Emmerdale's Arthur Thomas heartbroken after homophobic prank

Emmerdale spoilers follow.

Arthur Thomas has been left heartbroken after a homophobic prank in Emmerdale.

The boy has been encouraged and supported by friends April and Cathy since coming out last month, but has faced a rougher time with the other boys at school.

In Friday's episode (January 6), April invited Arthur to join her, Cathy and Heath at her house for the evening, since Marlon would be out.

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April also encouraged Arthur to invite Marshall, who she knows Arthur has had a crush on. April offered to invite Marshall herself, but Arthur insisted on handling it.

By the time the party came around, Arthur was alarmed to see Heath had invited Marshall's rowdy friends too — and the boys pressured April to let them stay since they had brought beers.

Marshall convinced Arthur to go outside with him, where he asked Arthur: "Do you like me?"

emmerdale, arthur
ITV

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Arthur wasn't sure what he meant at first, but explained: "I like talking to you. Well, you're the fittest lad in school, I mean, all the girls fancy you. You must know that?"

Marshall encouraged Arthur to say he'd like to go on a date. Then the other boys were heard mocking him from an upstairs window as they dropped money down to Marshall.

It turns out Marshall's friends had offered him cash to pretend he was romantically interested in Arthur, just so they could all embarrass him.

emmerdale, marshall
ITV

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While Marshall seemed to show some regret for his actions, a heartbroken Arthur ran off in tears all by himself. April called after Arthur, but he was long gone.

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit the True Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.

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