09:25 11 October 2010
Emmerdales longest serving female star, Deena Payne, is set to leave the soap after 18 years.
The actress, who plays Viv Hope, will bow out over the next few months but details of her final storyline are being kept under wraps.
Deena, 56, joined the soap in 1993 to play the Woolpack landlady and her departure is rumoured to be at the heart of a huge storyline this winter.
In a statement, Payne 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 putting on her shoulder pads and high heels every morning, but I am very excited about what the future holds.
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