ITV dedicates tonight's Emmerdale to Sandy Thomas actor Freddie Jones after he died aged 91

ITV dedicated tonight's Emmerdale to Sandy Thomas actor Freddie Jones after he died on Tuesday aged 91.

Viewers were touched by the broadcaster's moving tribute, which aired just before today's instalment of the ITV soap.

The voiceover said: "Now on ITV, with tonight's episode dedicated toFreddie Jones, who played Sandy Thomas, it's Emmerdale."

Taking to Twitter, fans praised the channel for the remark, with one writing: "Love that tonight's episode of Emmerdale is dedicated to Freddie Jones."

Another added: "Dedicated to Freddie Jones" alongside a sad face emoji.

It was announced yesterday that 'Dales icon Freddie had passed away following a short illness.

His agent, Lesley Duff, said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that I can confirm the death of Freddie Jones.

"He passed away on the evening of July 9 after a short illness.

"Freddie was a much loved and admired actor, known for his triumphs in classical theatre, film and television.

"He will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him and most especially his family."

A rep for Emmerdale added: "Everyone at Emmerdale is deeply sad to hear about the death of one of the show's most brilliant actors and favourite human beings, Freddie Jones.

"Freddie was part of Emmerdale for many years and he brought his unique, energetic, infectious, twinkle to every scene he was in."

The father of fellow star Toby Jones, Freddie became an actor after a mid-life career change, having previously worked as a laboratory assistant while performing in amateur theatre on the side.

The star made his film debut in 1967 in Marat/Sade and later played Claudius in the TV miniseries The Caesars.

He appeared in Hollywood films including The Elephant Man, Dune, Firefox and Wild At Heart and literary dramas such as Far From The Madding Crowd and Nicholas Nickleby, as well as the 1987 version of Vanity Fair.

However, it was his role of Sandy Thomas in Emmerdale that made him a household name.

Freddie joined the ITV soap in 2005, with his last appearance in 2018 when his character departed the Yorkshire village for Australia.

In an interview with the Radio Times last year, Freddie said that working on the Emmerdale set had left him with a "feeling of friendship and overwhelming love from every quarter — props, lighting, make-up… nobody could have been kinder."

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