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Memorial service for Emmerdale's Shirley Stelfox to take place

A memorial service for Emmerdale favourite Shirley Stelfox takes place at Leeds Minster this afternoon.

Shirley Stelfox has died aged 74 Credit: Press Association

The 74-year-old actress, who lived near Newark, played Edna Birch in the soap for fifteen years. Many of the cast and crew are expected to attend. She died in December after a short battle with cancer.

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Emmerdale tour tickets go on sale

Tickets have gone on sale today to give soap fans the rare chance to explore behind the scenes at Emmerdale.

Explore behind the scenes at Emmerdale village Credit: ITV Yorkshire

From this spring, the live, working TV set located within the Harewood Estate in Leeds, will open its gates as cast and crew down scripts for the weekend and allow guests to tread the tarmac and indulge in a fully guided tour of the popular, fictional village.

Fans will be able to visit Home Farm, Bob's Cafe, The Woolpack and the Village Church as well as finding out fascinating facts and stories behind the making of the multi-award winning ITV soap.

The village set is a unique and special place and Emmerdale is excited to be able to show it off to a select number of visitors. I'm sure the public will enjoy seeing it as much as we enjoy working there.”

– John Whiston (Head of ITV North)

Tours will take place between Saturday 30 April – 31 October 2016.

For more information click here. To book a place e-mail: emmerdale@continuumattractions.com.

Emmerdale cast members pay tribute to Frank Kelly

Some members of the Emmerdale cast have been paying tribute to the actor Frank Kelly, who has died at the age of 77. He played Dermot Macey in the Yorkshire-based soap between 2010 and 2011.

Danny Miller, who plays Aaron Livesy and Adam Thomas, who plays Adam Barton, have tweeted messages:

Former Emmerdale actor Frank Kelly dies

Frank Kelly as Emmerdale's Dermot Macey Credit: ITV

Former Emmerdale actor Frank Kelly has died. The 77 year old played the part of Dermot Macey, father of Declan and Megan Macey between 2010 and 2011.

Frank Kelly as Dermot Macey with his Emmerdale co-stars Credit: ITV

The ITV soap has tweeted a message to say he will be sorely missed:

The actor's death has been announced by the Irish national broadcaster RTÉ. He will be best remembered for his role as Father Jack in the long-running Channel 4 sitcom Father Ted.

Read more tributes to Frank Kelly

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Emmerdale highlights dementia epidemic

The disease of dementia is being highlighted by TV soap Emmerdale.

After Vicar Ashley broke the news to his family in the past few weeks, today actor John Middleton met the charity which has been helping him prepare for his role.

Helen Steel reports:

For more on the charity, Methodist Housing for the Aged, mentioned in this report - click here.

For support on caring for someone with dementia visit https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/ or click here.

Dramatic hospital baby dash for Emmerdale star

Emmerdale star Chris Bisson and his partner feared their daughter would be born in the car as they made a dramatic dash to get to the hospital.

Chris Bisson and his partner Rowena Finn Credit: Press Association

Bisson, who plays Jai Sharma in the ITV soap, has told how he and partner Rowena Finn welcomed their daughter Ella Rose just seven minutes after arriving at the hospital.

He told Hello! magazine: "Just like a scene from a film, there was this cinematic race to the hospital. She was born seven minutes later (after our arrival) after one puff of gas and air."

The couple have a three-year-old son, Harry, and welcomed daughter Ella Rose on December 8 last year.

I was terrified. I really believed I was going to give birth in the car. If it had been rush hour, we wouldn't have made it.

– Rowena Finn

Forty-year-old Bisson said while he enjoys playing a "baddie" in Emmerdale, since becoming a father he has found certain storylines challenging.

I enjoy playing a baddie but since becoming a father I find some baby-related storylines challenging.

When Harry was born, the plot revolved around a baby in intensive care. I've been filming another harrowing story that hasn't been revealed yet. It makes me realise how lucky I am.

– Chris Bisson

Jonathan Wrather joins Emmerdale cast

Established actor Jonathan Wrather has joined the cast of Emmerdale as Pierce Harris.

Jonathan Wrather is joining Emmerdale as Pierce Harris Credit: Emmerdale/ITV

Unknown to Pierce, his wife Tess (Nicola Stephenson) is having an affair with Emmerdale’s long serving vet Paddy Kirk (Dominic Brunt). But with Pierce now on the scene, is it only a matter of time before their clandestine secret is exposed?

When Paddy and Tess first met she was open about being married but Paddy never expected to come face to face with her handsome husband. His arrival is set to be a dramatic one and he will first appear on screen mid February.

Jonathan has a wealth of television and theatre credits to his name and is best known for his roles in Coronation Street and Silent Witness.

I am thrilled to be joining Emmerdale. It's a great opportunity to be offered the chance to create a new character in one of TV's most popular shows and I'm very excited to be working with such an outstanding cast and team

– Jonathan Wrather
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