Emmerdale actor Ryan Hawley has described the soap’s Christmas Day episode as a risky move.
The ITV show will see Ryan’s character, Robert Sugden, endure a perpetual nightmare on Christmas morning in a series of journeys across false realities.
The main focus of the episode will be Robert’s relationship with his ex-boyfriend, Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller), the couple previously known as Robron.
Ryan said he was initially concerned people may “hate” the standalone festive episode.
He added: “There’s a lot of things that you read and feel a risk but it’s not really our job to criticise or fight that – you just have to service that story as best you can.
“It’s very risky – it’s a Christmas Day episode for a start – there’ll be a lot of people watching… It’s very different to anything that we have ever done.”
He compared the episode to films Groundhog Day and Edge Of Tomorrow, adding: “There are three acts to it… the first sees Robert keep waking up and the day keeps resetting.”
The actor teased that a “much-loved character” would make a cameo during the episode.
Asked what he thought about the show going head-to-head with Doctor Who on Christmas Day, Ryan said: “I haven’t even thought about that.
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“It was mentioned before but we can only do what we can do. People who watch Emmerdale will hopefully enjoy it.”
Series producer Iain MacLeod previously said the episode would nod to Groundhog Day, A Christmas Carol and the film Don’t Look Now.
He added there were risks in filming “such a standalone episode”, which would be “heartfelt and hilarious”, but added: “We hope the audience will appreciate we’ve tried to do something a bit different.”
Emmerdale’s Christmas Day episode airs at 5.50pm on ITV.