Emmerdale star Verity Rushworth says she’s so grateful writers decided to end her character Donna Windsor’s life in a homicidal plunge to the death rather than a protracted death from cancer.

Emmerdale fans saw Donna handcuff herself to criminal Gary North and leap from the top of a sky-rise building in Thursday’s harrowing final episode. But for actress Verity it was a thrilling way to end her 16-year career on the soap.

She told What’s on TV: “I was really excited about it. Obviously I was quite nervous because it was a huge stunt and I didn’t have a stuntwoman so I had to be very brave.”

She added: “When I was told the exit my instincts were excited by it and up for the challenge and now I’m really grateful because it would have been really difficult to portray Donna dying from her illness and the deterioration and things like that. This way it’s a completely different slant on it. Her life’s been cut short for a reason, a valid reason. I think it was more impactful and shocking and I think it’s going to make people sit up and take note of it.”

Watch the interview with Verity Rushworth, above.