Emmerdale actor Jonathan Wrather reveals how he kept his return as Pierce Harris a secret: 'Even half the cast didn't know!'

Jonathan Wrather's return to Ememrdale was kept tightly under wraps in a bid to keep Graham's killer's identity top secret...

Graham Foster's murder has been the sole focus of Emmerdale this week, and as the huge whodionnut episodes are wrapped up tonight, actor Jonathan Wrather has admitted the soap went to unbelievable lengths to keep his return to the soap a secret.

After lining up Charity, Marlon, Andrea, Jamie, Kim, Jai and Al as Graham's prospective killers, it turns out that Rhona's dangerous ex husband is actually the one who finished Graham off... and Emmerdale fans are thrilled to see Pierce Harris back on our screens.

Graham is murdered in Emmerdale

Pierce wasn't in the original suspect line up, but he is definitely the one with Graham's death on his conscience (Picture: ITV)

But while we might all still be in shock from the revelation, actor Jonathan has known for some time that his return would be epic.

But at first even he didn't know that his character would become a cold-blooded killer... "I was thrilled to be asked back, but it was funny because Jane, our producer, couldn’t really give me too many details," he told us.

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"I kind of had to read between the lines, I said 'It’s not going to be more of the same, is it?' and they said 'No, it’s much worse than that!' I was like, what’s worse?!"

Once Jonathan had agreed to return as Pierce, the whole things suddenly became very cloak and dagger in a bid to keep Graham's killer's identity a secret... even from the rest of the cast!

Pierce Harris revealed as Graham Foster's killer in Emmerdale ITV

It was revealed tonight that Pierce was the one Graham beat up last week (Picture: ITV)

"I was shuffling into the side entrance at the studio. Luckily the first number of sequences were on location so it was a little easier, no-one knew where we were and so it was easier to hide... although someone had to hide me with an umbrella and I had a hood to cover me up.

"Half the cast didn’t even know I was coming back because they were getting scripts with Mark TBA in it. They were asking, 'who is this Mark?' Then the penny dropped. 

Pierce Harris revealed as Graham Foster's killer in Emmerdale ITV

Graham's dead... but will Pierce have another village resident on his hit list? (Picture: ITV)

"I have a pass to get me round the studio but it has another name and another photograph which is a bit daft because obviously it doesn’t look like me. My code name was Mark Bloomfield!

"It's great to be back and Pierce is going to be around for a little bit. I can’t say anything about what he goes on to do but there is some very exciting stuff coming up.

"As always, it’s a curveball - the storytelling is great and I’m feeling very fortunate that I’ve been trusted with this."

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

Claire Crick
Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch

Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia. 

After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off

She’s interviewed everyone from June Brown — AKA Dot Cotton — to Michelle Keegan, swapped cooking tips with baking legend Mary Berry backstage at the NTAs, and danced the night away with soap stars at countless awards bashes. There’s not a lot she doesn’t know about soaps and TV and can be very handy when a soapy question comes up in a pub quiz! 

As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.