Emmerdale’s original Faith Dingle actress looks unrecognisable

FAITH Dingle is at the core of a new storyline in which she secretly fights for her life against breast cancer.

Actress Gillian Jephcott originally portrayed the Emmerdale character from 2000 to 2004 – what has she been up to since her exit?

Sally Dexter has portrayed Faith Dingle since 2017

Sally Dexter has portrayed Faith Dingle since 2017Credit: ITV

But did you know the character was originally played by Gillian Jephcott?

But did you know the character was originally played by Gillian Jephcott?Credit: ITV

The actress was seen in the Dales from 2000 to 2004

The actress was seen in the Dales from 2000 to 2004Credit: ITV

Fan favourite Faith Dingle is battling cancer once again and is doing all she can to keep her struggle a secret.

Sally Dexter has been a familiar face in the Dales since 2017, reprising the role from Gillian Jephcott who was originally cast as the character.

Much like her former on-screen alter ego, Gillian has remained busy since her departure from the titular village, 18 years ago – and is worlds away from Yorkshire and the Woolpack.

During her four-year stint in the soap, the actress appeared in rival program Coronation Street.

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She was seen in the cobbles in August, 2001, slipping into the uniform of harsh and uncaring prison officer Carol Glover who was tasked with taking care of Hayley Cropper, incarcerated for kidnapping abused foster child Wayne Hayes.

Once she waved the Dales goodbye, Gillian went on to appear in other popular TV shows in the likes of Doctors, Cutting It and Heartbeat.

She rekindled with the medical drama genre in 2011 as her credits also include an episode of Monroe.

Although her career on the box features many roles, Gillian is also a successful stage actress and radio personality.

She has starred in an on-stage production titled I Want That Hair, which followed the lives of three friends in a hair salon.

However, Gillian has also more or less kept a low profile while Sally Dexter, 62, has mentioned how much she enjoys portraying Faith in Emmerdale.

During an appearance on Lorraine, in 2021, the actress said that Faith “cheers me up even at my darkest hours.”

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“I look at Faith’s script and she just cheers me up and that’s what I hope gets passed on to the audience as well”, Sally said about her bold and cheeky character.

Sally had also spoken about Faith’s outfits, another delight for her.

“I have absolutely no dress sense myself so it is fantastic to go in and see these incredible clothes lined up on the rack there – it is brilliant.”

Sally, a brunette, has also joked she had always wanted to see herself as a blonde, much like Gillian.

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But what’s next in store for Faith as she continues to keep her cancer a secret from her children Chas and Cain?

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV.

Gillian left the Dales in 2004, allowing Sally Dexter to reprise her role 13 years later

Gillian left the Dales in 2004, allowing Sally Dexter to reprise her role 13 years laterCredit: ITV

She has since appeared in other popular shows and on stage

She has since appeared in other popular shows and on stageCredit: ITV

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