EMMERDALE stars send congratulations to super-fan who beat coronavirus in a heart-rending video.
Barbara Frain, 62, was being treated in intensive care at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield while battling the deadly virus.
After being put in an induced coma and needing a tracheotomy, super-fan Barbara has been discharged and is ready to catch up on all the Emmerdale she’s missed.
However, she got an extra surprise as Lisa Riley – who plays Mandy Dingle – and Michelle Hardwick – who plays Vanessa Woodfiled – recorded a message for her.
Lisa said in a video obtained by the BBC: “Hi Barbara, it’s Lisa Riley here. Listen, I’ve just read your story. You have been so poorly, five weeks in hospital.
“You’ve been in a really tough, tough place but you’ve come the other side of it. You’ve been strong, you’ve got through it.
“And I hear from a little birdie that Emmerdale has been recorded, so you’ve got quite a lot to catch up on.
“Well, let me tell you, there’s loads of drama, loads of comedy, tragedy as always with Emmerdale for you to look forward to.
“We’re so happy that you have come out of the other side. These are the stories we want to keep hold of.
“So Barbara, from myself and all my lovely Dingle family, can I say, loads of love, stay strong, and keep fighting, we’re so proud of you.”
Michelle also sent her well wishes, adding: “Hi Barbara, it’s Michelle Hardwick here, I play Vanessa Woodfield in Emmerdale.
“I’m so sorry to hear you have been so, so ill with the coronavirus. But I am over the moon that you are back home home now and recovering well.
“I’m just sending all my love to you and all your family. Put your feet up and catch up with Emmerdale. Lots of love to you.”
Barbara will be pleased to have so many episodes saved as the ITV soap will run out of episodes by mid-May.
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ITV boss Kevin Lygo revealed that actors could be tested for coronavirus when they return to set during a (virtual) chat at the Edinburgh Television Festival.
He also said that older actors will be protected for longer so characters like Eric Pollard, played by 71-year-old Chris Chittell, could be written out for a while.
Soap bosses could maintain social distancing on set by using camera trickery to make actors look closer than they really are.
He said we’ll also see more two-handers – episodes based entirely around two characters to minimise footfall in the studio.
The coronavirus pandemic forced the soap to halt filming last month and its weekly TV schedule was reduced to prolong its run until more episodes can be shot.