It's the end of an era in Emmerdale as Doug Potts announced he's leaving the village to live in Australia, despite only just having returned from a trip down under. Does this mean actor Duncan Preston is leaving the soap for good?
Doug, along with daughter Laurel Thomas and grandkids Gabby and Arthur, touched down from Oz on Wednesday 26th February's edition of Emmerdale after attending the funeral of Laurel's father-in-law Sandy Thomas. With a heavy heart, the Potts patriarch revealed to Laurel and partner Brenda Walker, he'd been asked by Sandy's pal, and ex-villager, Betty Eagleton, to move to Australia permanently - and he'd decided to go.
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As Brenda put a brave face on that this would mean the end of their romance, she seemed unconvinced he'd actually go through with leaving, but RadioTimes.com understands the character will have permanently departed Emmerdale by the end of this week, and we've been informed there are "no current plans for Duncan to return at this time." So whether he takes up Betty's offer or not, this is definitely the last we'll see of him for a while.
Preston joined the soap in 2007, and was previously best known for his long professional partnership with Victoria Wood - he played Clifford in soap spoof Acorn Antiques in Wood's seminal 1980s sketch series As Seen on TV, and was lovable handyman Stan in sitcom dinnerladies (1998-2000).
Doug's first four years on Emmerdale saw him romance widowed Diane Sugden, and he left the village after their split in 2011, returning four years later for Laurel's wedding to Marlon Dingle. He's supported his daughter through numerous hard times, including her alcoholism and the decline and eventual death of husband Ashley Thomas from dementia. More recently the plucky pensioner was seen secretly using cannabis to relieve chronic back pain.
Will he leave on good terms with his loved ones?
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