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Catherine Tyldesley has hit out at fans who say they are “disappointed” in Emmerdale star James Hooton after he revealed he “may not take” the coronavirus vaccine.
James, who has played Sam Dingle on the ITV soap for over 25 years, took to Twitter to say he takes vitamins, exercises regularly and has a varied diet and is “pro immune system, pro informed choice”.
The actor wrote: “I'm 47yrs old. I take Vit c,d, zinc, b-12, Q10 and anti virals such as Andrographis, Sambucus, Curcumin, Along with regular exercise and a varied diet."
"I may not be taking a Covid vaccine. I may be labelled 'anti vaxer' for being pro immune system, pro informed choice.” [sic]
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Explaining she thinks people’s comments that they were “disappointed” and “shocked” at James’ words were “bullying” and “disgraceful”, former Coronation Street star Catherine wrote on Twitter: “Completely discriminatory. Fans ‘disappointed’ because James looks after himself and ISNT putting pressure on the NHS? And is EXTREMELY low risk??? Ridiculous.
"It’s HIS body and he’s clearly been looking after it! Stop dividing the masses and leave people be!"
Alongside a series of angry and mind blown face emojis, the actress continued: “It’s bullying. Leave him alone. Disgraceful. Singling someone out for being healthy, strong and a fantastic immune system??? Dear oh dear!”
Many agreed with the former Strictly Come Dancing star’s view, with one writing in reply to Catherine: “I hate that if you express any concerns your called names, nobody should ever feel pressure either way.
"Keep 2 metres from James and keep your mouth shut. You be fine then. Im a fan, and I applaud him.” [sic]
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But another wrote: “Has he got a proven fantastic immune system? Getting is vaccine isn’t putting pressure on the NHS it’s quite the opposite,” to which Catherine replied, “He ISNT putting pressure on the NHS I said! Where as obesity and poor diet costs NHS 6 billion a year! We should be thanking him for looking after his body and staying healthy! Hats off to anyone trying to be healthy!”
James has become a firm fan favourite since joining Emmerdale's Dingle family in 1995.
He lives in Yorkshire with his fiancée Nancy Lucas, who runs dance school Total Dance, and their children.
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The pair share daughters Ava-Rose, who was born in 2016, and Lily, 13.
James and Nancy exclusively introduced Ava-Rose in the pages of OK!, with James revealing of her birth: "I was sat in the green room and I had two more scenes to do when I got a text at about 2:30pm saying ‘There's no problem or anything but just get in touch when you can.’”
“I had my phone in my pocket because I knew she could go into labour at any time,” the ITV soap star continued.
“I rang her and she explained the situation and I said: ‘It sounds like you're in labour!’”
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