FAITH Dingle has become an iconic character during her time in the Dales.

Sally Dexter, 62, has played her on and off since 2017 but bowed out of the role for good in heartbreaking scenes on Thursday night.

Here's everything you need to know about why the actress has left Emmerdale.

Why has Sally Dexter left Emmerdale?

Sally took over the role of Faith in 2017 and was on screen until 2019 before departing the show.

She returned last year and the actress knew from the off how things would end, with bosses seemingly being the ones to decide Faith's fate.

She revealed: "I always knew Faith was coming back to die. My idea was to have her save Cain and Chas from some sort of attack in the Woolie – say from a bullet or a knife aimed at her children from a crazed intruder!

"I could picture her sliding down the side of the bar, with Cain and Chas declaring her a heroine!

"But the story Jane [Hudson, executive producer] and the team wanted was a far more important and difficult one to tell.

"I only hope we have done as much justice as we could."

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What happened to Faith Dingle?

For the last few months, Faith has been battling cancer and after being told it was terminal, she decided to end her own life.

Throughout the episode, Faith spent quality time with loved ones including daughter Chas, (Lucy Pargeter) daughter-in-law Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb), friends Diane Sugden (Elisabeth Estensen) and Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell) , grandson Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter) and great-granddaughter Sarah Sugden (Katie Hill), who she supported during her own health battle years earlier.

Faith reached over to her handbag and began to unpack a variety of tablets and medicine bottles.

She also pulled out Sarah’s photos of the seaside day as she looks through them.

During a chat with Sarah, Moria noticed she was wearing a locket that Faith said she would give to her ‘when she was in her box’ leading Moria to have her suspicions aroused. 

As Moira and Cain headed to the pub in a panic, they discover an extremely poorly Faith in bed. 

Having seemingly taken an overdose, Faith initially whispered to the pair: “Go… please.”

A worried Cain insisted on calling an ambulance but an extremely ill Faith told him not to, asking him to ‘let her go’. 

Cain comforted a dying Faith in bed as they recounted the happy memories of the previous day. 

Faith slipped further and further away as she remained in her son’s arms as she took her final breath. 

 What has Sally said about her exit scenes?

Speaking about Faith's final scenes, Sally said: "I found it really quite poignant to film, I knew it meant Faith's time in Emmerdale was up, and so was mine…

"I have enjoyed being back. I will miss the laughter, the fabulous Yorkshire countryside and the skill, talent and dedication of the whole team of people I respect, admire and have huge affection for.

"I’m hugely sad that Faith can’t return. If you spot me on the street you might recognise me wearing a few items!”

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