26/04/2016 16:40 BST | Updated 26/04/2016 16:54 BST

‘Emmerdale’ Spoiler: Soap Bosses Reveal Edna Birch Farewell Storyline

Actress Shirley Stelfox died in December 2015.

‘Emmerdale’ bosses have revealed how they will be paying tribute to Shirley Stelfox, who played Edna Birch in the soap until her death in December 2015.

Shirley died following a short battle with cancer, and the soap’s team have now put together scenes that will see the news of her character Edna’s death reach the Dales.

ITV Pictures

Vicar Ashley Thomas will deliver the news to the village, after receiving a call from the hospital to inform him that Edna had died.

He then tells his family and friends, which also means revealing that he knew Edna had been secretly battling an illness.

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Sandy is left stunned

Freddie Jones, who plays Ashley’s dad Sandy, has revealed how the news will affect his character, stating (via Digital Spy): "There's quite a serious argument where Sandy says that Ashley should have told him. Ashley explains his reasons, but Sandy is furious. It's a heavy scene.

"Edna's friendship was very important to Sandy. We had some very good scenes together.”

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Shirley Stelfox

Shirley’s death came as a shock to fans, who have enjoyed watching her battleaxe character take on many of the villager's toughest crooks, since arriving in 2000.

‘Emmerdale’ stars past and present rushed to pay tribute to Shirley following her death, including Anthony Quinlan, who plays Pete Barton.

He wrote:So sad that Shirley Stelfox passed away. She was a real character! I was lucky enough to know and act alongside this remarkable woman x.”

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