Emmerdale stars facing axe in cast cull

Some of Emmerdale‘s biggest stars fear they could be facing the chop in a cast clearout, according to the Mirror.

The paper reports that the soap’s new producer Anita Turner is looking to inject some fresh life into the show – and has shocked cast members by telling them they were all “under review”.

Since the first episode under her control was shown in March the soap has already bid farewell to several regulars included Gray Sinclair, played by Christopher Villiers, and Johnny Foster, played by actor Richard Grieve.

And several others, including Georgia Slowe, who plays Perdy Sinclair and Ayden Callaghan – aka Miles de Souza – are also going, while Roxanne Pallett – who plays Jo Sugden – recently announced she would be Emmerdale at the end of the year.

Now the paper reports that every cast member will be brought in for contract negotiations over the coming week.

“No one is safe,” an insider told the paper. “Over the next few weeks there is going to be a big shake-up and some will head for the exit.”

“It is no secret Anita wants to breathe in new life even at the cost of losing big names. Everyone is worried for their future.”

Turner said in a recent interview she planned to bring in new characters, following a rocky patch which saw Emmerdale’s viewing figures drop from 8.4m to around 6m.

“It’s very much about getting Emmerdale back to its roots,” she said.

A spokesman for the show said last night that contract negotiations for 2009 were underway. “Actors are never contracted beyond 12 months. We do not comment on speculation about the long-term future of characters.”