Emmerdale star Charley Webb 'quits' soap after 19 years amidst husband's race row

a close up of Emmerdale actress Charley Webb

Emmerdale actress Charley Webb has reportedly left the show 'for good' after 19 years.

The 33-year-old is known for playing Debbie Dingle in the hit ITV soap. Though audiences haven't seen her on screens since January this year, after her character's affair with Al Chapman.

Multiple sources have now shared that Charley has no plans to return the show. With the sad news of her departure following in the wake of a racism bullying row that involves her husband and co-star Matthew Wolfenden. The two actors, who met on the set of the show, married in 2018 and share three children together.

Emmerdale stars Charley Webb and Matthew Wolfenden

Emmerdale star Charley Webb with her husband and co-star Matthew Wolfenden. (Credit: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

One insider told the Sun that Charley is "closing the door on Emmerdale for good" and "won't be going back".

"After she gave birth to her third child with Matthew in 2019 she returned briefly before taking some time out again," they said. "The past few months have given her time to think about the future and it is one that doesn’t involve Emmerdale."

The source added that the recent row involving husband Matthew "fuelled her decision to step away".

In October, a complaint against Matthew - who plays David Metcalfe in Emmerdale - was made by a mixed-race female cast member on the show. It was further revealed that he and co-star Isabel Hodgins (who plays Victoria Sugden) allegedly mimicked the actress's accent. Though both stars have strongly denied the allegations.

Emmerdale bosses seemingly confirmed Charley's departure following the insider's comments to the Sun:

"There are no current plans for Debbie Dingle to return,” said a spokesperson for the soap.

Charley's absence from the show was briefly touched upon during an episode that aired last week (Thursday 16 December). In one scene, Debbie's aunt Chas tells Paddy that "Debbie’s not coming home for Christmas." Instead, her character remains in Scotland and away from her family.

"Charley has been on Emmerdale for 19 years and her character Debbie has had a rollercoaster ride. It’s time for a new adventure for Charley," the source close to the star further told the Sun.

"Naturally the door is open for her character, who is now living in Scotland, should she change her mind. But for now she is looking to the future."

A photo posted by on

In real life, Charley has been enjoying time with her family. This includes 2-year-old son Ace Gene, who the couple announced they were expecting in February 2019. The youngest of the three, Charley is also proud mum to boys Buster, aged 11 and Bowie Grey, aged 5.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.