The actor's bad boy character Carl King was murdered in the soap's hour-long live episode this evening (October 17) as Cameron Murray (Dominic Power) delivered a killer blow to his head with a brick.
Carl had earlier been attacked by his ex-fiancée Chas Dingle (Lucy Pargeter), who may now get the blame for the shock death.
> 'Emmerdale's 40th anniversary - full coverage
In a newly-released interview with itv.com, Lister revealed his reaction to being written out of Emmerdale.
Lister commented: "It's been the best part of ten years, so when I found out I was going I was surprised, but I was kind of like, 'Yeah, alright!'
"And when I read the script for the first time, to be honest I was thrilled. It just seemed like a really nice way to end what has been an amazing journey for my character."
He continued: "There was always going to come a point where I was going to have to face some reckoning for what I'd done. And I just felt that it was a really good way to tie those ends up.
"There was some amazing stuff in it, there was some amazing content. It was a privilege for them to trust me with that on a live episode. I was excited at the prospect."
Meanwhile, appearing on ITV2's Emmerdale Live: The Fallout this evening, Lister said that he was pleased Carl's fate was not leaked ahead of transmission.
He explained: "It was hard, and as you get nearer and nearer, you get loads of people on the internet and the forums - and Twitter's been going crazy for the past week! I was thinking, 'Everybody must know that it's me', because I was getting tweets all the time saying, 'It's clearly you who dies'.
"But then [Dominic] was getting loads of tweets saying he dies, and Nick Miles was getting a load of tweets saying he dies. So clearly people were still in confusion about it."
Emmerdale continues tomorrow (October 18) at 7pm and 8pm on ITV1.