"Emmerdale" bosses begged Gillian Kearney to extend her contract.
The 45-year-old actress is set to bow out of the long-running soap as manipulative murderer Emma Barton in a few months" time but, although it was initially thought she was devastated about getting the chop, producers have revealed they were the ones that asked her to stay because they wanted a few more weeks to do her exit scenes.
Speaking to the RadioTimes.com, a spokesperson said: "Gillian Kearney was intending to leave "Emmerdale" in May 2017.
"We asked her to extend her contract to play the last chapter of Emma Barton's story. Gillian was happy to stay with the programme to the end of the year in the knowledge she would be involved in a major storyline this autumn."
Bosses are currently remaining tight-lipped on how the brunette beauty - who dramatically pushed her husband off a bridge into oncoming traffic and then squeezed his oxygen tube until he died - will get her comeuppance, but it's thought she will certainly get what she deserves after causing the multi-car pile up last year.
A source said recently: "The writers were looking for their big summer story and they decided Emma would be at the centre of it. They felt there had to be retribution for all the trouble she's caused. They are going to be writing in more devious storylines for her and building her into a complete psycho."
It's not yet known whether Gillian - who made her debut appearance in the Yorkshire Dales in 2015 - will be making a comeback in the future.
The source explained: "Gillian had a discussion to see if they would leave the door open for Emma but they wanted a dramatic death."