Emmerdale has been reflecting on the storylines of its iconic families on Thursday nights, and tonight's (September 10) episode remembered the Tate family in all their glory, from their arrival in 1989 to Kim's (Claire King) return in 2018 and her recent clashes with Andrea (Anna Nightingale) and son Jamie (Alexander Lincoln).
But the programme also recalled the original Tate family, including Kim's stepchildren Chris (Peter Armory) and Zoe (Bracknell) – and their love triangle with Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) – with the soap's stars paying tribute to Leah in the episode too.
"Leah Bracknell was a complete joy to work with, just because she was so professional, so kind," Emma remembered. "I loved her a lot."
"She was just the most pure, honest, beautiful person inside and out," Claire added.
"I think working with Leah was fantastic," Peter continued. "She was basically like a sister."
Leah, who played the role of Zoe Tate on the ITV soap between 1989 and 2005, passed away from cancer in October 2019, after being diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2016. During her time on Emmerdale, she made history as the first lesbian character in a UK soap opera with a coming out storyline in 1993.
Emmerdale also paid tribute to the star at the time of her passing, releasing a statement that read: "Everyone on Emmerdale is very sad to hear of the death of Leah Bracknell.
"Leah was a hugely popular member of the Emmerdale cast for over 16 years. During that time, she featured in some of the show's most high profile and explosive plots and always delivered a pitch perfect performance.
Zoe Tate was one of soap's first lesbian characters and Leah made sure the character was both exciting and credible. Leah herself was a very generous and caring colleague, much loved by cast and crew alike."
Emmerdale airs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 7pm on ITV, and will return to six episodes a week from Monday (September 14).
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