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Long-standing Emmerdale character killed off in surprise scenes

Long-standing Emmerdale character killed off in surprise scenes
Heath Hope is killed off in a New Year's teenage joyriding storyline in Emmerdale.

Teenager Heath Hope has been killed off in shocking car crash scenes in the New Year's Day episode of Emmerdale.

The character - son of Bob Hope (Tony Audenshaw) - has been played on the soap by Sebastian Dowling since 2007, when he was just a few weeks old. Dowling's real-life twin sister Gabrielle Dowling, meanwhile, portrays Heath's twin sister Cathy.

In the episodes, the teens were travelling by car - driven by Cathy - on their way to a party, along with mate Angelica (Rebecca Bakes), but tragedy struck and the car crashed at high speed, killing Heath instantly.

Moments later, a concerned Bob and girlfriend Wendy (Susan Cookson) arrived on the scene and despite Wendy's best efforts to revive Heath, it proved to be in vain.

"It was quite a shock that that's what they were doing," Audenshaw told reporters recently of the twist. "But obviously it's a really important storyline and I hope it's one that they do justice to."

He continued: "Certainly in the way he's parented he's going to question his relationship with his children. Has he got on better with Heath than he has with Cathy over the last few years? Is it payback time now for that?

"Because Heath, because he hasn't got PMDD I suppose, for one, has been an easier ride as a parent, because he's had less trouble.

"He's just been a bit of a dream, really, just got on with things. His eyes have been towards Cathy a lot because of the trouble she's had because of her condition."

Emmerdale continues weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX.

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