Iconic soap character Sandy Thomas – played by the legendary Freddie Jones – is leaving Emmerdale.
He has opened up to the Radio Times about his decision to quit the soap and cites his commute as a big factor.
“I travel three hours by car, book into a hotel and then get up the next day to say maybe three sentences,” he revealed.
“And then do a three-hour journey back. I can’t justify staying, even though Emmerdale was very generous in asking me to.”
Freddie explained that the soap had offered him a new 12-month contract, but he didn’t know what he’d be doing in another year.
However he did admit to leaving with a certain heaviness of the heart, revealing what he will miss.
“A feeling of friendship,” he said.
“And overwhelming love from every quarter – props, lighting, make-up… nobody could have been kinder. My life will easily be more impoverished.”
Sandy’s last scenes will play out on air on Feb 16 – next Friday – and Freddie will be bowing out with a joyful storyline after 12 years on the show.
The old boy is to find love again when a charming lady arrives in the village on a bus tour, armed with gifts from his pal Betty.
Maisie (played by Wendy Craig) and Sandy are soon getting on like a house on fire, but when she announces she has to leave for Australia after a week together, he is clearly devastated.
Daughter-in-law Laurel hatches a plot to get him to follow his heart and go with her. Awww.
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