Emmerdale original Faith Dingle star Gillian Jephcott 18 years after soap exit

Emmerdale favourite Faith Dingle is played by TV star Sally Dexter now but the character was actually originated by actress Gillian Jephcott.

Gillian starred as Faith in the ITV soap in 2000 and 2004, but when the character returned to the Dales in 2017, Sally was in the role.

Sally is now set to say goodbye to Faith Dingle in heartbreaking scenes as she breathes her final breath.

But what has the original Faith star been up to since her exit?

After making her debut in Emmerdale, Gillian also had a part on Coronation Street.

She played a tough prison officer back when the character Hayley Cropper was in jail accused of kidnapping.

Once she had waved goodbye to the Dales, the actress went on to be in television shows such as Doctors, Cutting It and Heartbeat. And in 2011 she was in an episode of medical drama series Monroe.

Gillian has also worked on the radio and she appeared on stage in a production entitled I Want That Hair, a comedy which was set inside a hair salon and followed the lives of three good friends.

Sally, 62, has played the role of the Dingle matriarch for five years and has previously said how much she gets out of playing the popular character.

Speaking on ITV's Lorraine last year, she said that her soap alter ego "cheers me up even at my darkest hours".

She told host Lorraine Kelly: "I look at Faith's script and she just cheers me up and that's what I hope gets passed on to the audience as well.

"She just cheers me up."

The actress also said she loved wearing Faith's outfits to shoot her scenes in the soap.

She explained: "I have absolutely no dress sense myself so it is fantastic to go in and see these incredible clothes lined up on the rack there – it is brilliant."

Last year the actresses actually came face to face when both took part in a soap quiz.

According to the Mirror, Gillian joked to Sally: "Well you know if you're ever poorly, I'm here. Understudy."

Sally, who has dark hair, joked back that she'd always wanted to try being blonde, like Gillian.

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV

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