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Thornton set to leave Emmerdale

Published 29/11/2011

James Thornton is leaving Emmerdale after three years on the soap
James Thornton is leaving Emmerdale after three years on the soap

Emmerdale's James Thornton will be hanging up his overalls, after confirming he will be leaving the soap next year.

The 36-year-old, who is married to Gavin And Stacey star Joanna Page, joined the ITV1 series in July 2009 as John Barton as part of a new farming dynasty, who took over running Butler's Farm from the Sugden family.

James said: "I have had a fantastic time playing John for the past three years, but it's the longest I have ever played one part and the time now feels right to move on.

"I have decided to leave on a high with a big exit storyline in 2012, which I'm really excited about. I will miss all my colleagues at Emmerdale and have many very fond memories of my time in the Dales."

Emmerdale's series producer Stuart Blackburn added: "James has created a truly memorable character in John and he will be greatly missed but his decision to leave has enabled us to play a hugely gripping and dramatic storyline which will be a highlight in Emmerdale in the coming months."

James' alter-ego John, who has had his heart broken after discovering his beloved wife Moira's (Natalie J Robb) affair with rival Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley), is set to be a key suspect in the forthcoming Judgment Day episodes when Cain is left fighting for his life, following a brutal attack on December 8.

The gripping whodunnit storyline will leave viewers guessing the attacker's identity until the New Year.

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From Belfast Telegraph