Emmerdale airs touching tribute to Annie Sugden as she makes final return

Emmerdale aired some moving scenes tonight as Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins) returned her late nan Annie Sugden to the farm that was her life.

Sheila Mercier passed away last year and Victoria got the news a while back that Annie – mother of her late father Jack – had died.

In recent scenes, Annie’s will revealed that Victoria had received much of the land on which Moira’s (Natalie J Robb) Butler’s Farm sits.

Moira was frightened that Victoria planned to sell to a developer but after some soul searching, Victoria visited her and told her that her gran wouldn’t have wanted to rake in money from the land that was always the Sugdens’ home.

Telling Moira that she is happy to keep things as they are – and she might also be interested in learning the farming trade herself – Victoria seemed at peace with her decision and Moira was relieved to be able to continue the farm which is the legacy of the Sugden clan.

Later, Victoria took the urn of Annie’s ashes out onto the field and reminisced about the older days before saying a touching goodbye and welcoming Annie home to where she belongs one last time as she scattered the ashes.

Sheila died peacefully in her sleep at the age of 100. She last appeared in Emmerdale for the funeral of Jack Sugden after Clive Hornby’s passing.

At the time, a spokesperson for the soap said: ‘It’s always sad to hear of the death of an actor who played a significant part in Emmerdale’s success. Even more so when that actor was in the very first episode and around whose family the show was built.

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‘Annie Sugden embodied all the virtues of Yorkshire – she was hard working, resilient, determined, down to earth and didn’t suffer fools gladly. Sheila had many of those qualities too, putting the needs of the programme above her own and always delivering a great performance come rain or shine. She will be greatly missed.’

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