Emmerdale actor Steve Halliwell has admitted that he would be devastated if Zak Dingle were killed off during the soap’s 40th anniversary celebrations.

With one of the show’s characters set to be killed off during the live episode to be screened later this month, the 58-year-old revealed it would be a sad way to leave the show after 18 years if Zak turned out to be the unlucky one.

I’d be devastated. You’ve got financial commitments, and you get to a certain age where you don’t want to go back to square one. Personally I’d be devastated if they killed Zak,” he said.

However not all the cast members share the same concerns – with co-star Tony Audenshaw, who has played barman Bob Hope for 12 years, insisting he wasn’t worried.

“It’s fine, it’s all part of being in a soap. I only came for three months, so I’m just glad I’m here now. No one owes us a living.”

Both actors will appear in the live episode but have only been shown parts of the script in order to prevent the storyline from being leaked.

Meanwhile John Middleton, who plays vicar Ashley Thomas, admitted the prospect of performing the soap live was nerve-wracking.

“We’ve all admitted we’re having the classic actor’s nightmare of waking up, you’re on stage, you don’t know what the play is, no one’s given you a clue, and you can’t get across to the prompter’s corner,” he said.