Soap star quits

EMMERDALE’S longest-serving female star Deena Payne, who earlier this month visited Ipswich, has announced she is leaving the soap.

The star, who opened the town’s new Poundland store on October 2, has been a regular on our screens for the past 18 years as postmistress and village gossip Viv Hope.

However, she will bow out of the ITV soap in a top-secret plot that show chiefs promise will be part of a “huge winter storyline”.

The actress, 56, said: “Emmerdale has been such a gift to me for the past 18 years and I’ve taken every challenge with both hands and enjoyed the ride.

“I’m very proud of Viv and the impact she has had over the years. I will miss pulling on her shoulder pads and high heels every morning but I am very excited about what the future holds.”


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