Emmerdale legend’s return ‘sealed’ for Zak Dingle’s funeral – but fans left divided

Emmerdale enthusiasts reckon a soap icon is making a comeback to the Dales for Zak Dingle’s looming send-off.

Zak, portrayed by Steve Halliwell, first graced our screens in 1994 and quickly became a fan favourite as the patriarch of the notorious Dingle family.Emmerdale

Tragically, Steve died aged 77 last year after a series of health struggles. In the soap, Zak is living with his granddaughter Debbie up in Scotland, away from the on-screen drama.


The Dingle clan, still prominent in the show’s beloved village, have been known to trek across the country to catch up with him.

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However, this week Emmerdale has dropped the bombshell that Zak Dingle’s passing will soon be woven into the storyline. The Dingle household will be hit with the gut-wrenching news of Zak’s demise later in the year, reports the Express.

Emmerdale’s producer Sophie Roper spilled the beans to Digital Spy, revealing plans for a poignant homage to both Zak and Steve, honouring his monumental impact on the series.

A funeral will be taking place for the character
Sophie admitted crafting the funeral scenes was “very difficult for a lot of people who work on our show and a lot of our viewers who have grown and loved Zak for many, many years. But there’ll be a hugely fitting tribute for such an iconic character coming up.”

Now, the rumour mill is in overdrive with fans deducing that an Emmerdale icon could return for the tear-jerking farewell. Fans on an Emmerdale online forum pointed out it “makes sense” for Zak’s granddaughter Debbie Dingle to reappear for the occasion.Emmerdale

Fans reckon Debbie will be back
Debbie, played by Charley Webb, was a staple on Emmerdale, first appearing in 2002. However, in 2021, Debbie left the Dales and is currently residing in Scotland with Zak.

Fans, however, believe this could change soon. One fan speculated on a forum: “I hope Debbie comes back to break the news.

“It would be fitting for the Dingles to be told, properly, (not by phone) of Zak’s passing. And as many previous cast to attend the funeral, as possible.”

Another agreed, saying: “I totally agree,” while a third added: “I hated Debbie, but in this instance it makes sense and is fitting she should return if not to break the news, but to bring Zak’s body back to the village.

“It would also be nice if Jacqueline Chadwick reprised her role as Tina, having heard of Zak’s death returned for the funeral.”

This house is only 27 sq. ft. but when you see the inside you’ll want it!
A third fan chimed in: “It’d make no sense if Debbie didn’t return, considering that’s where Zak is supposed to be. Perhaps she’ll return as a tribute to Steve.”

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