Emmerdale fans were devastated when Ryan Hawley, who plays Robert Sugden announced he was leaving the soap.
With his final scenes set to play out on screen later this year, many are wondering how he is going to bow out; dead or alive? And it seems the actor has dropped a few hints about his exit storyline.
In previous weeks, viewers have seen Robert embroiled in a revenge plot against Lee Posner (Kris Mochrie), the man who raped his sister Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins).
Unable to deal with his emotions, Robert was goaded and ended up lashing out in anger at Lee, smashing him round the head with a spade, which resulted in the car sales man being in a coma.
After waking up, Lee decided to press charges against Robert and the businessman now faces an uncertain future.
But the actor who plays the fan-favourite character has suggested the next few months are going to be dramatic.
When asked whether or not his departure is a result of being killed, Ryan said: “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,” he told Metro.co.uk.
Most fans will remember the joyous occasion when Robert and Aaron Dingle (Danny Miller) married one another last October.
But with Robert leaving the village, where does this leave husband Aaron?
Actor Danny spoke about the possibility of Aaron being left bereft should the soap kill off Robert and said: “I personally think it would be a shame. Its a character who has been so popular over the years.
“But if they did do it, it would be a great storyline for me. Just saying!”
The pair were embarking on a surrogacy storyline last year, but plans have had to change now that Robert wishes to leave.
There is also the question of what happens to Victoria. While she and brother Robert have had a turbulent few weeks, battling against one another over her rape turmoil, she needs his support now more than ever.
Should Robert die, the Woolpack chef is going to have a difficult few months ahead; grieving whilst preparing to become a first time mother.
Nevertheless, there is always the possibility of Robert spending the rest of his life behind bars.
Many fans have suggested a more optimistic ending to the storyline which will see Robert face trial and be convicted for attacking Lee.
Another alternative ending is Robert running away, which would leave the door open should actor Ryan wish to return in the future.
Three years ago, Andy Sugden (Kelvin Fletcher) fled the village with the help of brother Robert.
After escaping police custody for a crime he didn’t commit, he has been living his life on the run and there is a strong chance he could briefly return to help Robert out of a sticky situation.
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV.