Charley Webb confirms permanent Emmerdale departure

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Longtime Emmerdale star Charley Webb has confirmed she has exited the show amid speculation about her reasons for leaving the ITV soap.

The 33-year-old last appeared as Debbie Dingle back in February 2021, with her character having moved to Scotland in 2019, when Charley gave birth to her third child.

Since then, her real-life husband and sometime co-star Matthew Wolfenden has been accused of making inappropriate comments on set - prompting reports she had quit following the controversy.

However, Charley, who joined the show in 2002, has insisted leaving Emmerdale was always part of her plan, and she only returned to help writers and producers conclude a storyline.

"This is always my most asked question but I've never answered it before because I've never wanted to make a big deal of it," she wrote on her Instagram Stories alongside a picture of her family on Monday.

"I left to have (son) Ace 2 years ago. I went back at the end of last year for 10 weeks to complete a storyline," she explained. "So, I guess officially it's been a year. I never felt the need to announce it which is why we didn't."

Before Matthew, 41, who plays David Metcalfe in the farm-based soap, hit the headlines, he had indicated his wife might return to Emmerdale once the Covid-19 crisis had passed.

But last month, a show spokesperson said there were "no plans" for Charley to return as Debbie.

Matthew was caught up in a complaint that an inappropriate comment was allegedly made to a mixed-race actress. He and co-star Isabel Hodgins faced claims that the actress's accent was mimicked. The pair categorically denied any wrongdoing and he returned to filming in December.

A source had told The Sun newspaper that the race row had "fuelled" Charley's decision not to return to Emmerdale Farm.

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