EMMERDALE is in crisis after NINE stars were revealed to be leaving the soap amid a host of huge blunders in storylines.
Worried fans are concerned the show is on a downward spiral after Andrew Scarborough became the latest actor to quit the soap over the weekend.
The actor – who plays Graham Foster in the ITV soap – has been one of the most popular stars on the show since joining two years ago and his exit has sent ripples through the soap’s community.
Insiders have told The Sun Online how having three producers – Jane Hudson, Kate Brooks and Laura Shaw) – a soap first, has led to confusion and disarray behind the scenes with producers taking different storyline blocks each.
A source said: “It’s really tough behind the scenes, morale is low and no-one seems to be aware of what’s going on.
“Fans are noticing and it’s really disheartening to everyone who works so hard on the show. There’s a real feeling that something drastic has to happen to save the show.”
The actor joins the likes of Gaynor Faye to quit the soap[/caption]
Ryan Hawley has been another high profile exit[/caption]
Samantha Giles announced she had quit the soap on Twitter in September[/caption]
Anthony Quinlan will also exit the soap soon[/caption]
Over the last few months Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley), Faith Dingle (Sally Dexter), Megan Macey (Gaynor Faye), Frank Clayton (Michael Praed), Bernice Blackstock (Samantha Giles), Jessie Grant (Sandra Marvin) and Ellis Chapman (Asan N’jie) have left the soap.
It was also revealed how Pete Barton would soon be leaving after Anthony Quinlan decided to quit his role.
There have also been a string of high profile blunders with storylines that have left fans fearing the worst from the soap.
Fans have pointed out some of the biggest twists of the year have been mired in blunders and ignored what has previously happened to the characters.
Sally Dexter also left the soap last month[/caption]
Blunders saw Faith leave her children as youngsters but then was still around for when they were young adults in new storylines[/caption]
Twists like Faith knowing Cain had a secret son and being the one to convince the mother to leave him alone despite just two years ago a major flashback storyline showing Faith leaving Cain and Chas when they were small children.
Other blunders saw Vinny admit he isn’t Mandy’s son despite a slew of Dingle family members staying with Mandy off screen over the years and none of them being surprised by a new 17 year old son appearing.
There was also the introduction of a new backstory for Paddy Kirk as he discovered his mum had had an affair while he was born with wrestler Bear Wolf.
It all came to light after Mandy discovered love letters written by Bear to Paddy’s mum in some of her old belongings, only when Bear arrived in the village a new storyline saw him become illiterate meaning he could not have written the letters.
Ratings have also started to dip after years of success with some worried it is the start of a downward trend that could be difficult to reverse. A comparison of episodes from last year to this year show a dip of more than 500,000 viewers watching the episodes.
Just two years ago the soap was celebrating winning best soap awards with a slew of gongs for its star but more recently a revived EastEnders and Hollyoaks have taken home the biggest awards.
For fans the soap is in crisis with one saying: “Emmerdale has become a joke. It’s like a parody of the great soap it once was.”
A second said: “The soap is in a mess with cheap hollow plots & characterisation – its all about the “shock twists” & chasing social media headlines these days. And sadly (for me) the newer characters they’ve brought in are suffering from the same cheap plot / shock twist stories that are (in my opinion) driving so many of the cast away from the soap.”
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Another added: “I don’t know why ITV are allowing Emmerdale to be ruined like this. It wasn’t so long ago that it was getting nothing but praise, but the last few years has been the worst I have ever seen it. It’s like they feel like a story can only work if it’s as unrealistic as possible.”
An Emmerdale spokeswoman said: “Departures are meat and drink to any soap. Without them there wouldn’t be any drama. And on Emmerdale there’s certainly tons of drama, all of it on screen!
“Storylines are gripping, ratings are great and we’re winning award after award. Long may it continue.”