Diane Sugden actress Elizabeth Estensen quits Emmerdale after 22 years

17 September 2021, 09:01 | Updated: 17 September 2021, 09:52

Fans will get to say goodbye to Diane Sugden in a few weeks
Fans will get to say goodbye to Diane Sugden in a few weeks. Picture: ITV
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

Elizabeth Estensen has announced that she is retiring from the ITV soap after more than two decades.

Emmerdale star Elizabeth Estensen has quit the show after 22 years playing Diane Sugden.

The actress 72, joined the soap in 1999 and since then has cemented her place as a soap legend, and been at the heart of some very dramatic storylines.

Fans have seen Diane married and widowed, and keeping locals - and staff - in check as landlady of local pub The Woolpack for seventeen years.

Other huge storylines have seen her ripped off by her conman lover Charlie, and stabbed in the dark by Chas Dingle.

Diane has undergone treatment for cancer twice and been trapped at gun point in a siege. 

Read now: Will this popular Dingle die in Emmerdale?

Pulling pints with Chas Dingle in the Woolpack
Pulling pints with Chas Dingle in the Woolpack. Picture: ITV

She was lost in a mirror maze which ultimately killed her sister Val, and more recently helped ex lover Eric Pollard run the village B&B.

Throughout all this, Diane has been a supportive mother, sister, stepmother and grandmother to her fictional family - who will miss her just as much as telly fans at home.

But viewers need not to worry about the caring and forgiving character being killed off, bosses have planned a for her to sail off in to the sunset to live out her days somewhere a lot warmer than the Yorkshire Dales!

Read now: Emmerdale's Amy Walsh is expecting a baby with Eastenders star

Diane with sister Val and Eric Pollard - who loved them both
Diane with sister Val and Eric Pollard - who loved them both. Picture: ITV

Elizabeth has already filmed her final scenes, which will air in the coming weeks.

She said: “For the past 22 years I have loved playing Diane Sugden - 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.”