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Three 'Emmerdale' characters to leave

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Three 'Emmerdale' characters to leave

James Baxter

Three Emmerdale characters are to bow out of the show later this year.

Tony Haygarth and Lewis Linford - who play farmhand Mick Naylor and his gamekeeper grandson Lee Naylor respectively - are to finish filming within the next couple of months as their characters have 'had their day'.

James Baxter's character Jake Doland is also being written out of the rural drama and all three will remain on screen until early summer.

Speaking to Soaplife, the show's series producer Gavin Blyth said: "Every character has their time in the show, some longer than others."

When originally cast, producers reportedly intended for the Naylors to become the show's new "farming dynasty", following in the footsteps of the Sugdens in a bid to "take the show back to its farming roots".

Blyth also hinted that death will be paying a visit to the village within the next year. He teased: "The Grim Reaper will visit at some point but not immediately. There will be a departure of that sort in the next 12 months or so. When it does happen, it will be worth the wait!"

Since taking the helm at the Yorkshire-based soap, Blyth has sparked a period of rejuvenation with the aim of overhauling the show by October. His castings have included Kim Thomson (Faye Lamb), UK soap's first blind actress Kitty McGeever (Lizzie Lakely) and ex-Hollyoaks actor James Sutton (Ryan Lamb).

His latest move saw him secure the return of Emma Atkins as Dales vixen Charity Tate. Her screen cousin Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) also made a comeback at the end of last month.

A show source told DS: "We're reinventing the show piece by piece and with a hoard of new signings on the way, we've had to really take stock of our cast and figure out where each character's going - if anywhere."

Last month, Anne Charleston announced her decision to quit her role as Lily Butterfield. Despite having finished filming, she will remain on screen until July.

> Dales actor praises show's new outlook Get the Inside Soap magazine on your iPhone or iPad

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