Emmerdale's Rishi lies dead at the bottom of the stairs comp image

Emmerdale star Bhasker Patel thanks fans for support after Rishi shock death airs

Bhasker has enjoyed 12 years on the ITV soap

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Emmerdale star Bhasker Patel has spoken out following Thursday night’s shocking episode of the soap – in which Rishi Sharma was revealed to have died while Jai and Laurel were at their wedding.

The episode airing Thursday, July 27 saw Jai and Laurel tie the knot. This came not long after Rishi and Georgia revealed the truth about Jai’s ‘real’ father.

While it looked as though a heartfelt reunion may be on the cards, tragedy struck as Jai and Laurel celebrated their marriage. But who will find Rishi’s body – and when?

Jai and Rishi argue while Laurel and Georgia sit by, despairing
Rishi tried to make things right with Jai, but it was too late (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale: The truth about Jai’s parentage revealed – as Rishi dies alone

The episode saw Rishi finally come clean, telling Jai how he was the product of an affair between mum Georgia and Rishi’s brother. When Georgia fell pregnant with his brother’s child, Rishi had stepped in to marry her.

He had then claimed Jai as his own, saving the ‘very conservative’ family from scandal. However, he brought up and loved Jai as his own – a fact that Georgia reminded her son of after the wedding.

Rishi lying dead at the bottom of the stairs on Emmerdale
Unbeknownst to his family, Rishi lay dead at the bottom of the stairs (Credit: ITV)

However, Jai did not take Rishi’s confession calmly, and Rishi was absent for the ceremony. After Georgia appealed to Jai’s heart, he relented, saying that his father would be welcome after all.

Georgia left a voicemail for Rishi, entreating him to get to the church on time. However, he failed to make the ceremony.

Tragedy struck as Jai and Laurel were married (Credit: ITV)

As Jai and Laurel made their toast as newlyweds at the Woolpack, Jai expressed regret over his father’s absence. The soap then cut to a shot of Rishi, lying dead at the foot of the stairs at home.

Emmerdale Bhasker Patel issues farewell to his fans as Rishi dies

As these scenes aired, Bhasker Patel, who plays Rishi, issued a message to the soap’s fans.

“Thanks for watching Rishi over the years. I feel privileged to have been part of the show for 12 years,” Bhasker said.

“I have loved it and will miss it enormously, especially my friends and working in the beautiful village of Emmerdale. Thank you for watching,” he said.

Speaking on Lorraine this morning, Bhasker also revealed how he felt when he got the call to say Rishi’s end was near.

“Getting a job like this was like a godsend. Then when the producer rang me and said: ‘I need to talk to you… we’re killing him off because we want a big story and it’s going to be a big surprise’.

He continued: “But because during my 12 years at ITV they let me do quite a lot of other work, so I felt also part of ITV, part of Rishi, but at the same time I did a lot of work in London as well, so when the producer said ‘we’re going to kill you off’ I was like ‘Okay, that part of my life with this guy is over and I’m going to move on.'”

Jai is the one to find Rishi dead (Credit: ITV)

Emmerdale spoilers: Jai discovers his father’s body

The story continues in tomorrow’s episode, as Jai discovers his father’s body. Speaking on the heartbreaking scenes, Chris Bisson – who plays Jai – revealed Jai’s shock and devastation.

“Jai was extremely disappointed his father did not come to his wedding. Prior to the wedding they had had a significant run in but by the time the wedding went ahead Jai was hopeful his dad would attend. In the church Jai kept turning around to see if his dad was going to turn up. And at the wedding reception he kept looking at the door to see if his dad was going to walk in.

“The whole thing was making Jai anxious and he realised he just needed to get on and enjoy the day – as the day was about Laurel. But he was really disappointed that Rishi wasn’t there,” Chris said.

He continued: “Jai’s speech at the reception was really about his dad and how he wanted things to be right – how life is too short and how we should all make the most of it and enjoy what we have. So the next day of course he’s going to be very very upset on discovering his father.

“Not just the sadness of losing his dad but the circumstances. Because they hadn’t had a chance to resolve things.”

Rishi dead on Emmerdale
How will Rishi’s death affect Jai? (Credit: ITV)

Chris Bisson speaks out on Jai’s horror at losing his father

Speaking on Jai’s future, Chris discussed how he will take this sudden loss. “I think it’s going to make things harder for him. He will ruminate on it. It’s not something that just disappears and we do come back to this regret in future scripts. We reflect on the state of their relationship at the time of his passing,” he said.

“Twelve years is a long time,” Chris said of his relationship with Bhasker.  “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.”

Read more: Complete Emmerdale cast list 2023 – meet them all here!

Emmerdale - Jai Never Wants To See Rishi Again

Read more: Complete Emmerdale cast list 2023 – meet them all here!

Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV, with an hour episode on Thursdays.

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Joel Harley
Freelance Writer