Emmerdale sets record straight on Gillian Kearney’s exit as Emma Barton

The ITV soap says that Kearney agreed to a contract extension to play out the last chapter in Emma's story

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ITV soap Emmerdale has denied claims that actress Gillian Kearney was unhappy with the decision to kill off her character Emma Barton.

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Earlier this week, The Sun reported that Kearney didn’t want to go and hoped that the door would be kept open so that villainous Emma could one day make a comeback.

Now, Emmerdale has revealed that Kearney was, in fact, due to leave in May 2017 when her contract came to an end, but agreed to stay on to play out Emma’s last plotline.

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Speaking today to RadioTimes.com, a spokesperson said: “Gillian Kearney was intending to leave Emmerdale in May 2017.

“We asked her to extend her contract to play the last chapter of Emma Barton’s story. Gillian was happy to stay with the programme to the end of the year in the knowledge she would be involved in a major storyline this autumn.”

Show bosses aren’t yet revealing how Emma gets her comeuppance, but speculation is rife that she’ll be meeting her maker as payback for causing the multi-car pile-up on the Hotton bypass in October last year.

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.

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And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.