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Emmerdale's Claire King says 'cancer is nature's payback for mistreating planet'


Claire King has claimed that cancer is simply “nature’s payback for mistreating the planet”.

The Emmerdale star’s comment comes just over a year after her former co-star Leah Bracknell died following a battle with lung cancer.

And Claire, 58, admits the disease became a “poignant” part of her life after Leah’s tragic death.

The star – who plays Kim Tate on the soap – says Leah’s death made her focus on her own health as she claimed that people “aren’t doing themselves any good” with their treatment of our planet.

“Cancer hits one in two, which is just horrendous. I think that’s a lot to do with how we are treating the planet. We’ve mistreated the planet and this is nature’s payback,” Claire told OK! magazine.



Emmerdale's Claire King
Claire King has claimed that cancer is “nature’s payback for mistreating the planet”

“We’re not doing ourselves any good – says she who drinks and smokes – but we’ve all got to play our part in this and it becomes very poignant when you lose a good friend,” Claire said.

Claire added: “Everyone who knew her knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of when. Unfortunately she’s not the first of my friends and she won’t be the last.

“And particularly now with this awful coronavirus, we’ve lost more people.”

Leah played Zoe Tate on the ITV soap for more than 16 years before she was diagnosed with stage four terminal lung cancer.



Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell
Leah Bracknell died following a battle with lung cancer in 2019

The actress died from cancer aged 55 in October 2019.

Fans helped her raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment.

Her acting career saw the star appear in the Yorkshire farming drama from 1989 to 2005.

Her character became the first lesbian to feature regularly in a British soap when she came out as gay in 1993 – a year before actress Anna Friel’s first lesbian kiss in Brookside on Channel 4.



Claire King (second to left) played Kim Tate on Emmerdale, while Leah Bracknell (far right) played Zoe Tate
Claire King (second to left) played Kim Tate on Emmerdale, while Leah Bracknell (far right) played Zoe Tate

Tate was involved in a series of dramas in Emmerdale including a three way catfight at her wedding, struggles with mental health, alcoholism, shooting dead her half brother and an affair with her brother’s fiance.

She left the show spectacularly in 2005, blowing up her former family home which she had been tricked into selling.

The scene earned her the Best Exit award at the British Soap Awards.

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