Ant and Dec: Byker Grove co-stars pay tribute to Dale Meeks after Emmerdale actor’s death, aged 48

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The Britain’s Got Talent presenters took to social media to share memories of their Byker Grove co-star, who has died at the age of 48

Ant and Dec have shared an emotional tribute to fellow Byker Grove actor Dale Meeks, who has died at the age of 48.

Ant McPartlin and Declan Donnelly, who famously played PJ and Duncan in Byker Grove at the start of their careers, took to social media to reflect on their memories of the “loveliest” Emmerdale actor.

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The family of Dale Meeks, who played Simon Meredith in the ITV soap, announced that he had died from “heart failure” on Saturday (22 April) evening.

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The Geordie actor, who appeared in Emmerdale between 2003 and 2006 playing the role of Simon Meredith, began his career alongside Ant and Dec in the popular teen soap, Byker Grove. He played Greg, leader of Denton Burn, the rivals to the Byker Grove youth club.

Ant and Dec took to their joint Twitter account on Sunday evening after hearing the tragic news.

They wrote: “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 🙏”

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Dale, who had a reputation for being a talented actor, was born in South Shields. He was a star of both screen and stage, performing in The Producers, Chicago and A Christmas Carol, as well as a West End production of Love Never Dies. More recently, The actor starred in ITV true crime drama ‘The Hunt For Raoul Moat’ playing the part of Moat’s friend, Rory Sutcliffe.

As the first episode of the ITV drama premiered, Dale took to his Twitter account to share an article about his ‘dark role’ with his 616 followers. He tweeted: “It’s fantastic to feel the love. Thanks gang. Keep it coming xxx."

According to his brother, Philip Meeks, the South Shields actor was due to celebrate his 49th birthday on the day of the King’s coronation but sadly he died at South Tyneside hospital in Newcastle on Saturday night.

The news of his death was announced on Facebook by his brother-in-law, who 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.

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"Thanks everyone for all the beautiful messages and memories you have been sharing. The support of Dale’s friends has been so incredibly strong over these chaotic, heartbreaking final hours, I can only stand in awe."

Ant and Dec were not the only ones left grieving as many others took to social media to share their condolences.

One tweeted: “It’s been a bloody awful day, and I’m still expecting it to be some kind of weird nightmare, that he’ll call wondering what the hell is going on. This is going to hurt for a long time.”

Another added: “I worked with him in panto many years ago, such a lovely bloke who was very kind to me, we shared some laughs. Such sad news today x”

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