Emmerdale has cast Asan N’Jie as Ellis Chapman, the son of headmistress Jessie Grant, who is keeping a secret for his mum about their past.
Having previously starred in Mount Pleasant as Finn, Asan has also appeared in Vera, Waterloo Road and Casualty along with feature films Murder on the Orient Express and the latest Steven Spielberg movie Ready Player One.
Asan makes quite the impact when he arrives in Emmerdale as he turns up in The Woolpack to go on a date with Victoria Barton (Isabel Hodgins), much to Matty Barton’s dismay. And when Matty (Ash Palmisciano) sees Ellis flirting with other girls, he steps in and gives Ellis what for. Ellis just laughs at Matty though and the pair end up fighting.
Luckily chef Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) is on hand to break up the scuffle but he finds himself getting injured in the process. However, its not until Ellis returns later that Marlon gets formally introduced to his girlfriend Jessie’s son.
The family reunion is far from a happy affair though when Jessie (Sandra Marvin) finds out Ellis has decided not to return to university for the final year of his teacher training course – which has resulted in him being kicked out by his dad.
Marlon invites Ellis to stay with him – although why Jessie hasn’t got room in her flat at Mill Cottage given its got two bedrooms – but when Ellis and Jessie are left alone, Ellis asks his mother if she has told Marlon their secret. She confesses she hasn’t and doesn’t plan to unless she has to.
What could the Grant’s secret be? Actor Asan N’Jie teases its going to be big…
Tell us what you know about Ellis.
“He’s 22, and has just finished Uni. He’s about to tell his mom Jessie he doesn’t want to do teacher training, which she’s not happy about – because she wanted him to be a PE teacher.”
Are you anything like him?
“He’s a cheeky chap, so we’re slightly similar – but I feel like Ellis isn’t as grounded as I am. He’s a Jack-the-lad who gets into trouble sometimes…”
Why does Ellis come to the village at this point?
“He’s arrived for a date with Victoria, but hasn’t told his mum. He’s been staying with his dad, who’s now kicked Ellis out as he’s quit his course.”
Does Ellis know about Jessie and Marlon’s relationship?
“Not at first. He’s not too fond of the idea initially because his dad and Marlon are completely different…”
What does Marlon make of Ellis?
“He finds him annoying, but Ellis is a genuine lad – so Marlon warms to him.”
So much so, Marlon invites Ellis to move in with him…
“Ellis likes that! Marlon’s a chef and I feel as if Ellis is a bit of a foodie. So he reckons Marlon can cook for him while he lays about playing zombie games!”
What’s it like having Sandra Marvin (Jessie) as your on-screen mum?
“It’s amazing. Sandra’s really warm and friendly. When we met each other at the screen test, we knew it was going to be a good vide from there.”
We understand Jessie and Ellis are harbouring a secret from Marlon…
“There’s a hidden past between Ellis and Jessie, and it’s big. Jessie doesn’t want Marlon to know, but Ellis would rather have it out in the open.”
Would you like Ellis’ dad to turn up at some point?
“I’d love that! Maybe Idris Elba could play him, or Will Smith!”
What’s your favourite thing about working at Emmerdale so far?
“Waking up every morning and coming onto set. After each scene, I’m pinching myself – I’m on a soap and a show I’ve been watching all my life!”
Watch as Ellis Chapman played by Asan N’Jie makes his Emmerdale debut next week.