Spoilers: Huge tragedy as legendary Emmerdale character dies

Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) receives devastating news in Emmerdale, as she learns that Annie Sugden (Shiela Mercier) has died.

Marlon (Mark Charnock) and Bob (Tony Audenshaw) attempt to do some match-making for Victoria and Luke (Max Parker), but Victoria soon learns that Annie has died — and Marlon feels awful for her.

Longtime Emmerdale viewers will know that Annie was a stalwart not only of the soap in question, but of the soap genre as a whole.

The character made her first appearance in the ITV soap’s very first episode back in 1972, and featured for over 24 years, before departing in 1996.

Annie then made a brief return for Jack Sugden’s (Clive Hornby) funeral in 2009.

Actress Shiela Mercier — who portrayed the character — died last year at the age of 100.

An Emmerdale spokesperson said at the time: ‘It’s always sad to hear of the death of an actor who played a significant part in Emmerdale’s success. Even more so when that actor was in the very first episode and around whose family the show was built.

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‘Annie Sugden embodied all the virtues of Yorkshire – she was hard working, resilient, determined, down to earth and didn’t suffer fools gladly.

‘Sheila had many of those qualities too, putting the needs of the programme above her own and always delivering a great performance come rain or shine. She will be greatly missed.’

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