Nicola King could be set for Emmerdale anniversary exit as star drops hint

Emmerdale is celebrating its 50th anniversary in October.

The soap has been running since October 16 1972 and has had 33 seasons.

Ahead of the 50th anniversary, viewers can expect some dramatic storylines to unfold.

One of those storylines might involve Nicola King, who's been played by Nicola Wheeler for 21 years.

Fans will know that Nicola has been having a tough time in recent episodes.

The councillor was the victim of an attack after she was set upon by a group of teenage girls in a car park.

Since the horrific attack, she has struggled with an anxiety condition.

Nicola has been part of some dark storylines, and that might continue as it's been hinted that she could make a dramatic departure during the 50th anniversary episode.

Is Nicola King leaving Emmerdale?

Speaking on This Morning with Philip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Nicola dropped some huge hints that her character will be leaving the Dales after the soap's 50th anniversary.

Talking about her recent storyline, Nicola said: "She thinks she's gathered her strength back but it gets worse and worse."

Philip proceeded to question the actress on whether she could be leaving the ITV soap, asking: "And for you as the actor playing the character, is this a serious thing? Have you got plans to spend more time with the family?"

Nicola appeared nervous as she awkwardly giggled while responding: "It's been a very good storyline."

But Philip wasn't ready to let the topic go and continued to probe, asking: "But there are many more that you're looking forward to?"

Nicola seemed hesitant to respond at first, but then opened up about the future for her character.

"I can't tell you! No, I can tell you that something will come up in the future. Just when you think this story may have been put to bed, something else comes along."

The actress then teased that her character's departure could be linked to the 50th anniversary episode, adding: "And then there's the 50th year and maybe something might happen which means she can't spend any more time in the village anymore. Who knows? I don't!"

Holly was shocked at how much information she revealed and commended Phil on his interrogation as she said: "Well done! You did very well there!"

Phil joked that he'd get in trouble, saying: "I'll probably be in terrible trouble, Sharon Marshall will be texting me in a minute saying 'what the hell are you doing'."

While her exit hasn't been officially confirmed, Nicola's hints make it look pretty likely that she could leave the show.

Nicola Wheeler's health battle

Nicola recently took a break from Emmerdale for a few months to recuperate from a hip replacement.

The surgery has left the actress unable to do anything too physical, which provided a challenge during her most recent storyline, which saw her brutally attacked.

Instead, a stunt double had to step in to help Nicola out with the physical scenes.

Opening up to Phil and Holly about the surgery and how it impacted her work, Nicola said: “I took a couple of months off for a hip replacement and they told me about this story.

"They said ‘What we are going to do is we are going to bring you back and beat you up, is that okay?’

“I said 'Fine, but I can't throw myself on the floor' so the stunt double did anything truly physical just because obviously I was still healing.”

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