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Where Emmerdale actress Deena Payne is now after playing iconic character Viv Hope for 18 years

OK! logo OK! 03/03/2021 Charlotte Hulme

Deena Payne played the role of much-loved Viv Hope on Emmerdale, and quickly became a well-known face on the soap.

The glamorous character spent 18 years on the soap, but she was unexpectedly axed in 2011.

Stunned fans watched on as Viv and former flame Terry died in a horrific explosion which engulfed the post office where she worked.

Deena Payne holding a sign: Deena Payne played the role of much-loved Viv Hope on Emmerdale for 18 years © Getty Deena Payne played the role of much-loved Viv Hope on Emmerdale for 18 years

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So where is actress Deena Payne who played Viv now? Let’s take a look…

Where is Viv Hope actress Deena Payne now?

After Viv, known for her love of hair spray, bold make-up and over-the-top earrings, departed Emmerdale, she continued to work in the performance industry.

She returned to the stage for performances in the likes of Calendar Girls and various pantomimes and she featured in an episode of ITV's Crime Stories as the character Irene Harper in 2012.

Deena Payne looking at the camera: Viv was known for her love of hair spray, bold make-up and over-the-top earrings © ITV Viv was known for her love of hair spray, bold make-up and over-the-top earrings Tony Audenshaw et al. standing in front of a building: Viv and Bob Hope © ITV Viv and Bob Hope

The actress, now 66, can reportedly be found running a dance school, where classes take place in her local village hall in North Yorkshire.

The sessions feature "simple routines to all sorts of music" which "raise the endorphins making you feel great" as well as "keeping you fit".

Deena is also a qualified aromatherapist now, The Sun has reported, and studied Tarot which she uses with clients who "who want to find a clearer path.”

Deena Payne standing in front of a statue: She returned to the stage for performances in the likes of Calendar Girls and various pantomimes © Getty She returned to the stage for performances in the likes of Calendar Girls and various pantomimes

After leaving Emmerdale, Deena discussed her soap exit during an interview on Loose Woomen in 2017.

Deena confessed she’d have liked a more “topical” storyline to end her time on the soap, instead of “having "too much wine" and then “burning to death.”

She said: “When you've worked [in a soap] and you've ridden the waves for say 18 years, it's quite nice to actually be remembered for your exit.

Deena Payne holding a sign: Deena admitted that her soap exit “came at the right time © ITV Deena admitted that her soap exit “came at the right time

“Which I will be, because I didn't shout 'Help'."

Deena also admitted that she thinks her exit “came at the right time,” adding: “I was very happy to go at that time."

The 66 year old is married to husband Steve Grant and they share a son, William Anthony Payne Grant, who they welcomed in 1992.

In an interview with Arthritis Digest in 2019, Deena said: “I had my son, Will, in 1992 and six months later was offered a role in Emmerdale.

Deena Payne, Tony Audenshaw standing next to an umbrella: The star was offered her role on the soap six months after giving birth © Getty The star was offered her role on the soap six months after giving birth

“The work meant moving up to Yorkshire, away from my family network and the mounting pressure of growing a character in an increasingly popular show meant that something had to give.

“A combination of stress and having to backcomb my hair to play Viv led to excruciating psoriasis all over my head.

“The doctor prescribed me something that worked temporarily but the psoriasis came back with a vengeance. Then I met Les Robinson, now my best friend, who founded The Little Herbal Company. She recommended a product that’s based on a South African potato tuber, and six months later I was totally clear.”

Deena Payne et al. around each other: The 66 year old is married to husband Steve Grant and they share a son, William Anthony Payne Grant © Getty The 66 year old is married to husband Steve Grant and they share a son, William Anthony Payne Grant

Viv has a strong interest in alternative medicine which is an interest which she told Arthritis Digest began in 1984.

“I was drawn to the aromatherapy oils and fuelled my interest further with a diploma course.

“I took to it like a duck to water and qualified in 1989. By then I’d added reflexology, astrology, tarot and Indian head massage to my repertoire and the spiritual side of me grew, particularly my interest in energy,” she continued.

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