Entertainment & Arts

Emmerdale marks death of character Alan Turner

Richard Thorp
Image caption Richard Thorp was Emmerdale's longest-serving actor

ITV soap Emmerdale is to mark the death of fictional character Alan Turner, following the death of the actor who played him for more than 30 years.

Richard Thorp, who died in May at the age of 81, had been the show's longest serving actor, having joined in 1982.

The character's funeral will be shown at the end of October and will see the return of actress Lorraine Chase, who played Alan's daughter Steph.

Alan Turner was the landlord of the Woolpack pub.

Lorraine Chase said: "l was devastated when l heard the news that my dear friend, Richard Thorp had died.

"He was a wonderful, joyous man, a great actor, and l felt privileged to have worked with him so closely.

"When Emmerdale rang me to ask if l would consider coming back to guest at his character Alan, my on-screen dad's funeral, I was overjoyed, I just wish with all my heart that the circumstances were different."

'Sorely missed'

Chase's character, Steph Stokes, was last seen in the soap in 2006 when she was wrongly jailed for murder. She will be escorted back for the funeral by prison guards.

One of Thorp's earliest acting roles was as squadron leader Henry Maudslay in 1955 war film The Dam Busters.

He joined Emmerdale as the manager of Home Farm, playing a womanising bully.

Alan Turner later mellowed and became a kingpin of village life as landlord of the village pub.

Emmerdale producer Kate Oates said: "Alan Turner was so important to Emmerdale and we felt it was right to give his character a proper send off. It will be emotional as both the character and Richard are sorely missed and will be for a long time to come".

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