During an interview with us at the Inside Soap Awards this year, Bhasker Patel spoke candidly about his departure from Emmerdale.
In the performance, Bhasker portrayed Rishi Sharma, who passed away earlier this year.
While preparing to attend Jai’s (Chris Bisson) and Laurel’s (Charlotte Bellamy) wedding, the adored character fell down the stairs and died.
After spending 12 years in the village, the closing scenes brought an end to it, and Bhasker was deeply touched by the overwhelming support he received from fans upon his alter ego’s departure.
The Emmerdale family is a terrific set to deal with and I learned a lot from them. It also gives you a beautiful profile. When Rishi passed away, the online outpouring of support made me weep. I will miss working with them, he said.
“You understand how much people adored my persona and my actions?”
Bhasker reflected on his response to hearing that he will be leaving Emmerdale and said:
“I had anticipated staying there for a few more years, taking a sabbatical, and finding employment elsewhere!” The ITV executives always let me to work while I was there; I completed two plays, a film, several more short films, radio dramas, and voiceovers. I consider myself quite fortunate.
“We need a huge tale, you know Rishi lost Nikhil, Priya, and Manpreet. We’ll bring Manpreet to you,” they claimed, and when they didn’t, I knew something fishy was going on!” I believed it was okay when Jane Hudson said, “We need a big story and we’re going to kill Rishi off.”
I’ve been a jobbing actor since 1980, and I enjoy working, so I felt it was a tremendous compliment when they said you’ve worked when you were with us in Emmerdale, he said.
Thinking back on his close relationship with his co-stars, Bhasker said with us:
As you grow to be a family, you merely accept their gifts. You simply did it when I had to strip off in the workplace once! On my final day, Laura Shaw said, “The thing about you Bhasker, whatever we threw at you as Rishi, you did it,” and as an actor, I believe that’s all you want.
“Do it, have no regrets, and move on.”