Emmerdale fan favourite Finn Barton, who's been played by Joe Gill since 2013, has just died under shocking circumstances.
He was shot by his own mother, the crazed and murderous Emma Barton, after she mistook Finn for one of her many enemies when she was on the run in the dead of night.
After fighting for his life in A&E for the last few days, Finn finally lost his struggle to survive.
Joe told us it was his decision to leave the soap, and explained to producer Iain MacLeod that after four years of playing Finn, he’d decided it was time for a change and that he’s impressed with his character’s dramatic exit.
“I spoke to Iain in February about having been here for four years. I loved every second but personally it’s the right time to move on.
"They had enough time to write the exit. I’m proud to have been here and that the character goes so dramatically. It draws a line under it and is therapeutic as the slate has been completely wiped as opposed to him just nipping off.
"What makes it even more dramatic is that he’s always tried to see the good in everyone, including his murderous mother, so it's even more tragic he’s gone in this way,” Joe said.
Indeed, MacLeod said that Finn had been a monumental character for Emmerdale and he wanted to give him a proper send-off:
“Finn was instrumental in bringing Emma into the show. His exit was tied into hers, there's a nice symmetry to it. If an actor tells the producer they’re leaving, and their mother is a murderer, and they’d probably be leaving in the autumn… you might end up in a pine box!” Iain said.
Joe says he’s had a few bizarre situations in the lead-up to his departure. Just a few weeks back, he gave his parents a set tour, only to be faced with his own coffin.
“I hadn’t brought my family onto set in four years so I wanted to do that. I was told not to go in the Barton house set in case there was evidence of Finn’s death, but I went in there to be faced with my own coffin! Very strange.
"Someone on the show had messaged me a week before asking for my exact height, so I told them five foot ten and there was a five foot 10 coffin! Very surreal. Apparently, Mike Parr had a scene with the coffin later that day and part of me thought ‘Should I just get in and jump out at him on the take?'”
As for what’s next for Joe, he says he doesn’t see himself heading for the jungle in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here! or trying Strictly Come Dancing – especially as he doesn’t think himself as much of a dancer.
“I actually took part in a much much smaller charity event and I had to do the Paso Doble and I was absolutely terrible. I was awful and I’ve never ever been more terrified in my life! So Strictly probably is not for me!”
However, he does have his sights set on theatre, which is what he originally trained for.
“Ideally I’d love to delve a little bit back into theatre. It’s strange because when I first joined I was much more experienced in theatre and I was a bit scared being on a television set; TV is quite an intimidating experience at first but now the thought of being back on the stage frightens me!”
What did you think of Finn’s death in Emmerdale? Share your comments below.
Emmerdale continues at 7pm on ITV.