james hooton on emmerdale

James Hooton reveals he almost quit Emmerdale for this reason

He's played Sam Dingle since 1995

Britta Zeltmann

Emmerdale star James Hooton has been reflecting on his career of almost 25 years on the ITV soap, revealing he once nearly quit the show. James, who has played Sam Dingle on the programme since 1995, said bosses had told him his character was unlikely to ever be given a major storyline, making him dislike his job and leaving him wanting to quit.

The actor told Sunday People: "The character I play went through a very lean period and it got to the stage I started to dislike my job. I didn't have much to do. I was young and ambitious and I wanted to do more work." 

James has played Sam Dingle on the programme since 1995

When James approached his bosses to discuss the chance of more exciting storylines, they simply dismissed him. He recalled: "I asked if there was a chance to get involved in more stories... It left me in no doubt I was not going to be a character who drove stories in the show. I hated my job for a while. I had a lot of things to work out in my brain."

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But the actor said that upon reflection he decided to continue with the show, finding his own ways to make his working life easier. He revealed: "My choice was to search elsewhere for more work and challenges or to find ways of making my working life easier. I decided to stay with the show and take work home as little as possible."

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James' character has recently been drawn closer to the drama, with girlfriend Lydia Heart being revealed as the mystery 15-year-old mother who had given birth to a baby before burying it in the school grounds.

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