Emmerdale-Zak-Dingle

Emmerdale's Zak Dingle actor opens up about secret health scare

He has been absent from the show for five months

Chloe Best

Emmerdale actor Steve Halliwell, who plays Zak Dingle in the ITV soap, has revealed he was rushed to hospital for a serious heart operation in September. The 64-year-old has missed five months of work following the health scare, which saw him have a pacemaker fitted, but revealed he will return to filming in the next few weeks.

"I’m back at work in a few weeks and feeling fitter than ever after having a pacemaker fitted in September. It’s done me the world of good and I feel fantastic," Steve told The Sun, revealing his co-stars had supported him throughout his recovery.

Steve Halliwell revealed he had a pacemaker fitted in September

"Emmerdale have been brilliant throughout and really looked after me. I did have to spend some time in hospital and it was really funny to see the entire Dingle clan around my bed," he said. "Everyone has been so considerate and I know it sounds a bit of a cliche, but we really are one big happy family."

STORY: See the latest Emmerdale spoilers

Steve is Emmerdale’s second longest-serving cast member after joining the soap in 1994. He plays the head of the Dingle family, and fans have been speculating about what happened to his character following his absence since September. However, despite his health struggles, Steve said he is looking forward to returning to filming, and has some "great storylines" lined up.

Steve has played Zak Dingle since 1994

The actor has been playing Zak for almost 25 years, but took a brief break from the soap in 2003 to spend more time with his friends and family. He will be making his return at a promising time for the long-running soap; Emmerdale achieved huge success at the National Television Awards on Tuesday, beating rivals Coronation Street and EastEnders to win the Serial Drama award, while actor James Moore was named Best Newcomer.

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