Emmerdale star James Hooton shares grim behind-the-scenes details of brutal spiking stunt

James Hooton as Sam Dingle
Emmerdale's Sam Dingle suffered a gruesome injury that put his life in jeopardy. (Image credit: ITV)

Emmerdale star James Hooton, who plays fan-favourite Sam Dingle in the soap, has revealed some behind-the-scenes details of how they filmed Sam's horrific spiking accident.

As the storm wreaked havoc across Emmerdale, many of the villagers suffered brutal injuries, but stalwart resident Sam found himself in a life-threatening position when he was impaled by a spike on some farm machinery.

The catastrophic injury occurred as Sam jumped into some hay bales after he and Nate Robinson (Jurell Carter) were chased by a stampede of cows during the storm. In the next moment, Sam was seen slumped over with the spike sticking out of his shoulder.

Sam Dingle spiked on a tractor in Emmerdale

Things didn't look good for Sam at the end of Monday's episode.  (Image credit: ITV)

Although the injury looked gruesome on-screen, filming the stunt was far less horrifying (thankfully!) as James revealed the backstage techniques the crew used to make it look as realistic as possible.

He told What To Watch and other media: "Costume went all out to try and find the best way of dealing with this spike scenario. It looks really ultra-realistic on-screen.

"It's made of foam, basically, one piece sticking out where the normal tractor piece would be and costume developed this sort of sling I put over my shoulder that had a little bit sticking out and part of the spike sticks into that.

Lydia and Sam sitting in the Woolpack having a drink.

Will Sam survive the ordeal? (Image credit: ITV)

"On the other side they’d ripped through the jacket to create the whole of the back, the exit wound, stuck another piece of foam on that. It looked great and was really interesting to film that stuff. We spent a whole day pretty much on one scene. It's unheard of in soap territory to spend such a long time preparing and shooting just a single scene."

Being spiked on farm machinery is a first for Emmerdale, but James was interested when he was told he would be doing the unexpected scenario as it was "a break from the norm."

"You never know what this show is going to throw at you so I was told this was happening. Obviously, you don’t know what the outcome is going to be of a story such as this, we and the viewers don’t know at the end of the episode whether Sam lives or dies," he commented.

Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7.30 pm on ITV, with a hour-long episode on Thursdays — see our TV Guide for full listings. You can also catch up on ITV Hub

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a digital writer with WhatToWatch.com, where she writes series guides for must-watch shows and the latest TV news. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.


You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series and much-loved soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.