Emmerdale star Claire King has claimed that cancer is 'nature's payback for mistreating the planet.'
The actress, 58, who plays Kim Tate on the soap, admitted the disease became a 'poignant' part of her life after her former co-star Leah Bracknell died following a battle with lung cancer in 2019
Claire added that Leah's death made her take stock of her own health and insisted people 'aren't doing themselves any good' with their treatment of the Earth.
Views: Emmerdale star Claire King has claimed that cancer is 'nature's payback for mistreating the planet' (pictured on the soap as Kim Tate)
In an interview with OK! magazine, Claire said: 'Cancer hits one in two, which is just horrendous. I think that's a lot to do with how we are treating the planet. We've mistreated the planet and this is nature's payback.
'We're not doing ourselves any good - says she who drinks and smokes - but we've all got to play our part in this and it becomes very poignant when you lose a good friend.'
The actress added that Leah, who played Kim's stepdaughter Zoe Tate on Emmerdale from 1989 to 2005, made her assess her own life when she passed away in September 2019.
Moving: The actress admitted the disease became a 'poignant' part of her life after her co-star Leah Bracknell died following a lengthy battle with lung cancer in 2019 (pictured in 2017)
Opinion: She added: 'I think that's a lot to do with how we are treating the planet. We've mistreated the planet and this is nature's payback'
She said: 'Everyone who knew her knew it was going to happen, it was just a matter of when. Unfortunately she's not the first of my friends and she won't be the last. And particularly now with this awful coronavirus, we've lost more people.'
Leah died in October 2019, three years after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, after fans helped her raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment.
Zoe previously described how she had an 'attitude of gratitude' during her cancer battle.
She was often vocal about her cancer treatment, sharing her experiences in a blog and through interviews.
Tragic: Leah died in October 2019, three years after being diagnosed with lung cancer, after fans helped her raise more than £50,000 to undergo groundbreaking treatment
In the months leading up to her death she wrote 'The Cancer Rebel's Manifesto for Life' to 'reject the notion of being a victim'.
In it, she said: 'I rebel against the fear of cancer, against pity from others and myself, against being defined by cancer, and against being bullied by cancer.'
And in her final interview in August she said that she wouldn't 'let herself live in fear' adding that she was 'just going to have a good life.'
It comes after Claire admitted she's glad that the social distancing restrictions amid the pandemic have put a halt to onscreen intimacy as she feels she's too old for sex scenes.
She has told that she'll happily surrender the 'snoggy scenes' to her younger co-stars as she declared: ''l'll leave that to the youngsters nowadays.'
Pleased: It comes after Claire admitted she's glad that the social distancing restrictions amid the pandemic have put a halt to onscreen intimacy as she feels she's too old for sex scenes
Claire's character Kim recently struck up a romance with Will Taylor in the village, but any scenes of the couple getting physically close will not be seen as all the actors have to stay two-metres apart to meet regulations.
And Claire admitted that she's relieved that she won't have to film raunchy scenes as she did back in the day.
She told OK! magazine: 'The lack of on-screen intimacy is down to coronavirus and social distancing, as we are filming with the two-metre rule. But I must say, I'm kind of happy at my age not having to do bedroom scenes and snoggy scenes, you know what I mean?
'I'll leave that to the youngsters nowadays. I think people want to see young people doing it, not older people, if I judge it by Twitter or anything like that!
'It's just nice working with good professional people who you get on with and can have a bit of a banter with. I think I've kind of moved on from all that now.'
Bedroom action: During her earlier years in the Dales, her character was well known for her steamy romps, especially with former lover Dave Glover (Ian Kelsey) (pictured in 1996)