In an emotional and heart-wrenching episode of Emmerdale that aired on Thursday, viewers witnessed the joyous wedding of Jai Sharma and Laurel Thomas, played by Chris Bisson and Charlotte Bellamy, as they exchanged vows and promised to spend their lives together.
However, the celebration was tinged with sadness as Jai’s father, Rishi Sharma, portrayed by Bhasker Patel, was conspicuously absent from the ceremony.
Ultimately, after a phone call from Georgia, Rishi decided to head to the wedding and dressed in his suit was last seen heading out the door…
Unfortunately, for Jai, Laurel and the family he never made it to the service or the reception, and at the end of the episode we found out why, Rishi was dead at the foot of the stairs… was it a heart attack of something more sinister?
‘Thanks for watching Rishi over the years. I feel privileged to have been part of the show for 12 years. I have loved it and will miss it enormously, especially my friends and working in the beautiful village of Emmerdale. Thank you for watching. Stay safe Bhasker,’ says Bhasker Patel
The story will continue in Emmerdale tomorrow (ITV1 at 7.30pm) where Jai makes the discovery of his father’s body.
Speaking about the moment Jai finds Rishi actor Chris Bisson said: That was two days of filming with a ‘dead Bhasker’ on top of me as I cried my eyes out. It was difficult and they were long emotional days – I felt wiped out by the end of filming. But I tried to give it my all. We try to get inside the heads of the characters. As the audience wants to see and understand the characters’ pain and that is what we as actors try to portray.
It must have been tiring when you went home after filming these scenes?
Yes it’s like when they say about taking your work home with you. If you have had a long emotional day of scenes when you’ve been upset all day you don’t just switch off when they shout cut. It takes a little bit of time to acclimatise – come back down and get your head straightened back to normality. You need a bit of headspace after a day like that.
So Bhasker has gone and he’s played your fictional dad for 12 years. Tell us about that.
It does feel very strange without him. Every time I walk past what was his dressing room I think about popping my head in to see how he’s doing. So it is strange when he isn’t there. Twelve years is a long time. And over the years we’ve had some great stories and have had a lot of fun too. Bhasker and I got on really well personally so that makes a big difference and the loss even greater – we all miss him in the building.
Elsewhere tonight, there was some sweet scenes with Noah and Amelia as he tried to reassure her that things were going to be ok, even getting down on one knee to propose. Amelia said no but it was lovely to see Dan accepting Noah after everything that has happened.
There was also some genuinely lovely moments with Victor and Claudette as they shared a dance, but not before Charles returned and was unhappy that Victor had gone through the record collection without asking.
The story continues on Friday, July 28th, 2023 on ITV1 at 7:30pm