Emmerdale old-timer Jack Sugden is to be killed off in a giant fire, it has been reported.
A dramatic episode in October will mark the show’s 35th anniversary, and the inferno will claim Jack’s life and other casualties, the Daily Mirror revealed.
Jack has been played by 62-year-old Clive Hornby since 1980. He is currently the longest-serving member of the cast.
A show insider told the paper that Jack’s character had been exhausted. The source said: “Perhaps it’s time to move on and end a very long era with part of the Sugden family.”
The fire in which Jack will die is believed to be deliberate. Former ladies’ man Jack is currently married to pub landlady Diane, who was nearly killed when a house collapsed last year.
The insider said: “It will be tremendous viewing, with fans fearing for the life of many of the most popular characters.”
Actress Linda Thorson is also reportedly set to leave Emmerdale this autumn.
Her character, conniving Rosemary King, has been manipulating fellow characters for over a year.
Series producer Kathleen Beedles said: “Rosemary has been integral to storylines over the past year, but will be leaving the village next month as the storyline draws to a natural conclusion.”