Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley feared bosses were trying to replace Cain

Emmerdale spoilers follow.

Emmerdale star Jeff Hordley has admitted that he was nervous when he first heard about Cain Dingle’s newest storyline.

Show bosses have cast former Waterloo Road actor Will Ash as newcomer Caleb, who’ll be revealed as Cain’s long-lost brother in a big Christmas plot.

The soap’s hour-long Christmas Day special sees Caleb visit Cain in prison after finding out that their mother Faith has recently died. It soon becomes clear that Cain has secretly known about Caleb’s existence for decades.

In real life, Jeff already shares a history with Will as they used to attend the same school in Oldham.

Related: Emmerdale reveals Cain’s Christmas shock in 13 new spoiler pictures

Speaking to Digital Spy and other media about Caleb’s arrival, Jeff explained: “Initially, I’ll be honest, I thought: ‘They are bringing in a younger Dingle? What are they doing that for? Are they trying to replace me?’ You always get a little bit protective of your character if they bring in someone similar.

“Then when I found out it was Will, I was like: ‘Oh, this is great. This is the best thing that could have happened’. I think it feels as if Caleb has been here a long time.

“The character is written so well. He’s got a charm and Will brings that across really beautifully in it. Cain does have a connection with him. He doesn’t like Caleb, but he also finds there’s something about him that Cain wants to connect with as well.”

On his real-life history with Will, Jeff continued: “It goes back to our school days. We did a play at school together and then other stuff professionally. We both went to the same school – North Chadderton Comprehensive in Oldham.

from itvstrict embargo   no use before 0001hrs saturday 26th november 2022emmerdale will ash joins the cast of emmerdaleacclaimed actor, will ash, will be joining the dingle family this christmas, playing caleb miligan, a well connected, successful businessman there’s a surprise in store for cain, played by jeff hordley, when his long lost brother caleb turns up unannounced however, it’s far from a happy festive reunion as caleb has lots of difficult questions he wants cain to answer  caleb’s arrival is set to make things even worse between warring siblings, cain and chas lucy pargeter, when it becomes clear that cain has kept caleb’s existence a secret from her since they were teenagers  picture contact   davidcrookitvcomphotographer   mark brucethis photograph is c itv plc and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or itv plc once made available by itv plc picture desk, this photograph can be reproduced once only up until the transmission tx date and no reproduction fee will be charged any subsequent usage may incur a fee this photograph must not be manipulated excluding basic cropping in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by itv plc picture desk this photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of itv picture desk full terms and conditions are available on  wwwitvcompresscentreitvpicturesterms


Related: Emmerdale‘s Chas Dingle to face lonely Christmas after being caught out

“We weren’t in the same class because I’m a lot older – a school generation above. We did Another Country and I was one of the sixth formers and Will was a young kid bringing us all tea!”

Jeff predicted that Caleb’s arrival will set up the Dingles well for some dramatic new stories in 2023.

He said: “There’s the whole Al thing, which gives Lucy [Pargeter] and Dom [Brunt] all these stories. There’s the Kyle thing, and now Caleb as well. It’s kind of mapping out the next year for us already. It’s really exciting.”

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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