Shock death in Emmerdale leads to THIS former character making a surprise return

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(Image credit: ITV)

There's drama heading to Emmerdale when a sudden death rocks Jai Sharma...

Next week's Emmerdale is set to see former character Rachel Breckle suddenly pass away... leading to Jai Sharma's son Archie, who he shares with Rachel, making a shock return to the village.

Jai has been to hell and back over the last few weeks... not only has he lost his beloved factory thanks to the blaze that killed Frank Clayton, but his daughter Eliza has also left the village after moving away with mum Megan.

Emmerdale, Jai Sharma

Jai's life has been turned upside down since the fire at the factory (Picture: ITV)

But life is about to get even more complicated for Jai next week when he gets the shocking news that his former flame Rachel has died.

Rachel and Jai had a fling back in 2012 while Jai was married to Charity Dingle... and as a result they had a little boy called Archie.

But Jai hardly knows his son, because after just a few years after was born Rachel left the village in 2015 to make a fresh start in Liverpool, taking Alfie with her.

Jai tries to get close to his son in Emmerdale

Jai is stunned when Dan arrives with the news Rachel has died (Picture: ITV)

Since then Jai has had limited contact with his son... but next week sees him back in the village, and without Rachel to look after him, it is now Jai's turn to take over the reins.

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Jai is stunned when Dan arrives with the news Rachel has died and while he is pleased to see Archie, it soon becomes clear he has got a struggle on his hands as he tries to connect with the son he barely knows.

Jai tries to connect with his son in Emmerdale

Jai tries to bond with his son, but he has got a long road ahead of him (Picture: ITV)

Will Jai manage to make up for lost time with Alfie?

And what about Jai's relationship with Laurel? With their romance still in the early stages, could the pressure of raising another child be enough to break them?

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 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.