Ex Emmerdale star returns to home stage in Calendar Girls

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FORMER Emmerdale Star Deena Payne will be returning to Leeds this month to star in Calendar Girls at Leeds Grand Theatre.

Spofforth-based Deena will be reprising the part of single mother Cora in the stage play which is based on the true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research in April 1999.

Deena played character Viv Windsor in one of the soaps’s longest-serving characters until she was killed off in the soap in January 2011.

And now the actress, who is currently touring with the show, says she is looking forward to performing in her home town of Leeds at the end of the month.

She said: “I play Cora in the show, who is an ex-rock chick and vicar’s daughter.

“It’s nice to play someone away from Viv, whose character was all about short-skirts and long hair.”

“I am quite happy doing stage work and I did musical theatre before Emmerdale so it is nice to have that balance. I wouldn’t rule out TV work in the future though.”

Calendar Girls will be performed by Deena and other cast members at Leeds Grand Theatre from March 26 and 31.

Calendar Girls has raised over £3 million for Leukaemia and Lymphoma since the original calendar in 1999.

The new calendar is available through the charity’s website at beatbloodcancershop.com. For show tickets call the Box office on 0844 848 2700.