Richard ThorpEmmerdale actor Richard Thorp has died aged 81. He played Alan Turner on the soap for over 30 years, gaining him the accolade of longest serving cast member.

Series producer Kate Oates said of the star’s death, ‘Richard’s death is a sad loss to Emmerdale, of which he was at the heart for so many wonderful years. Richard had a brilliant sense of humor and he will be missed by every single member of our production whose lives he touched.’

ITV also issued a statement on their website saying, ‘On behalf of the cast, crew and production team at Emmerdale, we are extremely sad to hear of Richard’s death. A pillar of the show, he will be greatly missed around the Emmerdale studios but will forever live on in all the wonderful memories we all have of him.

‘Richard was a true professional and a complete gentleman. His charm, wit and effortless grace will be sorely missed.’