Lorraine Chase has revealed that she is returning to Emmerdale to honour a promise made to the late actor Richard Thorp.
Says the 62-year-old actress: “He rung me on the day before he died and told me how much he was looking forward to getting back to work, but he also said that he could really do with a bit of a storyline. So he asked me if I could get in touch with my agent to see whether we could do some scenes with Steph in the prison. And I promised him that I would do exactly that.
“That night, Richard became very poorly and the next day he was gone. So me coming back for Alan’s funeral allows me to keep my promise.”
In scenes to be screened next week, jailbird Steph (who originally appeared between 2002 and 2006) will reappear in handcuffs at the funeral of her dad Alan Turner, as the ITV soap marks the passing of the character and the actor who played him for three decades:
“The show’s producer Kate Oates rang and asked me whether I’d consider coming back for a guest spot and I said that I’d absolutely love to,” says Chase. “But what I didn’t want was to be just sitting there. I wanted to do a little something. And what you’ll get to see is just lovely.
“They’ve given Alan a terrific send-off and Richard himself would have loved everything about it. It would have been right up his street. It was very emotional because he was so dearly loved.”
And what of Steph herself – does Chase think that prison has altered her in the years she’s spent inside after taking the rap for her brother’s murder?
“I doubt she’s changed much,” she laughs. “But she may have had to become more wily. You can’t get away with as much in prison. I imagine that she runs the whole of her section and that everyone’s either petrified of her or eating out of her hand!”