mentioned that he noticed that we weren't at old place anymore but hadn't realised that it was us in the old job centre."

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Due to the shop being busy with customers at the time, Chris did not go into the shop yesterday as his wife is shielding, but did promise to come back and visit properly when it was quieter.

"He is such a lovely man and was very happy to have his photo taken," added Mel.

Chris and Lesley are well known supporters of businesses and events in the area, where they are seen regularly.

In 2013 Chris took part in the Coverack Christmas Day swim alongside comedian David Baddiel, a regular to the event, and in 2016 the couple chose to have their wedding reception at Coverack's Paris Hotel when they married at the village church of St Peter's.

Falmouth Packet:

Lesley Dunlop and Chris Chittell at their wedding in Coverack in 2016. Photo: Enchanted Brides Photography

The couple chose Coverack to marry in because Lesley used to live in the area and always dreamed of getting married in the parish, near to where her daughters Daisy and Rosie were living, in Helston, with her grandchildren attending a local primary school.

They used a number of Cornish suppliers in addition to the Paris Hotel, with the bouquets created by Anna Mait who lives just outside Coverack and Marianna Fuller

from Fuller Blooms near St Keverne, the cake made in Newquay and photographs from Joanne Clement of Enchanted Brides Photography in Helston.