Emmerdale star Wil Johnson has admitted Gemma Andrews’ death storyline has left him exhausted.

The actor is about to bow out of Emmerdale after just over a year playing single father Dom Andrews. Dom recently lost daughter Gemma who died from a brain injury following a fight with her best friend Belle Dingle. Teenager Belle (Eden Taylor-Draper) is now standing trial for manslaughter.

Wil said: “It’s been very, very challenging. To try and find all the different layers of grief is very, very exhausting and very, very taxing as an actor, because you don’t want to end up playing the same notes all the time.

“It was an incredibly detailed character to play, especially through that storyline, which I really enjoyed. I worked really hard, I was very exhausted by the end of it, but it was fantastic.

“It’s the kind of role every actor wants to play, where you’re kind of dredged through the emotions, so it was great to do.”

The actor said filming his scenes with 16-year-old Eden, who plays Belle, was actually very easy because he got lost in the intensity of the story.

Wil said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic to work with Eden, she’s a fabulous young actress, very concentrated, very focused.

“All the scenes we had to do were very easy. When you’re working with an actor who is focused, it doesn’t matter how challenging the scene is, it is actually really easy to play. Because you’re bouncing off each other and it’s a chemistry that’s happening at the same time. You kind of let go and in the moment it just happens.”

The actor said of leaving Emmerdale: “I’ve met some incredible people, I have a lot of good memories.

“I have total respect for Steve Halliwell (Zak Dingle), I had some great times with him. He’s such a brilliant storyteller and he has some great jokes as well.

“It was just the level of camaraderie, that’s what you take away – the level of commitment and dedication people put in. That’s what I treasure the most.”