Ex-Emmerdale ac­tress Zoe Tate has ter­mi­nal cancer

Malta Independent - - ENTERTAINMENT -

The ac­tress who played Emmerdale’s Zoe Tate has an­nounced she has ter­mi­nal lung cancer.

Leah Brack­nell starred in the ITV se­ries, set in the York­shire Dales, from 1989 to 2005.

Her char­ac­ter was known for sto­ry­lines which raised aware­ness about men­tal health and LGBT is­sues. Ms Brack­nell, who is now a yoga in­struc­tor, shared her di­ag­no­sis on an in­ter­net fundrais­ing page set up to raise money for treat­ment in Ger­many. On the fundrais­ing page 52-year-old Leah, who is known to her fam­ily as Ali, said she had been teach­ing yoga work­shops and start­ing re­hearsals for a com­edy play be­fore she re­ceived the news.

“It turns out that the uni­verse had other plans. Life was about to be un­ex­pect­edly turned on its head,” she said.

“I be­gan to feel breath­less climb­ing stairs... I just put it down to a bit of stress.

“My ab­domen sud­denly bal­looned - and within a mat­ter of a few days I looked heav­ily preg­nant. I could barely walk or breathe.”

Af­ter an emer­gency pro­ce­dure to re­move ex­cess fluid from around her heart, Ms Brack­nell said she was told she had stage four lung cancer, which she de­scribed as “a fairly bru­tal and bleak di­ag­no­sis, but one I am de­ter­mined to chal­lenge”.

Her part­ner Jez Hughes ex­plained the funds will be used for “im­munother­apy and in­te­gra­tive medicine, which are see­ing pre­vi­ously ‘in­cur­able’ can­cers go­ing into com­plete re­mis­sion”.

Ms Brack­nell played vet Zoe Tate, sis­ter to Chris Tate and daugh­ter of Frank Tate, one of the main fam­i­lies in the soap.

Dur­ing her years on the show Zoe Tate came out as les­bian and later suf­fered from schizophre­nia.

She made a dra­matic exit when she left the vil­lage, blow­ing up Home Farm where the fam­ily had lived.

She won the ‘Best Exit’ award at the Bri­tish Soap Awards in May 2006 for her per­for­mance in the scene.

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