But as Robert’s exit draws ever closer, speculation is growing over how he might leave.
Devoted to husband Aaron, it’s highly unlikely he’ll go of his own volition, and it’s so far looking likely he’ll go to prison after his attack on Victoria’s rapist, Lee Posner.
But now Ryan has hinted Robert’s fate might be sealed in another way as he meets his maker…
Speaking to Metro.co.uk, Ryan was asked how he would feel if his alter ego were to die.
He replied: “That’s the choice of the show.
“Whether you stay or choose to go, you’re at the mercy of the producers, so you can’t have any ill feeling.
“It is what it is. If that’s what they do, it’s what they do.”
His on-screen other half, Danny Miller (Aaron Dingle) added: “I personally think it would be a shame.
“It’s a character who has been so popular over the years. Ryan has come in and done it justice.
“But if they did do it, it would be a great storyline for me. Just saying!”
While Emmerdale are keeping tight-lipped on whether Robert will ever be able to return, fans have been left fuming after he was told he faces life imprisonment for his attack on Lee.
Viewers have already complained about Victoria’s rapist being portrayed as a victim, but the news that Robert could go down for life in a twisted tale of justice was a step too far.
On Thursday (August 8), Lee woke up from his coma and accused Robert of grievous bodily harm, with intent.
Claiming Robert and pregnant Victoria have a sick vendetta against him and the attack was unprovoked, he made sure Robert faced the maximum penalty for attacking him if convicted – life imprisonment.
After Robert heard the devastating truth from his lawyer, he headed home to face his loved ones, but decided to lie about the severity of his situation.
Robert is set to reveal the truth next week and it’s fair to say the news doesn’t go down well.
Viewers aren’t impressed with how the storyline is going, with one livid Emmerdale viewer threatening to stop watching: “Emmerdale, please don’t do this! Please don’t have Ryan’s exit be a prison sentence for this,” they tweeted.
“You will only be turning a rapist into a victim. It’s with a heavy heart I say this but, if that happens, I’ll no longer be able to support Emmerdale as a programme and I’m sure I’m not alone.
“I’m sorry, but I just can’t get behind any programme that would do that. You still have time to change this. Yes it’s been done before, but can you not have him go on the run like Andy and Adam? Please I’m begging you. Think of the message this is sending to rape victims.”
Read more: Emmerdale fans ship Rhona and Graham romance
Another said: “I could handle Lee not being punished for raping Vic because, sad but true, not all sexual assaults get what they deserve.
“But to make the scum the victim and Rob the bad guy in this is the most vile and despicable bit of storytelling you’ve done.”
Will Robert be charged and found guilty of GBH with intent?
Or do the scriptwriters have more twists planned? Could one of the soap’s most iconic characters really be killed off?
How would you like to see Robert Sugden leave Emmerdale? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page @EntertainmentDailyFix and let us know what you think!