We have already had to endure the news that Diane Sugden is departing Emmerdale after two decades, with Elizabeth Estensen retiring from the role.
But now, it seems like the majority of her family are going to join her as Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles) and Gabby Thomas (Rosie Bentham) also get in on the plans to move to Portugal.
With Kim Tate (Claire King) trying to force Gabby to draw up a will to name her as her baby’s guardian, Diane is stunned and suggests Gabby needs to get away from the toxic family.
Speaking about her decision to bow out of the show, Elizabeth said: ‘For the past 22 years I have loved playing Diane Sugden,’ said Elizabeth of her impending exit. ‘She’s kind, reliable and fiercely loyal. However, I now feel the time has come to say goodbye.
‘Emmerdale will always remain special to me.
‘I’ve been treated with respect and kindness and I’ve had the very best friends and colleagues, both past and present. I’ll miss everyone dearly.’
John Whiston, Managing Director of Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North, added: ‘For 22 years, Liz has shone through the screen and into our living rooms as the natural heart and centre of the Sugden family.
‘It’s a role she has made so totally her own, bringing compassion, humour and credibility to her portrayal of Diane.
‘Whenever she’s on screen, as a viewer, you just let out a contented sigh and say to yourself “The Queen is on her throne and all is well with the world”.
‘And off screen, you don’t get to stay in a soap that long unless you are a truly professional actor and really, really lovely person. Liz is both.’
But will any or all of Diane’s clan be following her?
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