On Air Now
Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden 6:30am - 10am
18 October 2019, 10:45 | Updated: 29 October 2019, 12:26
Emmerdale paid a touching tribute to Leah Bracknell last night following her tragic death.
Emmerdale viewers were left in tears last night when the ITV soap paid tribute to Zoe Tate actress Leah Bracknell.
The 55-year-old tragically passed last month following a three-year battle with stage 4 lung cancer, with her management confirming the news on Wednesday.
At the beginning of the double episode, the announcer revealed the soap was dedicating the episodes to Leah, who played fan favourite Zoe from 1989 until 2005.
“Tonight's episodes of Emmerdale are dedicated to Leah Bracknell, who played the unforgettable Zoe Tate,” he said.
Following the second episode, ITV also shared a photo of Leah with the words: “In Loving Memory of Leah Bracknell 1964 - 2019.”
And viewers were left in tears by the emotional nod to Leah, as one wrote on Twitter: “Lovely tribute to the wonderful Leah Bracknell before and after tonight's @emmerdale #Emmerdale.”
“#Emmerdale If I wasn't in bits already seeing the episode dedicated to Leah Bracknell has done it for me 😭,” said another.
A third added: “@emmerdale omg I just blubbed, and for Leah at the end aswell.”
arrrr a lovely memory & dedication for leah tonights emmerdale 💕⚘ xx— christine (@christi10857923) October 17, 2019
This comes after the late star’s management released a statement confirming her death.
It read: "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.
"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."
Soon after, the official Emmerdale Twitter account also paid tribute to the actress, 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."
And her former co-stars were quick to reply, 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."
Claire King, who played Kim Tate on thesoap, wrote: "Gorgeous, beautiful, talented, lovely Leah, fly high over that rainbow my love."
While Dominic Brunt (Paddy Kirk), added: "I lost a good friend today. She was truly amazing in lots of different ways and I shall miss her."