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Emmerdale star quits the soap after 22 years

Elizabeth Estensen has quit Emmerdale after 22 years.

The 72-year-old actress has played Diane Sugden on the show since 1999.

In a statement, 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.”

The soap star thanked the entire cast and crew, and said she will miss everyone on set.

“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,” she added.

“I’ll miss everyone dearly.”

ITV’s Managing Director of Continuing Drama, John Whiston, said: “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’.”

ITV also confirmed Elizabeth has already filmed her final scenes, which will air later this year.


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