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Last Updated: Saturday, 26 March, 2005, 12:43 GMT
Emmerdale star to take yoga break
Leah Bracknell
Leah Bracknell has been in Emmerdale for 15 years
Emmerdale actress Leah Bracknell is to take a break from the ITV1 soap to qualify as a yoga teacher.

Bracknell, 40, who plays vet Zoe Tate, will leave in the autumn in a dramatic storyline to take nine months off.

"I am looking forward to spending some time with my family and having the opportunity to pursue other projects," the mother-of-two said.

"I will also be finishing my teaching diploma in yoga which is something I am passionate about," she added.

Bracknell released an exercise video last year.

She has played Zoe for 15 years, and has been at the centre of some of the soap's most dramatic storylines, including an affair with Charity Dingle in 2001 and a schizophrenic breakdown the following year.

The lesbian vet fell pregnant following her breakdown, and was shocked to discover the father of her baby was womaniser Scott Windsor.

Series producer Kath Beedles said: "Leah is an exceptional actress and has made a huge contribution to Emmerdale's ongoing success. We wish her all the best for her well-earned break and look forward to welcoming her back in the future."

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