Ex star Jason Merrells says Emmerdale is overlooked in TV awards, even when it's the best soap (VIDEO)

Former star Jason Merrells says Emmerdale has been unjustly neglected at the British Soap Awards and during his time playing Declan Macey it was 'the best – definitely'.

Emmerdale will be battling it out with the likes of Coronation Street and EastEnders once again at the British Soap Awards next month – and Jason reckons the ITV soap has never got the credit it deserves.

Jason told What's on TV: "Certainly in the last few years, and it wasn't just us that were feeling it, it was many people outside and the critics were saying that this was the best soap that was happening at the time, but we consistently didn’t get that award and I think to a certain extent we should have. It's a subjective business… but I definitely feel that we were the best. Definitely!"

Jason admitted that while he missed his co-stars on Emmerdale, he didn’t miss playing ruthless businessman Declan Macey.

Jason - who returns to our screens shortly in Sky1’s new eight-part series of comedy crime drama Agatha Raisin – quit Emmerdale in October 2014, when Declan was seen finally taking his revenge on wife Charity and turning her whole family against her by revealing her many crimes.

He said: "I only say I don’t particularly miss playing Declan because I can’t think of what else we could have done with him really. We pulled him every which way – he went from the bottom, to the top, and down again, he got married, divorced. We really went through it, so I kind of don’t think as a character there’s anything [more to do]."

He added: “But I miss the people a load because I really enjoyed working with a number of those actors, all of them, you know, there’s so many good actors on [Emmerdale]. And I miss that.”

When asked if he would ever consider returning to the soap, Jason – who plays Sir Charles Fraith in Agatha Raisin – replied: "Not at the moment. Declan's alive in fiction, so it's possible, but it's not something I'm planning to do, no."

Agatha Raisin - starring Ashley Jensen - also sees Jason team up with his former Waterloo Road co-star Jamie Glover, who plays Agatha's on-off love interest James Lacey. And it seems they both enjoyed reuniting.

Jamie said: "On Waterloo Road, we clicked immediately, and we had a good chemistry as head master and deputy head, and that's certainly continued socially in however many years since then. So it's nice to reignite that."

Agatha Raisin returns to Sky1 this summer.

Watch our full interview with Jamie Glover and Jason Merrells, above...

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Victoria Wilson
Feature Writer for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week and WhatToWatch.com

With over 20 years’ experience writing about TV and film, Vicky currently writes features for What’s on TV, TV Times, TV & Satellite Week magazines plus news and watching guides for WhatToWatch.com, a job which involves chatting to a whole host of famous faces. Our Vicky LOVES light entertainment, with Strictly Come Dancing, Britain’s Got Talent and The Voice UK among her fave shows. Basically, if it’s got a shiny floor, she’s all over it! When she’s not watching TV, you might find Vicky in therapy… retail therapy that is!