Emmerdale’s Zoe Henry posts tribute as former colleague dies after cancer battle

Emmerdale star Zoe Henry has paid tribute to director Chris Honer, who has died aged 73.

Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the Rhona Goskirk actress, 48, shared his obituary from the Guardian and wrote:

"One of the very, very best I’ve had the pleasure of being directed by. Thank you Chris."

Honer was a widely respected artistic director of the Library Theatre Company (LTC) in Manchester for 27 years, with his productions including The Merchant of Venice and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me.

He was born in Essex as an only child to parents Douglas and Margaret, who were school teachers. Honer went on to discover his love of theatre and literature at school and studied English Language and literature at Oxford University.

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Honer met his future wife Marian Blaikley at Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Hamlet, with the pair marrying in 1972, divorcing in the mid-1990s and remarrying in 2012.

His directing career began through a scheme at the Belgrade theatre in Coventry and he went on to work at Studio theatre in Birmingham Rep and then became the artistic director at the Gateway theatre in Chester and the Derby Playhouse.

He was gifted with a special achievement award in 2014 at the Theatre Awards for his contribution to theatre in Manchester.

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In 2015, he stepped down from his role as LTC's artistic director and worked freelance.

Zoe's tribute comes after she also commented on her casting agency's relocation.

Further tributes flooded Twitter following his death, with one person writing: Terribly sad news about Chris Honer. Condolences to the to the many people who loved him."

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Another said: "I remember Chris Honer well, for being both a brilliant director and the kindest boss. RIP Chris."

A third said: "RIP Chris Honer. A very sad loss. Hugely admired by all who knew and worked with him. Thoughts and prayers with his family."

Honer is survived by his wife, their sons Tom and Nick and their grandson Robin.

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