Emmerdale fans were shocked last night, when the soap announced the death of a character off-screen.
On Thursday night (September 19), Dan Spencer delivered the news that Rachel Breckle had died.
Rachel, played by actress Gemma Oaten, departed the soap with son Archie in 2015.
In scenes some viewers found confusing, Dan told Jai Sharma: "I've got some news. Rachel's died."
Long-term soap fans know that Rachel was the sister of Dan's ex Ali Spencer, while Jai is the father of Rachel's son Archie after a forbidden affair.
While Rachel's cause of death is yet to be confirmed, fans will remember that just a year ago Rachel's sister Ali was killed off, again off-screen, in a car accident.
As Jai was then reunited with his estranged son, who he is now sole carer for, fans united on Twitter to discuss the shock twist.
Absolutely gutted, no more Rachel or my lovely Gemma. Shame on you Emmerdale.
One fan seethed: "#Emmerdale Jesus Christ will you stop killing off members of this family off-screen!"
Another said: "I really don't get why #Emmerdale killed off Rachel. First I don't like it when regular characters are killed off-screen."Second, she was a decent enough character. Surely they could have come up with a better way to get Jai to have Archie without killing her off?"
A third typed: "Absolutely gutted, no more Rachel or my lovely Gemma. Shame on you Emmerdale."
"Why have you killed Rachel Breckle off YET the door is open for Andy Sugden to return?" one asked. "You brought back Mandy Dingle. Please don't kill off Rachel, turn her into a successful businesswoman to rival Kim Tate and invest in Emmerdale."
Actress Gemma also addressed her exit, writing on Instagram: "And so Rachel has joined her soap family in the sky. What a journey it's been.
"I got the role of Rachel Breckle in Emmerdale within a year of graduating from drama school and it changed my life.
"I always dreamed I'd be part of the show one day and, as many of you know my struggles as a teen, you'll understand why it really was a dream come true."
The arrival of Archie comes just weeks after Jai waved daughter Eliza a tearful farewell as she went off to start a new life away from the village with mum Megan.
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.
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