Faith has been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer; and has recently been given the news that she only has weeks left to live. This has sadly prompted her to plan her own death.
Expanding on Faith’s choice, Dexter explained at a recent press event: “Faith is and has always been a lover of life!
"But to exist in mental torment and physical pain with absolutely no choice or control over that existence is simply unacceptable to her; she decides she would rather die.”
But before that moment arrives, the character has one last day of joy with her loved ones. Diane Sugden (Elizabeth Estensen) returns to join the fun, which delights Faith all the more.
“As I’ve said, Faith is a great lover of life. Before taking her leave of it, she wants to celebrate it with all the people she loves; and she decides that replicating a truly happy holiday at the seaside when Cain (Jeff Hordley) and Chas (Lucy Pargeter) were children would be the perfect way to do it!
“But Faith has another fall,” Dexter reveals. “And ‘the children’ realise she’s too weak to travel. So with typical Dingle ingenuity, they decide to bring the Seaside to her.
“We filmed this over a few days up at the Dingle Homestead, on a week we were told was about to turn cold and rainy. The brilliant costume team were ready with the thermals and the hand warmers. The fabulous Cheryl and her make up team were poised with powder and hairspray to keep us in shape.
“Then the sun came out and the whole thing sprang into joyous life. We all knew we’d be emptying sand out of our shoes for the next week or so, but it didn’t stop us having a ball. We really enjoyed ourselves!”
After such a perfect day, Faith comes to a decision. “This is the scene where Faith realises she couldn’t be happier, and she determines to carry out her plan the very next day. To go out on a ‘high!' I found it really quite poignant to film; I knew it meant Faith's time in Emmerdale was up, and so was mine.”
Despite her earlier request, Faith will take action in secret. “Though she knows she wouldn’t be asking Moira to actually assist her dying, she realises she cannot have any possibility of Moira being implicated either.
"For that reason, even though Moira relents and agrees to be by her side; Faith decides to take control alone.” But a devastated Cain soon arrives, and he keeps her comfortable until she takes her last breaths.
As heartbreaking as Faith’s impending death is for viewers, the actor explains that she always knew how her story would end. “I always knew Faith was coming back to die," she says.
"My idea was to have her save Cain and Chas from some sort of attack in the Woolie — say from a bullet or a knife aimed at her children from a crazed intruder!
“But the story Jane [Hudson] and the team wanted was a far more important and difficult one to tell. I only hope we have done as much justice as we could.”
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