Emmerdale actor, Dale Meeks has died from heart failure at the age of just 47.
He played Simon Meredith on the popular TV soap from 2003 to 2006 after starring in BBC drama Byker Grove as a leader of Denton Burn.
His family announced the devastating news on Facebook last night and wrote: “So unbelievably sad.
“Brother in Law, mucca, side kick and just the BEST friend a lad could have wished for. RIP Dale Meeks. So much less to laugh about now you’re not there to share it with.
“Thanks everyone for all the beautiful messages and memories you have been sharing.
“The support of Dale’s friends has been so incredibly strong over these chaotic, heartbreaking final hours, I can only stand in awe.”
Since the news, tributes have flooded in for the late actor.
TV hosts Ant and Dec who played PJ and Duncan in Byker Grove, led tributes.
We are so incredibly sorry to hear the very sad news of Dale’s passing. He was the loveliest of guys, even though he was a Denton ‘Burner’, the the arch nemesis of the Byker ‘Grovers’! A sad loss at such a young age. RIP Dale. Sleep well bonny lad ?https://t.co/2NIG6AtI2i
— antanddec (@antanddec) April 23, 2023
Dale’s brother, Philip Meeks the South Shields actor, said Dale was due to celebrate his 49th birthday on the day of King’s coronation on May 6.
He died at South Tyneside hospital in Newcastle on Saturday April 22nd.
Fellow South Tyneside actor, Stephen Sullivan also paid tribute.
He wrote: ““He was such a talent and had so much more to give.
“He was loved and respected more than he knew. The last time I worked with him was an absolute joy. It hasn’t sunk in yet and today has been somewhat of a blur.
“Dale, you will be dearly missed, you had a heart as big as your talent and a sense of humour and laugh bigger than both!”