Emmerdale: Will Elizabeth Estensen return as Diane Sugden?

Emmerdale: Will Elizabeth Estensen return as Diane Sugden?

Emmerdale: Diane reveals an exit plan to Gabby

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Elizabeth has portrayed the role of Diane for 22 years and it was announced last month she would be bidding farewell to Emmerdale. This means her character will be getting a dramatic exit to bring her time on the ITV soap to a close, with Gabby Thomas (played by Rosie Bentham) being at the centre of the plot. However, like many characters who have left before, there is always the possibility of a return to the show in the future. Here is everything you need to know about whether the soap star will be coming back.

Will Elizabeth Estensen return to Emmerdale as Diane Sugden?

Following Elizabeth’s exit from the show, it is highly unlikely Diane will be making a return to the Dales in the future.

This is because, following the announcement she was leaving, it was explained the soap star was going to retire from her professional career.

Once a person has left the show due to retirement, their character is usually shelved if they have not been killed off.

In Diane’s case, she will be flying abroad after helping her grandfather, Gabby, give birth to her baby son.

It will then be up to the writers to decide if they let the beloved villager live out her days or if she will die off-screen.

What has Elizabeth Estensen said about leaving Emmerdale as Diane Sugden?

In the announcement of her decision to quit, Elizabeth thanked the cast and crew of the weeknight serial drama for their support over the past two decades.

The actress said in a statement: “For the past 22 years, I have loved playing Diane Sugden – she’s kind, reliable, and fiercely loyal.

“However, I now feel the time has come to say goodbye. Emmerdale will always remain special to me.

“I’ve been treated with respect and kindness, and I’ve had the very best friends and colleagues, both past and present. I’ll miss everyone dearly.”

John Whiston, ITV’s managing director of continuing drama also offered his praise and thanks to the actress.

I have loved playing Diane Sugden

Elizabeth Estensen

“For 22 years, Liz has shone through the screen and into our living rooms as the natural heart and centre of the Sugden family,” John said.

“It’s a role she has made so totally her own, bringing compassion, humour, and credibility to her portrayal of Diane.

“Whenever she’s on-screen, as a viewer, you just let out a contented sigh and say to yourself, ‘The Queen is on her throne and all is well with the world’.

“And off-screen, you don’t get to stay in a soap that long unless you are a truly professional actor and really, really lovely person. Liz is both.”

Unfortunately, Elizabeth has also explained the coronavirus pandemic changed the way she looks at the job she has held for over two decades.

The actress explained in an interview: “We used to share, but now it is single occupancy dressing rooms.

“We no longer go into costume and make-up, which is a shame as I used to love going to make-up. But thankfully all the measures seem to work and we can keep recording.

“I think it’s a younger person’s job because you have to learn lines very quickly and the job is very hard work.”

Discussing what she is going to do when she leaves the soap, Elizabeth said: “I have not yet planned anything myself for when I leave.

“I would like to travel around the world and perhaps brush up my French. I’m not retiring from acting altogether, I simply want to keep working if I can,” she told The Mirror.

How will Elizabeth Estensen leave Emmerdale as Diane Sugden?

The actresses character will be jetting off for pastures new in upcoming scenes and it was thought Gabby would be going with her.

Afraid of what her baby’s grandmother, Kim Tate (Claire King), would do to her, the young mother wanted to get as far away from the village as possible.

In Thursday night’s double-bill of the soap, the youngster will give birth to her child but she will change her mind very quickly.

Instead of leaving with her grandmother, she will stay in the village and watch her baby grow up at Home Farm.

This means Diane will be leaving on her own, so a new life and a new romance could be awaiting her overseas.

Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode airing on Thursdays at 8pm.

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