Emma Barton has plunged to her death from the Hotton viaduct in tonight’s Emmerdale, bringing to an end a tense week of drama on the ITV soap.
The shock scene saw Emma lose her life after falling backwards over a high precipice. In her final moments, she was joined by visions of late husband James (Bill Ward) and son Finn (Joe Gill), who appeared to be encouraging her to join them in the afterlife.
Speaking of the filming of Emma’s fall, actress Gillian Kearney said: “It was done against green screen and I was levitated off the ground on a wire. It was only about 16 feet, but I’m such a scaredy cat that I had to be convinced to let go of the wires!
“Afterwards, I got a round of applause for overcoming my fear, which made me feel very loved and appreciated.”
Kearney has been a mainstay of Emmerdale since January 2015, with Emma’s unhinged personality having been gradually revealed to fans.
During her two-and-a-half years in the Dales, she bumped off James by pushing from an overpass, manipulated vulnerable vicar Ashley, bullied young Arthur, almost killed Moira and accidentally shot Finn.
Of her own feelings about her character, Kearney said: “I always felt sorry for her. I always felt she was trying to make up for lost time. She was a piece of work and became very resourceful to get herself out of scrapes, but she loved her family and her husband. A person who has the capacity to love can’t be all bad.”
As for how her screen sons feel about her behind-the-scenes, the actress added: “I’m hoping to keep in touch with the boys – Anthony Quinlan, Joe Gill and Mike Parr. As well as Charley Webb, Natalie J Robb and Emma Atkins – they’re all friends I’ve hopefully made for life. We’ve had a blast.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing Emma from day one and I feel very lucky that I’ve managed to bow out in such style.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below
And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news