Viv Hope axed from Emmerdale
'Emmerdale' actress Deena Payne is to be axed from the soap in a dramatic storyline after 18 years playing legendary postmistress and gossip Viv Hope.
Deena Payne is to be axed from 'Emmerdale' after 18 years.
The 56-year-old actress - who joined the rural soap in 1993 as village gossip Viv Hope - is set to leave the rural soap after almost two-decades as the show's longest serving female star.
After joining as landlady of the Woolpack pub, the now legendary village postmistress will leave the Dales in a "major storyline" in the run-up to Christmas (25.12.10).
Deena admits she wasn't surprised with the news and had already considered leaving herself after becoming "unhappy" her character Viv was being sidelined.
The actress - who recently wed musician Steve Grant - explained to Britain's Hello! magazine: "The last 16 months have been frustrating... To come in now and then to clear a table or throw a line over my shoulder was horrible. In the past I had two or three major storyline challenges a year. I relished them and grasped them. I felt bewildered and thought about not accepting another contract because I was so unhappy. If there's no future for the longest-serving female cast member, it's time to go. Which is sad in itself.
Although she is sad t say goodbye to her character, Deena is excited about her future acting career.
She said: "I will miss pulling on her shoulder pads and high heels every morning but I am very excited about what the future holds."
Tony Audenshaw, who plays her on-screen hubby Bob said: "Viv is an icon. I'm devastated."
Producer Gavin Blyth added: "Deena's exit will be both unmissable and moving."
Deena's last scenes as Viv will be aired early next year.