Emmerdale fans left in tears as Sam Dingle star issues emotional update on co-star

When Steve Halliwell’s death was first reported in December 2023, Emmerdale fans were devastated.

Yesterday morning, James Hooton, star of Sam Dingle, revealed that he had attended Steve Halliwell’s funeral, leaving Emmerdale fans in tears. Along with the rest of the Dingle family, Steve was the father of Sam Dingle and portrayed the endearing Zak Dingle for 29 years.

In February 1995, James, then 21 years old, signed on to the ITV soap opera. Being a member of the Dingle family has not been without its challenges. Sam has participated in a number of shady operations, including an armed robbery in 1998 with his Uncle Albert Digle (Bobby Knutt), which resulted in their capture and imprisonment by the authorities.

He soon left the soap opera for two years, came back in 2000, and has been a main character ever since.

James recently revealed that he had attended Steve’s funeral on his X accounts, which were formerly Twitter, which moved fans to tears for the celebrity.

James shared a photo of Sam and Zak seated together on social media with the following caption: “So yesterday we said goodbye to this iconic Emmerdale legend!”

“It was this man, Steve Halliwell, that I worked with on that day, January 10, 1995, and today is the 29th anniversary of that day.”

“Rest in peace, Steve. I miss you. Ritharsoil, too, of course. (Jokingly, Dingle).” (sic)

@mikepriestley13 wrote in a comment below the photo, “We’re sorry for your loss; we’ll miss him. And happy Sam Dingle’s 29th birthday.”

@StrawberryAsd remarked: “Memories from 29 years of Emmerdale! Steve Halliwell was a true legend who left an indelible mark on the trip. Steve, please go to sleep comfortably. Your influence endures! James, you have my love and best wishes for Dingle. #Emmerdale #IconicMemories.”

@ShenaDunican wrote: “A legend has left Emmerdale. RIIP Sreve/Zak. Happy anniversary James, love you as Sam. I hope you stay here for an additional 29 years. From Ireland, with love.”

As mentioned by @Sueosullivan8, “He will be so missed.”

“Steve will be missed; my thoughts are with all of his family and friends,” said @kelwell16. Where have they disappeared, James? I remember when you first joined, 29 years ago. Continue the fantastic work.

“Such a great actor, he really was brilliant in Emmerdale, he is going to be so missed,” wrote Michelle Wright. (sic)

In December 2023, Steve’s family made the announcement of his death at the age of 77. An ITV representative then released a statement regarding his passing.

“Emmerdale can confirm with great sadness and a heavy heart that our beloved Zak Dingle, Steve Halliwell, has passed away peacefully,” the statement read.

“His family, friends, and loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers during this extremely trying time, and we kindly ask that their privacy be respected while they process his loss.

“Forever, Emmerdale will be associated with Steve. The head of the Dingle family and a proud defender.

“Heart and humour in all he did, it has been and always will be impossible not to smile when you think of him.”

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