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Emmerdale's Tony Audenshaw on how late wife told children she had terminal cancer

The soap star lost his wife Ruth in April this year

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Gemma Strong
Gemma StrongOnline Digital News Director
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Emmerdale actor Tony Audenshaw has bravely spoken about the loss of his wife Ruth during an appearance on Lorraine. The 53-year-old star, who plays Bob Hope on the ITV soap, praised 43-year-old Ruth for her bravery throughout her two-year battle with pancreatic cancer, and admitted one of the biggest challenges they faced was breaking the news to their two children, George, 22, and 20-year-old Em. "We were really open with the kids from the start," Tony said. "At first they didn't know if it was cancer or just a benign tumour. Then she had a biopsy taken and we were told in no uncertain terms that it was inoperable, third stage cancer." He continued: "We knew the prognosis, it was six to 12 months. It was a terrible prognosis. And we had to tell the kids."

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tony audenshaw lorraine© Photo: Rex

Emmerdale actor Tony Audenshaw spoke about the tragic death of his wife during an appearance on Lorraine

The star, who was married to Ruth for 24 years, also praised Emmerdale for the support he received throughout his wife's cancer battle. "ITV has been fantastic with me," he said. "There were certain storylines I should have been in, but I'd call up the day before and say, 'Look, I can't come in tomorrow'. They were like, 'That's real life, don't worry, we will sort it out'."

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Speaking earlier this month to the Mirror, Tony revealed how his family came together following Ruth's diagnosis. "We spent loads of time together and that made us even closer as a family," he said. "I don't know where I'd have been over the last year without the kids. It's unbearable to think about it." Following the death of his wife, Tony is now working with Pancreatic Cancer UK to try and raise awareness of symptoms to promote early diagnosis. "Ruth knew it was too late for her, but she wanted to help others," he said.