Actor Gordon McCorkell spoke to RUSSELL LEADBETTER about life after River City...
AS OF tonight Deek is no more. He's gone to the Shieldinch graveyard, where the ghosts of everyone from George and Alice Henderson, Lily Fraser and Ewan Murdoch roam.
Deek, played by Gordon McCorkell, was hit by a speeding car in a hit-and-run.
His friend, Robbie, said at the end of the episode: "I don't think he's breathing."
Though he does make a recovery in hospital, it's bad news for River City fans as Deek is indeed about to head for the great studio in the sky.
The end is within sight for the popular character – one who has been in the soap for 10 years.
"I think his departure will be emotional," says Gordon. "It was certainly quite emotional doing it."
Gordon was just 19 when he joined the Shieldinch cast.
He had been part of the PACE theatre company in Paisley and just prior to River City had been filming with the BBC in Australia for a children's show.
"I had an audition for River City and at least four recalls," he says. "The programme was looking for a young guy.
"The recalls were fairly routine for someone with my experience, especially if the programme was going to be as big as this.
"They wanted to make sure, and they put you through torture every time ... you turn up and think, 'I could blow it this time...' but I was lucky. It has been wonderful, a really enjoyable 10 years. I've learned an awful lot from it.
"Even though I was quite experienced beforehand, nothing prepares you for the speed of River City and the quickness of learning and of shooting.
"It really is like a family at River City. People who come in say there's a lovely feel about the place – the cast and the crew alike. That is what I will miss a lot.
"It hasn't really got stale, either. Certain things have changed – the look has, the storylines they focus on have changed, but it is doing well."
Deek's story needs no introduction to fans of the show – the fact that he was raised by his grandparents, who both later died, and the fact that he has been unlucky in love, more than once. The death of his mum Alice, an alcoholic (played by Lorraine McIntosh), hit him hard, and for a time he took to the bottle, too.
How has Deek changed over the years? "Massively, I suppose," says Gordon.
"He has obviously always been friends with [Shellsuit] Bob but he started off as what you would call a ned.
"The two of them would run about, getting up to no good and doing daft stuff and drinking Buckfast.
"So, from there to what my character is now, is massive. He's decided he was going into business.
"I suppose Deek is old before his time but he's been through a lot, with family loss and his problems with his mum.
"He's had to grow up quickly – probably too quickly, actually – but apart from his uncle Raymond he's only got himself now."
Are he and Deek alike in any way when it comes to personality? "Not really. I'm much more carefree than Deek. He's a bit uptight, I'm much less so. When you are doing something for so long, it's important to try to keep a distinction between your character and yourself, if the storyline permits it."
He's gratified with how fans of the show have taken to Deek.
"Because his character has changed over the years, you get people deciding they don't like you any more, but not everyone has done that," he said.
"People are nice when they come up to you in the street."
Gordon has had his share of memorable scenes over the years. He said: "Going back a few years, I really enjoyed some of the comedy stuff with Stephen, and I particularly liked scenes with Alice, my mum – that was stuff you could really get your teeth into after being a ned. It was good to be trusted with these important, big scenes."
As to whether viewers will be distressed by Deek's departure, Gordon is honest enough to say he doesn't know.
"I hope the episodes do the job and people enjoy them. But these shows are like that. No-one is there for ever. I'm sorry to leave, of course, but 10 years is a long time. I never expected to be there for so long.
"I had an initial three-month contract like a lot of people in the beginning, and for three months to turn into 10 years is something else.
"It has a nice family atmosphere and it's a nice place to work. It's a hard job to give up, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it."
As for his Deek-free future, Gordon is relaxed, as he said: "I'd like to keep on acting. I'd like to do some theatre again. It's been a long time since I did a straight theatre play, and all the different disciplines that that requires.
"River City has been helpful in preparing me for that in terms of learning and working with so many directors. But I'm open to anything."