Due to financial shortages, Emmerdale is the latest soap to enforce cutbacks in the form of AXING background staff.
There are genuine concerns on the back of the job losses that viewers who have grown used to the gritty, rustic realism of the series will now notice a shortfall in the amount of people pretending to sip fake pints of beer at the back of The Woolpack.
Television watchdogs are preparing for floods of calls via their specialist helplines from ITV-viewers who may have become disturbed by the lack of non-speaking characters tutting under their breath when an argument kicks off in the street.
Experts say the potential devastation that may be caused by the absence of unusually silent characters finishing their transaction in Viv’s post office at the very beginning of a scene, who then walk out before anyone says anything, is impossible to calculate.
Rumours that Eastenders is about to suffer the same fate, placing WWM favourite, stall-holder Winston Smith in the firing line, have not yet been confirmed.