EMMERDALE fans likely had their eyes glued to their screens tonight as the soap waved goodbye to character Paul Ashdale.
But actor Reece Dinsdale was not among those tuning in to watch the horrific crash scene due to struggling with body dysmorphia.
Despite his successful four-decade-long career, the 61-year-old actor opened up about “never being comfortable” in his body after childhood bullying.
Reece explained that he suffers “every day” with the mental health condition, which causes people to obsessively worry about flaws in their appearance.
After hiding the disorder for many years, last year saw the soap hero open up on his online video diary Reece’s Pieces, telling fans about his struggles.
Despite his final episode of Emmerdale airing this week, Reece told The Mirror he is yet to watch himself back on the small screen.
“I don’t watch Emmerdale at the moment, but I will now I’ve finished,” he explained. “The first time I watch I hate myself, then I’ll watch it a second time – then the third time I watch I look at the piece and forget about myself.”
Body dysmorphia, which is often triggered by bullying, a chemical imbalance or through genetics, can lead to depression and anxiety.
It’s thought that around one per cent of Brits suffer, with men in particular thought to hide the condition from friends and family.
“Being an actor, you’ve got to be able to talk about your emotions, but not every man can do that,” he added. “I think a lot of men struggle.”
Reece previously discussed his struggle with the condition on social media, telling fans that comments “cut deep” and cause him trauma.
He explained that he had been inspired by his late dad, who he felt told him he had “nothing to hide”, before writing the posts.
“Doing my very best to deal with my body dysmorphia,” he wrote at the time. “Unfortunately, even the smallest comments can still cut deep.”
The star went on to tell how he asked a news website to remove a photo of him because is was a trigger point for him.
But now Reece insists he is doing better, concluding: “This time I am perfectly fine with it. I really am winning the battle.”
Emmerdale fans waved goodbye to Reece’s character Paul, a violent gambler who had beaten son Vinny and frequently conned fiancee Mandy.
His storyline reached a devastating climax as viewers watched a van crash into Paul on his wedding day to Mandy Dingle.
Viewers saw Paul dying in hospital as Mandy, played by Lisa Riley, watched over him totally heartbroken, as son Vinny also fought for his life.
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A second said: “Yesss it was Paul!!! Hopefully he was the only one to die”
Another added: “Bye #Paul l it wasn’t nice knowing you”
Reece was previously part of the cast of Coronation Street, and died on the cobbles show while trying to fake his own death in 2010.