Dale Meeks on the set of Emmerdale in 2005
Former soap actor Dale Meeks has died at the age of 48.
Dale died on Saturday evening at South Tyneside hospital in South Shields, after suffering heart failure, his brother Philip confirmed to the PA news agency.
“My heart is broken,” Philip said of his brother’s death.
The actor was perhaps best known for his three-year stint in Emmerdale as Simon Meredith, a character he played between 2003 and 2006.
As a child, the North East-born performer got his start in the long-running teen drama Byker Grove, in which he played a rival to Ant and Dec’s characters.
The presenting duo were among those to pay their respects following the news of Dale’s death.
“We are so incredibly sorry to hear the very sad news of Dale’s passing,” they wrote in a joint tribute on Twitter. “He was the loveliest of guys, even though he was a Denton ‘Burner’, the arch nemesis of the Byker ‘Grovers’!”
“A sad loss at such a young age,” they added. “RIP Dale. Sleep well bonny lad.”
We are so incredibly sorry to hear the very sad news of Dale’s passing. He was the loveliest of guys, even though he was a Denton ‘Burner’, the the arch nemesis of the Byker ‘Grovers’! A sad loss at such a young age. RIP Dale. Sleep well bonny lad 🙏https://t.co/2NIG6AtI2i
— antanddec (@antanddec) April 23, 2023
Dale’s additional TV credits included a part in the short-lived BBC series Breezeblocks and, more recently, a role in the TV drama The Hunt For Raoul Moat.
He also performed in the West End in the Phantom Of The Opera follow-up Love Never Dies, as well as a touring production of the musical Chicago.
During his time on Emmerdale, Dale and his co-star Mark Charnock also took part in a celebrity special of Stars In Their Eyes as the Blues Brothers, and went on to win the show.