Red Rock character is stabbed to death in New Year TV shock
Red Rock fans will be shocked tonight when one of the show's best-loved characters is stabbed to death and left lying in a pool of blood.
The brutal scenes will kick off a huge whodunnit plot', though the actor involved knew they were in for the chop from day one.
"This character knew from the very start that they were going to be killed off, but it will be a massive upset for fans of the show as things take a sinister turn on Red Rock," said a programme insider.
"It sends everyone into blind panic as they all wonder who the guilty culprit is."
This is the first time that the Ifta-winning soap, which costs €7m a year to make, has killed off a major character.
Lead writer Kim Reveill said there was some "trepidation" in taking the bold step.
"The only way to do it was just dive into it and - it sounds completely mental - but I felt like I was there," she told the Herald.
"It was very, very emotional. Everything I wrote, I'd kind of saw it before in my head. I'm really proud of it."
She reckons it's good to shake things up sometimes as it's good for the show.
"In soaps, there are people that just carry on and carry on, but I think it's good to just jolt the audience occasionally," Ms Reveill said.
"Killing someone off like that is something that would happen in a drama rather than a soap - where someone's lying on their death bed for six weeks dying of cancer or something."
Things have taken a decidedly dark twist in recent weeks as the net starts to close in on blackmail victim Paudge O'Donnell, who has been leaking confidential information to criminal Beady Burke.
Tonight's episode will see a character's violent death, with Detective Nikki Grogan, played by Valerie O'Connor, put in charge of the murder investigation.
The soap has proved particularly popular with viewers and will mark its one-year anniversary next month.