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Diane Margaret Payne
29 August 1954
Payne was born in Orpington, Kent. She used to tour with ex-Animals keyboard player Alan Price as a backing singer and she was a member of the novelty girl band Cats U.K., who scored a UK top 30 hit with "Luton Airport" in October 1979. She was also one of the dancers in Rock Follies of '77. Prior to Emmerdale, Payne had acted in episodes of Tales of Sherwood Forest and The Bill. She has also appeared in Lily Savage's Blankety Blank.
Payne is married to musician Steve Grant who is currently touring with The Sweet.
On 7 November 2007 it was announced Payne would take a 12-month break from Emmerdale in the summer of 2008. She returned to the series on 14 July 2009.
On 13 January 2011 her Emmerdale character was written out of the series after 18 years by dying in her sleep during a fire as the bosses felt the character had run its course. Payne stated that she was angry in the way how she was written out off screen after so long in the show.
Since leaving Emmerdale, Deena has returned to the stage, appearing in Calendar Girls and various pantomimes. Most recently, she featured on the television show True Crime as the character Irene.
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