Emmerdale logo with Belle and Zak smiling

How Emmerdale explains Zak Dingle’s absence from Belle’s wedding after Steve Halliwell’s death

The beloved actor died last year

Emmerdale star Eden Taylor-Draper has revealed how Zak Dingle’s absence from Belle’s wedding will be explained following the death of actor Steve Halliwell.

The soap legend died in December last year. He had been battling multiple health issues for some time, leading to an extended absence from the soap.

And over in the famous Dales at the moment, Zak’s daughter Belle, played by Eden Taylor-Draper, is gearing up to wed her beau Tom King (James Chase). However, there will be two notable faces missing from her special day – including beloved dad Zak.

Belle is set to marry Tom on Emmerdale (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale Belle set to marry Tom

Steve died in December following a stay in hospital – and the soap paid tribute to him at the time by dedicating an episode to him. His character Zak has been mentioned a few times on the show since. Belle’s on-screen mum Lisa Dingle (Jane Cox) also sadly died in 2019 – when the soap killed her off after nearly 23 years.

But as Zak’s daughter Belle prepares to marry Tom, fans may be wondering how the soap will explain Zak’s absence.

Zak looking upset on Emmerdale
Actor Steve passed away last year (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale’s Zak ‘hurt his back’

Zak was last seen on Emmerdale in June last year. And in episodes this week, Belle is informed that her dad won’t be able to make her wedding.

“Obviously Lisa isn’t here anymore but Zak is in Scotland with Debbie and has hurt his back so can’t travel,” actor Eden revealed. She added: “Belle finds this out pretty last minute, that Zak is definitely not going to be there. And has a freak out and says let us call the wedding off.”

Eden went on: “As obviously his attendance means so much to her but then Tom explains that his parents aren’t there either so he says let us focus on us – this is about our day and how they are all there in spirit. So in the end she is fine with it but obviously it is a huge deal for her.”

Steve Halliwell died in December, 2023

Mid-December 2023, Steve Halliwell sadly died after battling with his health for some time.

Soap fans were devastated by the news, after watching Steve play the Dingle legend, Zak, since 1994. As a special tribute to the late actor, ITV dedicated an episode of the soap to him.

Read more: Emmerdale spoilers tonight: Belle wants to cancel the wedding

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Joey Crutchley
Freelance Writer