Emmerdale fans confused as favourite character returns looking unrecognisable

(Image credit: ITV)

Kirin Kotecha is back, but he looks a little different...

Emmerdale fans have been left confused after Kirin Kotecha returned to the village, played by a different actor.

Kirin, who is Johnny's biological dad, has been spoken about a lot in recent weeks as Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) tries to adopt Vanessa's son.

Kirin Emmerdale

Kirin's back, but played by a new actor (Picture: ITV)

However, when he finally made his reappearance last night, fans were left confused when he looked totally different.

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Viewers will remember that the character was played by Adam Fielding between 2014 and 2016.

Kirin was forced to flee the village four years ago when he drunkenly ran Tess Harris over in a hit and run, leaving her with fatal injuries.

Priya Sharma sees Kirin Kotecha

Priya was shocked to see Kirin return last night (Picture: ITV) (Image credit: ITV)

Last night's Emmerdale saw Kirin make a return to the village at the end of the episode, leaving Priya looking like she had seen a ghost.

Kirin's new look

But fans were more concerned that the character was now played by a different actor.

Emmerdale announced last month that the role had been recast, with actor Rish Shah, who had joined the soap for a guest stint.

Kirin Emmerdale

Fans were surprised to see Kirin returning to the village with a new face (Picture: ITV)

Fans took to social media to share their surprise at seeing the new Kirin make his screen debut last night...

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But Kirin's return isn't going to be a happy one, because he is soon demanding money from Charity in return for giving his blessing for her adopting Johnny.

The blackmail is set to cause trouble for Charity as she desperately tries to get the money together.

Charity Dingle in Emmerdale

Charity will be shocked to see Kirin in tonight's Emmerdale (Picture: ITV) (Image credit: ITV)

But Kirin is taking a huge risk being back in the village where he killed Tess.

With the police not far behind him, could he end up behind bars?

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.