It’s a say day in Emmerdale, as news of original matriarch Annie Sugden’s (Sheila Mercier) death reaches the village.
In Wednesday’s episode (August 26), viewers saw Marlon (Mark Charnock) and Bob (Tony Audenshaw) winding up Luke (Max Parker) in an effort to put he and Victoria (Isabel Hodgins) back together.
However romance is the last thing on Victoria’s mind in tonight’s episode (August 28), as she receives a phone call which informs her that Annie has passed away.
Marlon, who is seemingly in her company when she receives word, feels awful for her.
Long-time Emmerdale fans will know that Annie was a stalwart not only of the soap in question, but of the soap genre as a whole.
The character was a part of the original iteration of Emmerdale — back when it was known as Emmerdale Farm — and she featured in the very first episode back in 1972.
She would continue to appear for over 24 years, before departing in 1996, but made a brief return over a decade later for Jack Sugden’s (Clive Hornby) funeral.
Actress Shiela Mercier — who portrayed the character — died last year at the age of 100.
An Emmerdale spokesperson said at the time: ‘It’s always sad to hear of the death of an actor who played a significant part in Emmerdale’s success.
‘Even more so when that actor was in the very first episode and around whose family the show was built.
‘Annie Sugden embodied all the virtues of Yorkshire – she was hard working, resilient, determined, down to earth and didn’t suffer fools gladly.
‘Sheila had many of those qualities too, putting the needs of the programme above her own and always delivering a great performance come rain or shine. She will be greatly missed.’
Emmerdale continues Friday August 28 at 7pm on ITV.
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