While death is a natural part of soap, it must be difficult to say goodbye to a much loved colleague when they are written out in such a final way – and when chatting to Metro.co.uk about Frank Clayton’s (Michael Praed) death in Emmerdale, Amy Walsh became visibly upset as she spoke about him.
Amy, who plays Frank’s daugher Tracy Shankley, told us: ‘We were absolutely gutted to see him leave and we all feel like it’s a big tragedy and a great loss. The storyline is amazing for the show, it’s great to have a good exit if you do have to go but at the same time he loved it here and we loved him.
‘He’s been like a second dad to me, you know, he’ll take me to the garage and pump up my tyres for me and bring me chicken soup when I’m ill. He’s a wonderful human so we had to give him justice and did a video montage for him with everyone saying bye. Then it was just a nice group having a great time with a few drinks!’
When Amy first heard about the fire storyline, she admitted that she did fear her own time in the show was coming to an end – but when she heard that Frank was the victim, her relief at not leaving Emmerdale soon turned to sadness.
She said: ‘I read that there was a fire at the factory and that i was involved and I was like ‘no!’ So yes, I was a bit worried – you don’t know which way it’s going to go. But I was told quite early on that I was going to stay and then I was told that it was Michael who was going to go. So the guilt thing has kind of mirrored real life as I’ve felt bit responsible for him having to leave – even though I know it’s not my responsibility or my fault!
‘So it’s been a bit of a weird one for me in that respect, because everyones so sad to see him go. But that’s how the soap world is and you have to be prepared for it. You’ve just going to enjoy it while you can and while you’re here. It has been a bit of a weird and emotional time for everyone because he’s such a great human and he brings so much to this building and on set he’s always got a funny story to tell and always makes you laugh.
‘Michelle (Hardwick, who plays Vanessa) was emotional too – and gutted for him because he’d set up a little life up here and was quite enjoying it but you know, he’ll go on and do well. It’s just our loss really.’
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