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Emmerdale fans have been left sobbing at the death of Ben Tucker during a tense showdown with the village's resident serial killer Meena Jutla.
Aaron Dingle's boyfriend Ben was killed off as the start of Aaron's own exit storyline after actor Danny Miller made a move to quit the ITV soap for good.
Determined to prove his innocence over the HOP incident before he moved away with Aaron for his new job, Ben headed over to the offices to do some investigating of his own.
But in his way he found the video footage of Meena attempting to drown Victoria Sugden in the river during the survival week.
Unbeknownst to Ben, a vicious Meena was lurking in the background – but things got even more tense when Meena slipped on shards of glass from a broken wine bottle.
Sensing her pain, Ben had the option of helping her or fleeing for his own life.
He initially left, but returned just in time for Meena to whack him over the head with a baseball bat.
Fans were understandably devastated, as one wrote: "That's the end of Ben! Awful villain Meena strikes again."
"Please please please don't kill Ben!" someone begged on Twitter.
As another wrote: "Anger doesn't even cover it, I'm absolutely devastated! That was brutal!"
Actor Simon Lennon told Metro of the storyline: "There is a switch within the relationship of Ben and Meena where they’re chatting and talking about the piece of evidence that she’s heard about.
"There’s no suspicion [until] Meena begins to belittle Ben verbally […] and there’s a mutual acknowledgement within the look between them that ‘right, this might go south’."
Danny, who is currently in the I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! castle, decided to leave Emmerdale for good after an incredible 13-year stint, explaining that he was "very emotional" about his decision and that the soap had been a "big part" of his life.
Speaking of his entrance into the castle, Danny said: "I knew my baby would only be about a month old when I went into the Castle.
"I was worried about leaving the baby with Steph on her own but she is a midwife and I know our baby will be in perfect hands.
"She has been incredibly supportive and she knows what a great opportunity this is to take part."
He added: "It will be nice for people to see me not crying but having a laugh! I am a fun guy at home and I’ve been known as Aaron now for 13 years – it’s good to step outside your comfort zone."
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV.
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