Emmerdale fans are convinced that Asan N'Jie was 'edited out' tonight after being sacked from the ITV soap.
The young actor was given his marching orders for his “unacceptable behaviour” at the TV Choice Awards where he threatened to stab and kill Hollyoaks star Jamie Lomas.
Show bosses have confirmed that Ellis Chapman will stay on screen for another six weeks – but some viewers noticed something strange in scenes from Thursday's first episode.
Ellis' entire family was at the centre of the first helping of Dales action as his mum Jessie Grant and dad Al Chapman shared an illicit kiss.
But Asan's character was mysteriously missing from crucial scenes that Emmerdale viewers expected him to be a part of – and then seemingly 'replaced'.
The Woolpack football team gathered for their next match – with regular team members Pete Barton, Matty Barton, Paddy Kirk and Marlon Dingle in action along with Ellis' brother Billy and dad Al.
However, squad member Ellis was not playing in the crucial game and his absence was not addressed by any of the players or manager Bear Wolf.
And to make matters even worse, there was a mystery goalkeeper that seemingly replaced Ellis in the team.
Emmerdale fans took to Twitter to question whether Ellis has been 'edited out' of the episode.
One viewer said: "#Emmerdale seems very disjointed tonight, like they’ cut scenes. Have they cut scenes with Ellis already?"
"Has ellis beem dropped from the bear cubs," added another.
A third said: "If i were you Marlon, i'd heed Billy's warning about Jessie! The sooner she goes the better! And is it me or have they started editing Ellis out?!
"Dear @emmerdale, where is Ellis or cause you’ve dropped the actor you’ve cut him out of the prerecorded scenes. At least say where he is than pretending he didn’t exist," said a fourth.
Despite the confusion, Emmerdale bosses have confirmed that Asan will definitely remain on screen for another six weeks before Ellis is removed from the soap.
Sources on the Yorkshire-based soap admitted it would be “virtually impossible” to remove his character from the forthcoming storylines without having to cancel episodes
With Asan playing a central role in upcoming episodes, with a new romance with Belle Dingle incoming, the decision has been made to keep his scenes.
It is uncertain how Ellis will be written out of the soap, with mum Jessie due to exit soon. but dad Al and brother Billy remaining key characters.
Asan's scenes will air on ITV as normal following his apology and will then move the soap on and write him out of the show in a storyline currently being prepared.
A show source told the Mirror: “Asan will still appear in the episodes he has recorded which will air for the next six weeks or so.
“There have been some meetings to decide what to do and this seems the most sensible option. We regularly have to rewrite scenes due to cast sickness and so it is not as unusual as it sounds to be suddenly re-writing storylines.
“By next week we will be filming scenes which will help write out Ellis and explain his absence from the show for good.”
Asan clashed with I'm A Celebs star Jamie Lomas at the TV Choice Awards on Monday night in front of horrified guests.
There was chaos at the glitzy London event when Asan yelled: “I’m going to f**king kill you. I’m going to f**king knife you.”
Asan was universally criticised for his behaviour and was called in by Emmerdale bosses and asked to explain his actions.
After initially being suspended he was sacked at the end of the meeting on Wednesday and escorted out by staff.
ITV said in a statement: “Emmerdale suspended Asan N’Jie yesterday pending further investigation into an incident at a central London hotel on Monday night.
“ITV executives have met with him this morning and as a consequence Asan’s contract has been terminated with immediate effect.”
Guilt-ridden Asan explained he wanted “to learn” from his actions after his controversial behaviour at the star-studded bash.
In a grovelling statement, he said: “My behaviour at the TV Choice Awards was completely unacceptable and very much out of character.”
“I sincerely apologise to everybody who has been affected especially Jamie Lomas, the whole Emmerdale team, our audience, ITV, my family, and the organisers of the TV Choice Awards.
“I am devastated, accept full responsibility for my actions and I am determined to learn from this.”
*Emmerdale airs weekdays on ITV at 7pm with an extra episode on Thursdays at 8pm
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