Emmerdale star Shila Iqbal has been fired over tweets from six years ago

11 April 2019, 18:03

Shila Iqbal
Shila Iqbal. Picture: ITV

By Tom Eames

Actress Shila Iqbal has been fired from Emmerdale due to tweets she sent six years ago.

The star, who plays Aiesha Richards on the soap, was made a series regular at the end of March.

She said she was "terribly sorry" for using "inappropriate language" in tweets sent back in 2013, when she was aged 19.

"As a consequence of historic social media posts, Shila Iqbal has left her role as Aiesha Richards on Emmerdale," a spokesperson for the show said.

"The programme took the decision not to renew her contract as soon as these posts were brought to the company's attention."

ITV has not confirmed exactly what she had said in the messages, and the 24-year-old has now deleted her Twitter account.

She said in a statement: "I am terribly sorry and take full responsibility for my use of such inappropriate language. I have paid the price and can no longer continue the job I loved the most at Emmerdale.

Shila Iqbal
Shila Iqbal. Picture: Getty

"Although I was young when I made the tweets, it was still completely wrong of me to do so and I sincerely apologise."

She added: "The only consideration I would ask is that I have recently received hateful tweets telling me that as a Muslim my Emmerdale role means that I am 'committing sinful acts, promoting sin and deliberately going against the Quran'.

"We live in sensitive times for members of all communities and especially those in multi-racial Rochdale, where I grew up. I regret that I too have let people down by the use of such language, albeit six years ago.

"I, like everyone else, have a responsibility about the language I have used on social media as well as in conversation."

Emmerdale will still air Shila Iqbal's final scenes, despite sacking the actress for old tweets.

The show films several weeks in advance, so her character of Aiesha Richards will continue to be seen on screen for 14 more days.