Emmerdale star declares love for co-star as she bids farewell to soap

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Emmerdale star Fiona Wade is departing the dales to explore other opportunities. The actress, 43, has played Priya Sharma for 11 years and is now ready for the next step in her career.

Sharing a snap of the two pals together, Rebecca Sarker, 48, who plays Priya’s step mum Manpreet Sharma, thanked her co-star for being “so welcoming”.

She captioned the photo: “Dearest @fionawade1. Thank you for welcoming me so warmly into your family, both fictional and real-life.”

Fiona warmly replied: “My beautiful sister. Thank you for being by my side throughout! Family always [heart emoji]. I love you xxx.”

The women were joined by Unforgotten actress Nicola Wheeler and Bernice Blackstock actress Samantha Giles for a goodbye drink, as they posed with their arms around each other.

Fiona has filmed her final episodes after quitting the role – with Priya off to London for a new job.

Issuing a statement about her time on the soap, she said: “It’s been the most incredible 11 years playing Priya Sharma so saying goodbye to my Emmerdale family wasn’t easy.

“I have loved playing Priya and I am so thankful to @emmerdale and @ itv for the incredible opportunities they have given me over so many years.”

Thanking the cast and crew who helped make her final scenes memorable, Fiona added: “To my wonderful Sharma family… you know how much I love you.

“Thank you for everything! And to all the Emmerdale viewers, thank you for all your support over the years.

“Here’s to the next chapter!”

Describing her exit as “one of the hardest decisions” she has ever made, Fiona told Digital Spy: “Leaving my Emmerdale family is a big thing and it wasn’t easy filming my last scenes.”

She continued: “When you’ve been somewhere for that long and that’s your every day, it’s hard and feels sad.

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“But as every actor knows, you need to challenge yourself and that’s very important too.”

Fiona went on to describe the ITV soap as a “gift of a job” adding that there are “so many blessings” working in the Dales.

She said: “To be given a character that you can make yours, to have fantastic writers that enable you to grow in this amazing character.

“Plus, the friends you make and the experiences you have are invaluable.”

After her final scenes aired on Friday, her fans were left heartbroken.

In a video after on social media, she said: “I just finished filming my very last scene as Priya.”

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