Claire King and Leah Bracknell
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Emmerdale star Claire King claims cancer is ‘nature’s payback’

The actress made the controversial comments while talking about late friend Leah Bracknell

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Emmerdale star Claire King has claimed cancer is “nature’s payback” for treating the planet badly.

The actress, who plays Kim Tate in the ITV soap, joined the cast in 1989.

Claire King plays Kim Tate in Emmerdale (Credit: ITV)

She made the controversial comments in OK! this week talking about her late friend, Leah Bracknell. She said: “Cancer hits one in two, which is just horrendous. I think that’s a lot to do with how we are treating the planet. We’ve mistreated the planet and this is nature’s payback.

“We’re not doing ourselves any good – says she who drinks and smokes – but we’ve all got to play our part in this and it becomes very poignant when you lose a good friend.”

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The Bad Girls star was referring to Leah Bracknell, her friend and colleague.

Leah played Claire’s step-daughter, Zoe Tate, in the ITV soap.

She died in 2019 after a long battle with cancer.

Emmerdale Leah Bracknell tribute Credit: ITV
Emmerdale paid tribute to Leah after her death in 2019 (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale’s Claire King talks late friend Leah Bracknell

The actress and yoga instructor was diagnosed with stage-4 lung cancer in 2016 but defied the odds and survived the disease for three years.

Leah revealed her battle to raise £50,000 for treatment in Germany and while the campaign was successful, the treatment was not.

Speaking about Leah, who played Zoe Tate, she sad: “Unfortunately she’s not the first of my friends [to die of cancer] and she won’t be the last.”

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She added that it taught her a valuable lesson on enjoying life while you can, as Leah did.

Claire said, in her view, people have to “enjoy life as much as possible” and “be nice” while “[treating] others with respect”.

The actress also said she feels it’s important not to “take life for granted” as something like cancer “can happen at any time to any one of us”.

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