Death of Barkisland-based Emmerdale star to be reflected in soap’s storyline

Richard Thorp, who played Alan Turner in Emmerdale
Richard Thorp, who played Alan Turner in Emmerdale
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The death of veteran Emmerdale actor Richard Thorp will be reflected in a storyline that will see the fictional village come together for the funeral of his character pub landlord Alan Turner.

Thorp, who lived in Barkisland for many years, appeared in the rural ITV soap for more than 30 years, died in May aged 81.

The storyline, which was developed after consultation with the actor’s family, will see his character peacefully pass away before an on-screen funeral in October.

Lorraine Chase, who played his daughter Steph Stokes, will return to the show for the storyline.

Viewers will see her character, who is currently in prison for a murder she did not commit, escorted back to the village by prison guards.

She said: “I was devastated when l heard the news that my dear friend, Richard Thorp had died. He was a wonderful, joyous man, a great actor, and l felt privileged to have worked with him so closely.

“When Emmerdale rang me to ask if l would consider coming back to guest at his character Alan, my on-screen dad’s funeral, I was overjoyed, I just wish with all my heart that the circumstances were different.”

The show’s producer Kate Oates said: “Alan Turner was so important to Emmerdale and we felt it was right to give his character a proper send off. It will be emotional as both the character and Richard are sorely missed and will be for a long time to come.”

Thorp, who made his first appearance on the show in 1982, had a lengthy career including roles in film and television which saw him star in the 1955 film The Dam Busters.