Controversial reason The Pact star Aaron Anthony quit Emmerdale as Ellis Chapman

There was a cloud hanging over Aaron Anthony's departure

The Pact series 2 viewers may think Jamie looks familiar – it’s actor Aaron Anthony, who played Ellis Chapman in Emmerdale.

He left the ITV soap – which has just celebrated its 50th anniversary – under something of a cloud in February this year.

The actor reportedly quit over an alleged Emmerdale race row.

Here’s a reminder of what went down.

Emmerdale Feb 7 Ellis has had a job offer abroad, and tells Al he's taking the job
Emmerdale star Aaron Anthony quit his role as Ellis earlier this year (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Who is leaving Emmerdale this year after Aaron Anthony exit? 

How and why did Aaron Anthony leave Emmerdale as Ellis Chapman?

Ellis shared an emotional farewell with his brother as well as former lover, Priya Sharma, before departing for Australia in the soap this winter.

It had been a much-talked about exit given the circumstances in which Aaron left.

Ellis had had a job offer in Australia.

A mate who owned a resort on the Gold Coast offered him “the job of a lifetime” running the fitness side of things.

The friends hadn’t been in touch for years, but the mate had seen Ellis on social media, figured he was perfect for the role and offered him the job to start in a week.

Ellis was miraculously able to dash off to Hotten, get his visa sorted in record time, and pack his bags.

It meant he was leaving behind Belle Dingle, with whom he had just rekindled his relationship.

He also has to say goodbye to Priya, who he was in love with before he got together with Belle.

Ellis and Priya almost made it (Credit: ITV)

What happened between Ellis and Priya?

Ellis said goodbye to Priya after she caught him just before he left.

She confessed she loved him and he told her he loved her too.

They both agreed that in another time and place they would meet and be together.

“Let’s make it happen,” Ellis tearfully told her.

The couple had just begun to make a go of things back in October when Priya was left with life-changing scars on her back.

As she struggled to come to terms with her burns, she couldn’t face pursuing a relationship.

Despite Ellis telling her he would wait for her, he ended up back together with Belle, leaving Priya heartbroken.

But it seems his heart was always with Priya.

Emmerdale Belle is defiant with Ellis beside her as the face Cain
Ellis wanted to be with Belle, but then he didn’t (Credit: ITV)

Why did Emmerdale star Aaron Anthony quit?

Reports last year suggested Aaron had quit the role of Ellis following an alleged race row involving other cast members.

Aaron was said to have been annoyed about the reported behaviour of two Emmerdale colleagues – Matthew Wolfenden and Isabel Hodgins –  during filming for Survival Week.

The Sun claims that the verbal altercation was over a comment made. It also alleged there was mimicking of a mixed-race co-star’s accent.

The co-star has not been identified.

The source added: “We have been told that Aaron brought this up with Matthew subsequently and that there was a tense conversation between them. Matthew and Isabel stopped filming afterwards.

“Emotions have been running high on set ever since. But no one knows what to believe.

“The female cast member who was involved is filming as normal. But she wishes that she wasn’t entangled in it.”

According to the newspaper, Matthew, 41, and Isabel, 27, both categorically deny the allegations.

They are said to believe that there has been a misunderstanding.

The pair were written out of the show shortly after the incident. However they returned to screens in January after a long holiday in Portugal.

Victoria and David returned last week (Credit: ITV)
Victoria and David returned last month (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Who’s in the cast for 2022? Meet the full line-up here!

It was later revealed Aaron had quit the show over what had happened.

A source told The Sun: “Aaron is bitterly angry about this situation and he has had to be persuaded to come back to Leeds to film his scenes in recent months.

“He has done some filming over the last couple of weeks, but the understanding is that those scenes will be his last.”

The insider said Aaron appeared “very vocal” about the allegations.

“He now feels his position on the show is untenable,” the source added.

Emmerdale responded to the claims earlier this year.

A spokesperson for the soap told Entertainment Daily: “While we would never comment on individual cases, Emmerdale has robust policies in place to deal with any allegations brought to our attention and take the appropriate steps.”

In addition, an ITV spokesperson added: “We don’t comment on cast contracts.”

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Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.

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Carena Crawford
Associate Editor (Soaps)