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'Emmerdale' fans PANIC that legendary character Diane Sugden is DEAD after shocking moment

Diane Emmerdale
Emmerdale fans were convinced that Diane Sugden had been killed off. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale fans were left fearing the worst last night after becoming convinced Diane Sugden had been killed off. 

Monday night's episode of Emmerdale saw Diane unleash her inner wild child as she got drunk in the pub with her friends before falling asleep on a bench in the middle of the village. 

Diane in Emmerdale

Diane was enjoying getting drunk in the pub with her friends until Bernice caught her.  (Image credit: ITV)

However, while Diane was just sleeping off the alcohol she had consumed while rebelling against daughter Bernice Blackstock's attempts to get her to rest up after an accident, many fans thought the legendary character was dead.

The drama came about after Bernice tried to get her mum to rest up after twisting her ankle. 

But Diane wasn't happy about being treated like an old woman and instead of staying at home with her feet up, she called Brenda and Faith and invited them for a drink at the pub.

Diane in Emmerdale

Later Diane went to sleep off the alcohol, but fans were convinced she had died!  (Image credit: ITV)

Soon the trio were having a whale of a time in the pub as they downed their drinks and gossiped about Diane's fling with Rodney, but as things got a bit rowdy, Bernice came in and told her mum off for not resting her foot.

Annoyed at being treated like an invalid, Diane told Bernice exactly what she thought of her mollycoddling and stormed out of the pub. But the next time we saw her she was sleeping on a bench.

Diane in Emmerdale

Thankfully Diane was alive and well, and soon making plans to flee the village with Gabby.  (Image credit: ITV)

Fans were convinced that Diane might have met an untimely end, only to be flooded with relief when Gabby turned up and it turned out Diane was just having a little nap.

Viewers took to social media to share their momentary horror... 

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Thankfully Diane is alive and well, but that doesn't mean she will be sticking around in the village for long. 

It was revealed recently that legendary actress Elizabeth Estensen is leaving Emmerdale after 22 years playing Diane Sugden, and last night saw the start of her exit storyline playing out. 

With Diane desperately wanting to escape Bernice's fussing, and Gabby worried about her baby's future with Kim circling, Diane made a drunken suggestion that the pair of them should escape abroad to start a new life. 

Gabby seemed quite taken with the idea, but will Diane sober up and change her mind? Or is this the start of a brand new chapter for the pair? 

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays - see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on ITV Hub now.