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|Portrayed by||Peter Martin|
|First appearance||21 February 2001|
|Last appearance||17 May 2007|
|Introduced by||Kieran Roberts|
In May 2007, it was announced that Martin's character Len would be killed off, as Martin had accepted a role in a stage production of Dad's Army. A show insider said: "Details of how Len dies are being kept under wraps but any sudden death is always a winner when it comes to ratings." It was also announced that Anna Brecon, Cleveland Campbell and Anthony Lewis, three of Martin's former co-stars would be reprising their roles as Tara Thornfield, Danny Daggert and Marc Reynolds, respectively, for Len's funeral.
Following the death of his wife, Eileen, Len arrives in the village to visit their son Sean. Len's presence is welcomed by the family as Sean and his wife, Angie are having marital difficulties and Len acts as mediator. Sean and Angie separate after Angie has an affair with Cain Dingle and Sean later leaves with his new girlfriend Tara Thornfield. Len stays to help Angie rebuild her life, at the request of his granddaughter Ollie (Vicky Binns) and Len keeps a close watch on his grandchildren. Following Angie's death, Len's grandson Marc goes to live with his father and Ollie stays behind with her boyfriend Danny Daggert who moves in with them. Ollie leaves for University, leaving Len and Danny sad.
Len develops feelings for local pensioner Edna Birch (Shirley Stelfox) but she does not reciprocate. However, he found love again with flamboyant newcomer Pearl Ladderbanks (Meg Johnson). Enchanted by Pearl’s sunny personality, Len invites her to move in with him and Danny. Pearl, however, is hiding a secret. Her son, Frank Bernard Hartbourne (Rob Parry), whom she had said was a financial advisor, has been paroled - after serving a sentence for rape. When Len finds out the truth, he is horrified and r but he realises what Pearl had been through and he agrees to stand by her. Problems escalate when Frank's arrival is announced in the Hotten Courrier and the villagers are irate and turn their frustrations on and Len and Pearl. Only vicar Ashley Thomas (John Middleton) and Edna stood by them. After Frank is savagely beaten by Scott Windsor (Ben Freeman), he moves into a bail hostel in Leeds. Devastated at being treated so cruelly by their neighbours, the couple decided to leave Emmerdale for a few weeks and contemplated moving to Cheshire near Sean and Tara. Len and Pearl eventually return and build bridges with their neighbours.
Len and Pearl's relationship is tested when Pearl falls into debt after trying to save money to visit her grandson Owen Hartbourne (Oliver Lee) inHong Kong after he visits. Eric Pollard (Chris Chittell), Pearl's boss begins blackmailing her even after she has repaid some of the loan he gave her and Len angrily punches him. This is not the end as Eric charges Pearl the early settlement fee and tells her it must be paid or he will report Len to the police for assault. When Len finds out about, he is annoyed that Pearl kept it from him and their relationship breaks up and Pearl leaves the village in disgrace. Pearl returns several months later with the intent to win Len back who tells her he is in love with Edna, despite the fact she is uninterest. However, Len and Pearl reunite and plan their wedding after Len proposes.
During this time, Edna confides in Len that she had discovered a forged structural report within the Kings River Explosion that incriminates the family's role behind the incident, he persuades her to go through with reporting the evidence to the HSE, but the results are insufficient due to the family's resourcefulness as instigated by Edna's boss Tom King (Kenneth Farrington). Len later learns that Tom is blackmailing Edna over the knowledge that her son Peter Birch (Philip Bird) , was really her sister Lily Butterfield's (Anne Charleston) child. Len punches Tom, who retaliates and brawl breaks out until Tom's youngest son Carl (Tom Lister) arrives. Len swears revenge on Tom for his treatment of Edna and the cover-up of the explosion. Len is further incensed when Tom invites Edna to his wedding to Rosemary Sinclair (Linda Thorson) at home farm. Len visits Tom but leaves. Tom is later killed after being struck over the head and sent through a window
On the day of the Village's 500th birthday pageant, Len comforts Edna after Pearl fails to include her while supervising activities. He returns to the church with his friend, Sandy Thomas (Freddie Jones). Whilst the celebrations were occurring outside, Len dies in his chair of a heart attack. He wis found by Sandy, who brings him a drink and thinks he is asleep and tries to rouse him until he checked Len's pulse, realising he has died. Sandy, knowing it is too late, told a shocked Pearl, who was devastated. Jo Stiles (Roxanne Pallett), who had become a close friend of Len's through Danny, begs Donna Windsor-Dingle (Verity Rushworth) to keep on trying to resuscitate him, but to no avail. An ambulance arrives to take Len's body away while Pearl tried to contemplate her loss in private and Sandy comforts Betty Eagleton (Paula Tilbrook) and Edna. As news of Len's death spread around the village, his body is driven away in an ambulance whilst Katherine Jenkins sings him out as she was closing the pageant, although she was unaware of the death that had occurred in the village.