Emmerdale star James Thornton has promised his forthcoming soap exit will be ‘dramatic’.

While the 36-year-old actor, who plays farmer John Barton, is refusing to divulge any details about his departure, he insisted viewers will not be disappointed.

“It will be very dramatic and gripping. He doesn’t leave in a taxi, let’s just put it that way,” he teased.

James – who will leave the ITV1 soap next year – admitted it is tough to keep the secretive storyline under wraps.

His Emmerdale alter-ego John is set to be one of the key suspects in Emmerdale’s Judgement Day whodunnit plot, which will see Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) fighting for his life after being attacked in scenes screening from December 8.

“I know what happens… It’s hard to not say anything. It’s tricky not to give anything away. Me leaving the show ties in really nicely with the underlying storyline,” he added.

The actor, who is married to Gavin and Stacey star Joanna Page, admitted it wasn’t easy handing in his notice.

“Working with Natalie (J Robb) and the Barton family, I would love to do this forever because it’s so much fun. The cast are so incredible and I’ve had a laugh on the job. I thought about it a long time and I think the time is right. I signed to the show for three years originally, so I would do the three years I intended to do, and then do something different.”