Emmerdale actor Andy Devine has died at the age of 79.

The legendary actor who was best known for his role portraying Shadrach Dingle in the long-running ITV soap died in January, although the news of his passing has only just emerged.

Public records show the actor, born Peter Devine, died on January 27, although his cause of death has not yet been confirmed, reports The Sun.

After serving in the Royal Navy in the 1960s, Devine embarked on a career in acting, first in classical acting before building a career in soaps.

On top of spending a decade in Emmerdale, Andy also appeared in several episodes of Doctor Who.

He left Emmerdale on July 23, 2010 after 10 years on the soap when his character was killed off in an alcohol abuse storyline which saw him drown in a stream on the Dales.

Tributes poured in on Twitter as one fan wrote: “Saddened to learn that Andy Devine (Shadrach Dingle in Emmerdale) has died. What an actor (and character).”

Another added: “Just heard the sad news that Andy Devine who played Shadrach Dingle in #Emmerdale and Bernard in Queer as Folk passed away in January. Brilliant comic characters that he played so well.”