Emmerdale viewers in tears as ITV soap pays touching tribute to Leah Bracknell following her tragic death


EMMERDALE viewers were in tears tonight as the ITV soap paid a touching tribute to Leah Bracknell following her tragic death.

The 55-year-old actress’ passing last month was confirmed by her management yesterday following a three-year battle with stage 4 lung cancer.

Emmerdale viewers were in tears tonight as the ITV soap paid a touching tribute to Leah Bracknell following her tragic death

At the beginning of tonight’s episode, the announcer said the soap was dedicating the episodes to Leah, who played Zoe Tate on the show from 1989 until 2005.

And once the credits rolled on the second episode, a picture of Leah smiling appeared against a black background with the words ‘In Loving Memory of Leah Bracknell’.

It was enough to set viewers off, with one writing on Twitter: “Lovely that for Leah  @emmerdale at the end #Emmerdale.”

Another added: “Wonderful tonight’s episodes of #Emmerdale @emmerdale are dedicated to Leah Bracknell who played Zoe Tate. A fine actress & #LGBTQ icon. She was the first lesbian character in a British Soap. According to cast. One of the kindest & most lovely person you could meet. RIP.”



The official Emmerdale Twitter account paid tribute to Leah yesterday

A third tweeted: “Aw they’ve dedicated tonight’s episode to Leah.”

The tribute comes after the official Emmerdale Twitter account paid tribute to the actress yesterday, writing: “Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell.

“She was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years.

“Leah was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike.”

Leah Bracknell pictured with her husband Jez Hughes

Her former co-stars also paid tribute to Leah, with Lisa Riley writing on social media: ”

GOD BLESS YOU LEAH. A true angel to work with. You lost your battle far far too young. R.I.P. heavens gain an angel of the truest form.”

Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk, added: “I lost a good friend today. She was truly amazing in lots of different ways and I shall miss her.”

Claire King, who played Kim Tate on the show, wrote: “Gorgeous, beautiful, talented, lovely Leah, fly high over that rainbow my love.”

Meanwhile, Marlon Dingle star Mark Charnock wrote: “Terrible news today. We’ve lost one of the truly good humans. Being around Leah always made the day better.”

Her management released a statement confirming her death, saying: “It is with the deepest sadness that Leah Bracknell’s family confirm that Leah passed away in September, three years after her diagnosis with stage 4 lung cancer.

“They would like to thank all the public for their support and generosity which contributed to the extension and quality of her life over the past three years.

“Leah was best known and much loved as Zoe Tate in Emmerdale.

“She also had roles in Judge John Deed, A Touch of Frost, The Royal Today and DCI Banks to name just a few, as well as numerous appearances on stage and in pantomime.

Zoes former co-stars paid tribute to her following the news of her death
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“As well as acting, Leah was also an accomplished yoga teacher and shamanic healer.

“Leah had an energy and enthusiasm for life, a kind heart and much love to give to those around her.

“Her family have asked for privacy at this very sad time.”


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