Jodie Whittaker’s late nephew was very much in her thoughts as she dedicated a song to him on Children in Need tonight.
Her tears flowed as she took to the studio with a photograph of Harry Whittaker, who was an Emmerdale child actor.
The Doctor Who star is among a host of celebrities who have created an album for last year’s fundraiser.
Jodie decided to sing A Sky Full Of Stars by Coldplay, explaining how much it meant to her.
She said that the song played out at her three-year-old nephew’s funeral and throughout his ‘short, beautiful life’.
But as she did her first recording in the studio, with her brother and sister-in-law looking on, she began to cry.
Harry, who had Down’s Syndrome, died in 2014 from a chronic lung disease aged just three.
He had played Marlon and Rhona’s son Leo Dingle in the ITV soap since 2011.
Emmerdale tributes for Harry
After news of Harry’s death broke back then, Emmerdale paid tribute with a poignant message. It read, ‘To Harry, With Love’, alongside a photograph.
Mark Charnock, who played his on-screen dad, tweeted: “Our hero.
“We were lucky to know you and hear your laugh. You lit up our lives, dearest, loveliest Harry.”
Zoe Henry, who played Harry’s screen mum, changed her Twitter picture to one of him smiling.
An Emmerdale spokesperson said: “Very sadly we can confirm Harry Whittaker’s passing last Tuesday 1st July.
“We will all miss him greatly and have offered our sincerest condolences to his family at this very sad time.”
Harry’s mum Katie ran the London Marathon the following year to raise money for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
In a statement she explained how her family stayed in the Snowflake Suite at the hospice’s Russell House after Harry died.
“In what was a difficult time for our family we were supported by Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice who were just amazing.
“We stayed in the Snowflake Suite for two weeks after Harry had died,” she said.
“During this time the care team were incredible in supporting not only me but all of our family. [They] helped with meals, sorting out school packed lunches for my 10-year old Maisy and food for my one-year-old Martha.
[They] provided clean towels, overnight accommodation for grandparents and anything else we needed.
“The support we received meant that during such a difficult period I was able to smile, something I never thought would be possible.
“I will be proud to be supporting the hospice in next year’s London Marathon in memory of Harry.”
What an incredible, inspirational family.
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