Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle in the ITV soap, has admitted he worries “every year” about being axed from the programme.
It comes amid a huge cliffhanger which saw a shot ring out during a potentially fatal shootout between Cain and his rival Al Chapman.
Viewers were left terrified for the fan-favourite Dingle, as Cain stands to lose his life after the dramatic deaths of Harriet Finch, Liv Dingle and Cain’s mum Faith.
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Speaking on Loose Women about the 50th anniversary of Emmerdale, Jeff admitted: “I'm worried every year, we are only on a year's contract at a time.
"There are times of the year when people's contracts are up in the air – so everyone is nervous."
Speaking about his long tenure on the programme, Jeff added: “I had a little break for three years.
“So I think I have done 19 years on the soap but the character has been around for 22 years.
“I think I have been lucky because I have been on the show so long the writers have written really well for the character."
Jeff has spoken out in the past about his disbelief at only being offered a year’s contract at a time – but confirmed that bosses have to “freshen” things up.
He told the hosts of This Morning back in August: “I sometimes find that hard to believe but they have got to keep the show moving and they’ve got to freshen up the show.
“But sometimes they do have to say goodbye to people and that is always upsetting."
He said: “But one day I am sure it will be me. It could be me this year.”
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In Monday’s dramatic episode, fans saw Cain reach for the fallen gun before being yanked back by Al, who scrabbled for the gun himself.
A shot could be heard ringing out, but fans had no idea who – if anyone – had been shot.
Cain chillingly told Al: “Turn your back on me, this will be the last thing you do,” but informed Al that the shotgun was “just to get his attention”.
Emmerdale airs weeknights from 7:30pm on ITV.
- Emmerdale fans gobsmacked as Faith Dingle returns at own funeral after tragic death
- Emmerdale Chas Dingle death 'confirmed' as fans work out Aaron's permanent exit
- Emmerdale Cain and Al showdown 'exposed' – Chas arrested, Aaron murders Al and Cain dies
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