Emmerdale star Gillian Kearney will miss playing her troubled character Emma Barton following her on screen death and has spoke with fondness when reflecting on her time in Emmerdale.

Actress Gillian Kearney
Actress Gillian Kearney

Last week, we saw Emma Barton die after falling from the Viaduct after discovering that she had accidentally shot and killed her youngest son Finn. Emma’s exit is the conclusion of a very emotional, thrilling and twisted storyline for the soap. But Gillian doesn’t regret a single second of playing killer Emma.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed playing her from day one and I feel so lucky that I have managed to bow out in such style. We had a great time last year and had a similar fiasco this year – it’s been great to have been part of a team that produces such stand out drama.

Emma Barton, Emmerdale
Emma falls to her death in Emmerdale

“My most memorable moment was probably working on the episodes this year with the director Tony Prescott – and being levitated off the ground on a wire and trying to let go of it as I was several feet high and not really being able to! I was very supported by the crew beneath me and had a little round of applause afterwards because they knew I was overcoming such fear. I felt very loved basically and I loved them back.

I’m hoping to keep in touch with a lot of people – obviously the boys – Mike (Ross Barton), Anthony (Pete Barton) and Joey (Finn Barton) as well as Charley (Debbie Dingle), Emma (Charity Dingle) and Natalie (Moira Dingle) – just all friends that I have hopefully made for life. We’ve had a blast!

Emma Barton, Emmerdale
Emma gets ready to jump in Emmerdale

“I was also able to take away some of Emma’s clothes and her crucifix as souvenirs of her. I got a lovely gift from the boys – a beautiful bracelet that said ‘heart of Yorkshire’ as they said I was their heart. There were four hearts on the bracelet which stood for every member of our family. So I have taken them all in my heart with me.”

So what is next for Gillian? Will her next role be a far cry from killer Emma Barton – and would she like to work with chickens again in the future?

“I’ll probably be playing killers for the rest of my life,” she laughs. “I’d like to play somebody who likes their life – poor Emma at the end had nowhere to turn. I’d look forward to a character who is a bit more brave and not as fragile. I always felt sorry for Emma – I knew she was a piece of work but she loved her family. A character who has a capacity for love can’t be all bad. But she just couldn’t let go of the past; she was always her own worst enemy and always made things ten times worse for her. She was extreme – and I quite liked playing someone so transparent because she is so different to me.”


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