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Leah Bracknell's widower marks anniversary of her death with emotional tribute

Her heartbroken husband appeared on Loose Women

Jenni McKnight

It's been one year since former Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell tragically lost her battle with cancer.

To mark the anniversary of her death, her heartbroken widower Jez Hughes paid an emotional tribute to her on Tuesday's Loose Women.

Leah, who played Zoe Tate in the ITV soap, died aged 55 in September 2019 after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in 2016.

MORE: Leah Bracknell's heartbroken husband pays tribute to his 'soul mate'

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WATCH: Leah Bracknell's widower pays emotional tribute to late wife on the anniversary of her death

Speaking to panellists Coleen Nolan, Brenda Edwards, Jane Moore and Carol McGiffin, Jez admitted it had been an "emotional" week.

Reacting to a clip of Leah on Loose Women in 2017, Jez said: "It's been a year last week [since her death]. Hearing Ali there is profoundly emotional and intense. Amazing amounts of pride.

Jez revealed that to help him with his grief over losing his wife, he has been watching old episodes of Emmerdale to feel close to her.

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Leah lost her battle with cancer in September 2019

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He explained: "It helps me connect with her. Yes, that is before I knew her but obviously it meant so much to her.

"It feels important to connect with that part of her. There's moments, if there's an emotional scene in the programme I know those moments, I know those facial expressions, that touches somewhere deep inside me."

But Jez confessed that he struggles with feelings of "guilt" for trying to move on with his life.

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Leah Bracknell's heartbroken husband paid tribute to the late star

"Living life again brings things like guilt," Jez said. "Grief can hit you suddenly and in some ways that's harder.

"I think grief is about finding beauty. Life can be very cruel... it's about trying to find the beauty in that and that's what Ali did with the whole facing cancer."

Leah quietly married Jez six months after they learnt that her cancer was incurable and inoperable in 2016.

He added: "She was incredible she never moaned she never said 'why me'."

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