Emmerdale actor Danny Miller has opened up about his reaction to the news that co-star Ryan Hawley would be leaving the ITV soap.

The soap star, who plays Aaron Dingle, also offered him advice on leaving - joking that he should "do a Panto and pay off his taxes".

Ryan, who plays Aaron's lover Robert Sugden, devastated fans after it was revealed that he was quitting the soap after five years.

He will be bowing out by the end of the year, however has not confirmed when exactly that would be.

Asked how he reacted to the news, Danny joked: "Well I was livid that my head count was going down!"

But he added: "I mean, I've done it - I've been there and left and just had a go at being out there and auditioning and being a jobbing actor I suppose.

Emmerdale actor Ryan Hawley is leaving the soap after five years
 

"So, I always had a feeling that Ryan would want to do that at some point anyway because, without blowing smoke up him, he's a great actor and he's great to work with. So I think it was inevitable he was going to do it and it's just a case of when."

Danny said that he "fully supported" Ryan's decision and said that he should "get out there and have a go at stuff".

"I was gutted for me to lose a friend on set and around the building as well," Danny said. "I think I must be saying things - first Kelvin and now Ryan! So I think I'm going to be the only one in that group message that's working. But no, it's gutting for me and for Aaron and for the show but I would wish him the best."

Asked what advice he had for Ryan, he quipped: "Do a panto, pay your tax off! No, I'd just say just go for it and see what happens and see what auditions you get for yourself.

Ryan's character Robert has found himself in a difficult situation

"Yeah, I think Ryan's a lot more clever than I was anyway, so I think he'll be fine with scripts."

When Ryan was asked what he was planning to do after his exit from the show, he declined to answer.

"Again it's not something I really want to talk about," he told reporters. "I'd rather just concentrate on Robert and the show. So yeah, if you don't mind."

Robert will finally come clean to Aaron about his prison sentence - leaving him utterly heartbroken.

Rapist Lee has been tormenting Robert and sister Victoria and ended up riling him up so much that Robert whacked him over the head.

Robert Sugden is overheard talking to his solicitor
 

This left Lee in a coma as Robert claimed that he was attacked first and he acted in self-defence. However Lee has since woken up and is disputing his version of events.

Robert's lawyer has warned that the police are looking to charge him with GBH with intent, which carries a life sentence.

However Robert's family, including Aaron, are unaware of this and he has been secretly despairing.

Next week, Cain overhears Robert's conversation with his solicitor and later tells him that he won't lie to Aaron about his possible sentence.

Before he has the chance to tell Aaron, Liv has a seizure in the café and is rushed to hospital.

"Robert's been put in a situation where he has to tell Aaron and be honest with him," actor Ryan Hawley explains. "And then what happens is Liv has this seizure and it kind of gets in the way but eventually Robert does confess to Aaron and Aaron's obviously heartbroken and devastated by the fact that he hasn't told him."

Liv suffers a seizure in the cafe

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Asked what Aaron's reaction is like to the news, actor Danny Miller says: "Obviously it's like the same old story with Aaron, I think he's constantly trying to. I think since he came to the village and how he's developed and become the honest one and rashest one and I think he's tried to change his views and came to terms with what happened with his dad when he was a child.

"I think then he wanted to have this honest relationship and this honest life and being as honest as you can with your nearest and dearest and he constantly argues with Robert about that so when he eventually tells Aaron what happened, I think he actually says 'I'm not even angry, I'm just tired'."

Robert finally tells Aaron the truth

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He adds: "Originally he says it's GBH and then he says it's GBH with intent, which carries a sentence of life whereas GBH you can get maybe five or six years and he's thinking, 'He'll be out in two, it'll be alright. We can work it out.'

"A life sentence or whatever would be awful. Well, it's a life sentence so it would be the end of the relationship so it's not great is it? So yeah, I think he's battling with that idea straight away as well that, if that happens and he was found guilty, that's his life ripped apart and Liv's and Seb's as well. Diane and Victoria as well.

"So he's obviously naturally gutted and I think fed up of his lies at that minute."

Will Robert tell Liv and Victoria the truth? And how will they react?

*Emmerdale airs weekdays at 7pm on ITV, with an additional episode at 8pm on Thursdays