The 80-year-old, who plays Alan Turner on the ITV1 show, has experience of live television thanks to his long career in the industry.
> 'Emmerdale's 40th anniversary - full coverage
Thorp told BBC Breakfast: "I was in a thing called Emergency-Ward 10, and for the first four years, the whole thing was live.
"If anything goes wrong, it's like being in a repertory company, you've just got to keep going! You've got to try and cover it up somehow."
Alan is currently one of the bookies' favourites to be killed off in the 40th anniversary broadcast, after show bosses confirmed that one character will lose their life in the special.
Meanwhile, discussing the secret of Emmerdale's success, Thorp told This Morning: "I think a lot of it is where it is. Okay, Coronation Street's marvellous, but you don't get a view with Coronation Street! And part of it is we're damn lucky with our scriptwriters."
Emmerdale Live airs tomorrow (October 17) from 7pm on ITV1.