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Emmerdale fans could see Vanessa Woodfield (played by Michelle Hardwick) die off-screen this autumn as bowel cancer steals her life decades before she should pass. It comes after tonight’s episode which saw Vanessa’s partner, Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) discuss her fiancé’s chemotherapy treatment and why she was absent from the village. Could disaster strike for the beloved couple later this year?
With not all of the cast and crew returning to filming, some characters have been absent from scenes.
One of those is Vanessa, and the village vet was mentioned during this evening’s instalment, but not seen.
Initially Emmerdale viewers were told Charity was unable to man the bar because she had to pick Vanessa up from the hospital.
The next time she was seen was alone in her own cottage, when Tracy Metcalfe (Amy Walsh) knocked on the door.
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“Hey, Vanessa’s not in right now,” Charity explained.
“I know she’s not, it’s you I’ve come to see,” Vanessa’s sister replied.
“So, she’s gone to her mums for a while yes?” Tracy asked and Charity snapped back: “I suppose you think I’ve not been looking after her properly?”
“Why would I be thinking that? I know how much you love her, I know how hard you’ve been trying,” Tracy remarked.
“Obviously not enough!” A tearful Charity exclaimed.
“Or, maybe, she was thinking you need a break as well?” Viewers saw Tracy reason.
“It’s been tough for both of you! Look, she knows how much you love her, she knows how much you’ll be there for her as soon as she needs it, as will I!
“And it might surprise you to know, I’ll be there for you too. If you need it,” She continued.
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“Why would I need it, I’m not the one who’s ill. I’m just a barmaid who’s go a pub to run,” Charity added.
“You don’t always have to play it tough you know, I know how much this is breaking you,” Tracy soothed.
“And I also know, how much you’ll be missing her, so just call. If you ever need to talk.”
And with that, Tracy left a very emotional Charity alone.
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No one knows the outcome of Vanessa’s storyline; she was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer earlier this year and was referred for surgery immediately.
But the cancer had spread, hence the extensive rounds of chemotherapy she is enduring.
The actress who plays Vanessa is currently pregnant with her first baby, so a death off screen could be possible in order for Michelle to go on maternity leave.
Emmerdale airs Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm on ITV.
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