Dale Meeks dead: Emmerdale actor dies aged 48 after ‘heart failure’ as Ant and Dec lead tributes
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Emmerdale actor Dale Meeks, who played Simon Meredith in the ITV soap, has died aged 48, his family has confirmed. The Geordie actor, who appeared in the series between 2003 and 2006, died from “heart failure” on Saturday evening (April 22).
According to his brother, Philip Meeks, the South Shields actor was due to celebrate his 49th birthday on the day of King’s coronation on May 6 but he died at South Tyneside hospital in Newcastle.
Philip said “my heart is broken” as tributes poured in on social media for the soap star. Ant and Dec, who appeared with Meeks at the start of his career in the teenage BBC drama Byker Grover, described him as the “loveliest of guys”.
Announcing the news on Facebook, his brother-in-law Nick Boaden said: “So unbelievably sad. Brother in Law, mucca, sidekick and just the BEST friend a lad could have wished for. RIP Dale Meeks. So much less to laugh about now you’re not there to share it with.”
The presenting duo, who played PJ and Duncan in Byker Grove tweeted: "We are so incredibly sorry to hear the very sad news of Dale’s passing. "He was the loveliest of guys, even though he was a Denton ‘Burner’, the arch nemesis of the Byker ‘Grovers’! A sad loss at such a young age. RIP Dale. Sleep well bonny lad."
Fellow South Tyneside performer Stephen Sullivan also expressed his sadness by Dale’s death, as he wrote on Facebook: “Dale Meeks was an inspiration to me, watching the band when I was younger, watching him perform on stage, seeing him on the telly box and working with him.
“He was such a talent. He had so much more to give. He was loved and respected more than he knew. The last time I worked with him was an absolute joy. It hasn’t sunk in yet and today has been somewhat of a blur. Dale, you will be dearly missed, you had a heart as big as your talent and a sense of humour and laugh bigger than both!”
More recently, Meeks starred in ITV true crime drama The Hunt For Raoul Moat, as Moat’s friend Rory Sutcliffe. He tweeted about his role in the series and said last Monday: "Sadly watching tonight’s episode from this equally mysterious and sinister location. It’s fantastic to feel the love. Thanks gang. Keep it coming xxx.
Dale made another memorable TV appearance when he and Emmerdale co-star Mark Charnock won Celebrity Stars while also fronting South Tyneside blues outfit Shake Your Tail Feather.