The soap’s No Return Week came to a heartbreaking end tonight.1dingJames Barton died in tonight’s tear-jerking episode of Emmerdale . The village favourite was rushed to hospital after being pushed off a 60ft high bridge by his crazed wife Emma.

When he fell, he smashed into the windscreen of Ashley Thomas’ car, which subsequently caused a huge pile-up on the motorway, injuring several characters including Aaron Dingle, Lachlan White, Robert Sugden, Rhona Goskirk, Paddy Kirk and Pierce Harris.

However, everyone managed to survive the horrific crash – except for James. In this evening’s episode, he underwent an operation for head injuries to “reduce the pressure in his brain” and was also suffering from punctured lung and a fractured spine.

Despite doctors’ best efforts, they weren’t able to save him, bringing the soap’s No Return Week to a heartbreaking end. Opening up about his final moments, actor Bill Ward – who has played Barton since October 2013 – said on This Morning: “It’s been enormous fun to do… great fun to do.”