Emmerdale bosses have given us time to prepare ourselves for this one, having revealed Lisa Dingle’s (Jane Cox) terminal illness last month in heartbreaking episodes. But what comes next no one can prepare for.

While they are currently keeping tight-lipped on exactly when we’ll be losing Lisa, it won’t be far off as she and Zak (Steve Halliwell) will be exchanging vows in a last minute ceremony.

But when Lisa does eventually pass away, there will be a huge hole in the family and the Dingles will be searching for a new head of the family. Actress Jane Cox thinks she knows who will fill her shoes.

‘I don’t think Lisa has thought about passing on the mantel but I think Lydia is a prime person for that,’ she told metro.co.uk. ‘I can see her and Sam in that role. Lydia has a similar maternal feeling to her character as Lisa, and the actress is wonderful, her and Jim Hooten together are fantastic.

‘I’d like to see Lydia and Sam more prominent and little Samson is so good, I’ve thought that when I’ve watched it. Lydia has that kind of empathy as a character.’

Lisa isn’t even cold and she’s already being replaced! Sob.

Actor Steve Halliwell also revealed what’s next in store for Zak after losing for wife, and one thing he’s assured is that he won’t be replacing Lisa in his love life.

‘For myself, I think not,’ he said. ‘Like myself, the stress of another relationship, I’m single in my life now and don’t particularly want to have a new one to one relationship, it’s too taxing! Zak will be in a similar frame of mind, “I’ll just look after my family, go down the pub and have a quiet life”.’

He added that Zak won’t cope well when Lisa does eventually die, as the show will explore his bereavement.

‘Not well,’ he said when asked how Zak will cope with the death. ‘The finality of death is something we all experience at some point sadly, but it’s good to show loving people and one of them dying will happen to the vast majority of people.

‘If you live long enough you’re going to lose somebody, so to explore bereavement is a good thing for the millions watching.’

‘He’ll have to find a way,’ he added. ‘Like most of us you’ve got to think about the family there are still people who need you. I’m sure that’ll be part of it. But he has had his nervous breakdowns himself I’m not sure what they’ll do, we’ll see.’

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