Emmerdale actor Tony Audenshaw has told of the pain of losing his wife to cancer in a tragedy which echoed his soap storyline.
Audenshaw’s Emmerdale alter-ego, cafe owner Bob Hope, helped his on-screen wife Brenda fight a brain tumour in 2013.
The actor told the Daily Mirror how, away from the cameras, his family’s life turned upside down when his wife Ruth was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer two years ago.
The cancer spread to her liver and the cognitive behaviour therapist died in April this year, aged 43.
Audenshaw, 53, told the newspaper that he wanted to talk about his wife’s illness to raise awareness of the disease, as well as charities like Pancreatic Cancer UK.
“I remember being very quiet as we walked to the hospital car park, then breaking down in the car,” he said.
“Before, we worried about forgetting to put the bin out. Now Ruth was going to be dead within a year after a horrible illness.”
The father-of-two said: “She knew it was too late for her, but she wanted to help others. Two weeks before she died she had some of her cells harvested to be used in research trials. They might be pivotal in some kind of breakthrough. I have to hope so.
“That’s what Ruth was all about. She was a brilliant person. She was so brave.”