Actress Lorraine Chase is to return to Emmerdale as Steph Stokes for one episode in order to attend the funeral of on-screen father Alan Turner.
Richard Thorp, who played Alan, passed away in May at the age of 81 after appearing in the ITV soap for more than 30 years.
Speaking today, 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.”
Alan Turner is to pass away in his sleep this autumn and will be discovered dead by long-term friend Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook). His funeral will then be screened at the October with Steph – who has been serving a sentence for murdering her son Terence – escorted back to the village by prison guards in a police car.
Alan’s funeral will be organised by Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins), who does her best to pull out all the stops to give this village legend the best farewell possible.
Producer Kate Oates said of the storyline: "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.”