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Elizabeth Estensen to retire from Emmerdale

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Elizabeth Estensen as Diane Sugden in Emmerdale

Elizabeth Estensen aka Diane Sugden actress has decided to retire from Emmerdale after twenty-two years playing the matriarch.

Although Liz has filmed her final scenes she will still be seen on screen for a number of weeks, ITV Studios have confirmed.

“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.” – Elizabeth Estensen

Diane Blackstock as she was then arrived in Emmerdale in November 1999, joining her daughter Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles) in the village. Diane later married Emmerdale icon Jack Sugden in 2004.

“For 22 years, Liz has shone through the screen and into our living rooms as the natural heart and centre of the Sugden family. 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.” – John Whiston Managing Director of Continuing Drama and Head of ITV in the North

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.