With her final Emmerdale scenes set to air, Gemma Oaten lands an exciting gig

Emmerdale viewers will say goodbye to Gemma Oaten tonight when the actress’s final scenes air before she heads off for an exciting new challenge.

Like many soap stars before her, it looks like 31-year-old Gemma could become a pop star or West End actress after landing a role in a new London production – eek!

The lovely actress will appear in acclaimed songwriter Scott Alan’s two-week residency at London’s Hippodrome Casino in September alongside other big names including former X Factor finalist turned West End star Lucie Jones.

Gemma is a special guest in a concert taking place on 17 September which will celebrate Alan’s songbook and the soap favourite is clearly thrilled to be a part of it, having told her Twitter fans earlier today that it’s a ‘dream come true’.

Awww! We can’t wait to hear Gem belting out a tune!

The Hull-born star’s fans are over the moon for her too after hearing about her musical new venture and many have sent her well wishes on Twitter.

‘Well done Gemma you will be a busy little bee good luck in all you do you will be missed in Emmerdale xxx,’ one wrote.

Another commented: ‘Excellent news Gemma. Well done on the gig!’

Many are still devastated that Gemma is leaving Emmerdale though. The actress has played Rachel Breckle since 2011 and has become a firm favourite with fans, especially thanks to Rachel’s romance with Sam Dingle.

Viewers have seen the couple’s relationship come under strain in recent months following Rachel’s return to the village though and it’s led to an emotional domestic violence storyline between the pair.

Tonight sees Rachel leave after deciding that she can’t bear to hurt Sam – played by James Hooton – any more and it sounds like it’s going to be a bit of a tear-jerker.

‘The script broke my heart,’ Gemma – who has just returned from a fun-packed holiday at the Patmos Aktis hotel in Greece with Emmerdale co-star Alicya Eyo, who also left the soap recently – confessed during an appearance on This Morning today. ‘Rehearsals were horrible for me. I couldn’t get through them without crying!

‘I know it’s not real but the idea of doing that to someone you love… It’s been very hard to film.

‘I hope we’ve portrayed this domestic violence storyline in a way that shows the many layers there are behind these situations.’

We’ll certainly miss seeing Rachel on our screens but we’re VERY excited about her next adventure!

Anna Francis