Emmerdale star Richard Thorp dies

'Emmerdale' star Richard Thorp, who portrayed Alan Turner for more than 30 years, has died aged 81

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Richard Thorp as Alan Turner

Richard Thorp as Alan Turner

'Emmerdale' star Richard Thorp has died aged 81.

The actor was the ITV soap's longest serving cast member after playing much-loved character Alan Turner in the show for more than 30 years following his first appearance on March 23, 1982, and Series Producer Kate Oates has led tributes to the legendary star.

She said: "Richard's death is a sad loss to Emmerdale, of which he was at the heart for so many wonderful years. Richard had a brilliant sense of humour and he will be missed by every single member of our production whose lives he touched."

In a post on their website, ITV said: "On behalf of the cast, crew and production team at Emmerdale, we are extremely sad to hear of Richard's death. A pillar of the show, He will be greatly missed around the Emmerdale studios but will forever live on in all the wonderful memories we all have of him.

"Richard was a true professional and a complete gentleman. His charm, wit and effortless grace will be sorely missed."

Gemma Oaten - who plays Rachel Breckle in 'Emmerdale' - paid tribute to Richard by posting a picture on Twitter of her with him. She wrote: "As I'll always remember him. A joy. RIP Richard Thorp"

Richard also starred as Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay in the iconic 1955 movie 'The Dam Busters', and he portrayed Doug Randall in 'Crossroads'.

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