Emmerdale stars share touching tributes to co-star following death

Current and former Emmermale cast members have paid heart-warming tributes to co-star Meg Johnson, who died on July 1 after a battle with dementia at 86 years old.

Lisa Riley, who plays Mandy Dingle, tweeted: “You are the true meaning of the words-wonderful woman. Your energy lives on, because you were so very special!”

She said that Meg, who portrayed Pearl Laddeerbanks between 2003 and 2020, had taught her “discipline, respect, comedy, and how not to take life to seriously.”

Fan-favourite Danny Miller, who played Aaron Dingle, said he was “truly devastated” to hear about the actress’ death and noted she would be fondly remembered by the cast.

“Pearl was a fair way to describe our lovely Meg,” he tweeted. “The creator of ‘pigs bum!!’ – should she ever forget her lines, and a loved soul throughout the building.

“Shared many laughs with her and Dominic on set.” Bernice Blackstock actress Samantha Giles tweeted: “So sad to learn of lovely Meg Johnson’s passing … She was such fun and I particularly remember her famous saying when she got her lines wrong; ‘oh pig’s bum’.”

Gemma Oaten, who played Rachel Breckle between 2011 and 2015 wrote: “Sending so much love to the @‌emmerdale family and family of the late and great Meg Johnson.

“A beautiful woman inside and out, who was always so kind to me during my #Emmerdale days.” Michelle Hardwick, who played Vanessa Woodfield called the late star “one of a kind”.

“Meg was absolutely one of a kind. A talented, funny, warm lady who everyone adored. I’m so very grateful I got to spend so much time with her", she said.

A former producer on the soap said Meg was part of a “gift” cast and was part of one of the series' big storylines in 2007, when Len Reynolds (Peter Martin) died.

Katherine Beedles said: “I adored Meg Johnson on and off screen. Such a kind and funny lady. She was key in my most proud Emmerdale moment – Len’s passing. What a gift of a cast we had then. Such sad news.”

In a statement on her death, her family, agency, Jorg Betts Associates, and ITV said: "It is with great sadness that we announce that actress Meg Johnson passed away peacefully yesterday evening surrounded by her family.

"Meg was a kind and wonderful lady, full of warmth and always with a twinkle in her eye. Meg had an outstanding career that ended with her playing Pearl Ladderbanks in Emmerdale from 2003.

"Meg had dementia for the last few years, but battled on personally and professionally regardless. She will be greatly missed by everyone who knew her."

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