Is the legendary soap character Annie Sugden about to make a return to the Yorkshire Dales?

Reports over the weekend claim that legendary Emmerdale character Annie ‘Ma’ Sugden could return to the soap for several episodes next year and an ITV insider reveals to the ATV News team that Annie isn’t the only characters bosses hope to bring back.

The tabloid reports suggest Emmerdale bosses had managed to lure back Shelia Mercier to the soap to reprise her role of Matriarch Annie Sugden. Shelia was an original cast member of Emmerdale Farm when it launched in 1972 and stayed with the Yorkshire soap until 1993. She made appearances in 1994, 1995 and 1996 before departing permanently. Mercier has not appeared in the soap since but reports now claim the actress has been asked back to the Leeds based programme.

If the information published in the newspaper is correct Mercier will return to Emmerdale as the former show matriarch for the funeral of her son Jack Sugden which is rumoured to take place early next year. Mericer has agreed to film three episodes for the soap which, according to a source, will be filmed in December. The Emmerdale press office declined to confirm or deny the reports that appeared over the weekend.

Annie Sugden isn’t the only character bosses are hoping to bring back for the proposed funeral of Jack, according to an ITV insider. Our source told us that Anita Turner, the Emmerdale producer, hopes to bring back Kathy, Robert Sugden and Matt and Dolly Skillbeck. According to our insider the actors have been approached regarding their return although none have yet confirmed. If however, they do confirm, the scriptwriters are hoping to keep Kathy and the Skillbecks in the soap for more than the inital three episodes, although how long isn’t clear and is unlikely to be decided until the actors behind the characters commit to the programme.

Jack Sugden actor Clive Hornby died in July this year after a battle with illness. The actor had already been temporarily written out of the soap due to his illness.

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