ITV aired an emotional goodbye to actress Sally Dexter as her on-screen character Faith Dingle died last night.
The death marked the end of an era as the Emmerdale character was first introduced 20 years ago through actress Gillian Jephcott.
Faith Dingle’s final scenes were aired on Thursday, October 13
Sally Dexter has portrayed Faith Dingle since 2017
But did you know the character was originally played by Gillian Jephcott?
The actress was seen in the Dales from 2000 to 2004
West End star Sally Dexter bowed out of the ITV soap as Faith Dingle ended her life on her own terms on Thursday night.
Her on-screen son Cain, portrayed by Jeff Hordley, walked in on her after realising what she was planning to do and the episode ended in floods of tears.
Sally Dexter has been a familiar face in the Dales since 2017, reprising the role from Gillian Jephcott who was originally cast as the character from 2000 to 2004.
Much like her former on-screen alter ego, Gillian has remained busy since her departure from the titular village, 18 years ago – and is worlds away from Yorkshire and the Woolpack.
During her four-year stint in the soap, the actress appeared in rival program Coronation Street.
She was seen in the cobbles in August, 2001, slipping into the uniform of harsh and uncaring prison officer Carol Glover who was tasked with taking care of Hayley Cropper, incarcerated for kidnapping abused foster child Wayne Hayes.
Once she waved the Dales goodbye, Gillian went on to appear in other popular TV shows in the likes of Doctors, Cutting It and Heartbeat.
She rekindled with the medical drama genre in 2011 as her credits also include an episode of Monroe.
Although her career on the box features many roles, Gillian is also a successful stage actress and radio personality.
She has starred in an on-stage production titled I Want That Hair, which followed the lives of three friends in a hair salon.
Both Faith Dingle actresses ended up face to face during a soap quiz in 2021 and, according to The Mirror, Gillian joked to Sally: “Well you know if you’re ever poorly, I’m here. Understudy.”
However, Gillian has more or less kept a low profile while Sally Dexter, 62, has mentioned how much she enjoys portraying Faith in Emmerdale.
During an appearance on Lorraine, in 2021, the actress said that Faith “cheers me up even at my darkest hours.”
“I look at Faith’s script and she just cheers me up and that’s what I hope gets passed on to the audience as well”, Sally said about her bold and cheeky character.
Sally had also spoken about Faith’s outfits, another delight for her.
“I have absolutely no dress sense myself so it is fantastic to go in and see these incredible clothes lined up on the rack there – it is brilliant.”
Sally, a brunette, has also joked she had always wanted to see herself as a blonde, much like Gillian.
But what’s next in store for Faith as she continues to keep her cancer a secret from her children Chas and Cain?
Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.
Gillian left the Dales in 2004, allowing Sally Dexter to reprise her role 13 years later
She has since appeared in other popular shows and on stage