TAKE a look inside the life of Emmerdale star Karen Blick – her Groupon wedding and love of crystals is a far cry from her character Lydia Dingle.
Karen, 49, has been a regular fixture in the Dales since 2016.
However, character Lydia has definitely not had an easy time of it. Born Jenny Finn, she grew up in care, got pregnant as a teenager and gave birth to a stillborn baby, before assuming the identity of her deceased housemate Lydia Hart and getting married to Steve, who died in 2014.
Lydia has been put through significant trauma during her years in the village, but she did find happiness with Sam Dingle (James Hooton). They married in 2020, but their happiness was cruelly interrupted by a recent storyline.
Despite fan complaints, Lydia’s recent storyline on the ITV soap saw her r*ped by Craig Reid (Ben Addis), her long-time friend and the father of her stillborn baby.
This storyline has been her biggest career challenge to date.
When she and her co-star James found out about it, Karen understandably felt very emotional.
“It’s a shocking thing to hear, and I saw the look on James’ face. He was just shaking his head again, and said, ‘I didn’t expect that’.
“And both of us had tears in our eyes. It was a really moving, strong reaction. Certainly, it was the strongest reaction I’ve ever had to a potential story, emotionally,” she admitted.
Of course, life off-screen couldn’t be more different for the TV star.
Karen has been happily married for over a decade and credits her supportive hubby – who she married in a bargain Groupon wedding – for helping her see her dream of being an actor come to fruition.
That’s not to say life has been a straight line for the soap star, though. In fact, she almost quit acting to become a teacher.
Keep reading as we take a look inside Karen’s life off screen.
Karen Blick’s Groupon wedding
While Lydia Dingle’s love life has been full of twists and turns, and unfortunately, death, Karen has been happily loved up since the ‘90s.
She met her now-husband, businessman Simon Blick, while working at a children’s outdoor pursuit centre in 1996 and the pair have been inseparable ever since.
While they have been together for decades, they didn’t make things official until 2011, when they tied the knot in a bargain wedding Karen bagged thanks to a Groupon deal.
Their special day included a three-course dinner for 100 guests and a knees-up in the evening and it cost less than 2 grand.
Speaking to The Sun about why she chose the Groupon deal, Karen said: We had been together for years and so we didn’t want to spend much.”
The couple had no problem showing off their personality throughout their special day and Karen said they even added “a Dingle element” to theirs.
Although she didn’t specify what that was, her interview hints that it may well have been drinking out of a welly boot, which is a famous Dingle tradition in the soap.
Karen and Simon have since celebrated over a decade of marriage together and expanded their family with the arrival of two children.
Celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary on social media, Karen happily wrote: “Two kids, one cat and lots of laughs.”
Karen almost had a completely different career
In 2019, Karen told the Mirror that she considered herself a “jobbing actress” before she got a regular role on Emmerdale. “[I] had landed some decent roles, but it was hard,” she admitted.
Working for decades without securing a dream role pushed Karen to pursue a backup career. She eventually studied for a PGCE and became a teacher in 2008.
“When Emmerdale came along, I was lecturing undergraduate acting students at my old college in Halifax,” she admitted.
Although she had a steady job in acting, teaching is her true passion.
“It was an absolute dream come true,” she said of getting the role of Lydia.
It was wonderful. I’m a Yorkshire-based actress and I’ve got a fantastic role in a Yorkshire-based soap.”
Karen also credits her “incredibly supportive” hubby Simon with helping her keep pursuing acting.
“Simon is incredibly supportive. We’ve had conversations over the years where I’ve said, ‘OK, maybe I’ll give this up’. And he’s always said, ‘Give it another year, stick at it’.”
Karen turned to crystals to get through a difficult Emmerdale storyline
While Karen has found her dream role on Emmerdale, it hasn’t always been easy. Her current r*pe storyline, which is set to continue on until Christmas, has been difficult for her to tackle.
She ended up turning to crystals to keep her grounded while filming.
“I’ve got a lovely friend who’s a crystal healing therapist, and she contacted me a couple of weeks before we started filming and said, ‘Can I help you? Can I help you look after your energy?’” Karen explained at a press event.
Karen added: “I’m really open-minded about things like this and I thought, ‘Well it can’t hurt, can it? I’ll give it a go.’
“She gave me some crystals to kind of carry around with me to keep in my dressing room. I found it was a useful ritual to absorb some of the negative energy and some of the thoughts, feelings, emotions around this story.”
Karen also explained that she practises other daily rituals like yoga, and has even tried hypnotherapy to make sure she was in “a good, strong, physical, psychological place in order to tackle this story.”