Emmerdale stars John Bowe and Gillian Kearney are set to be sensationally axed from the soap after a serial killer carries out a “bloodbath” in The Dales. Troubled Lachlan White – played by Thomas Atkinson – will finally finish what he started and kill his grandfather Lawrence, played by John.

Fiery Emma Barton is also set to be one of devious Lachlan’s victims, meaning actress Gillian will be leaving. And his killing spree won’t stop there. A slow-burn, the plot twist will play out in the run-up to Christmas. A TV insider said: “There’s going to be a lot of change afoot. It will be a proper Emmerdale bloodbath.”

Gillian has chosen to quit, so scriptwriters have written her out with a dramatic ending, but it was a different story for John. The source adds: “He didn’t see it coming when soap bosses said that his character, Lawrence, would be killed off before Christmas. John is pretty upset that he has been told he’s being written out. It’s a case of history repeating itself because he was killed off in Corrie too.”