Emmerdale’s latest addition Ash Palmisciano reveals how his character Matty Barton makes his entrance, gets knocked out by Cain Dingle – and shocks his mum in episodes airing next on ITV.
A mysterious figure loiters outside Butler’s Farm watching Moira Dingle and when she’s out, he breaks in and starts rifling through drawers… who is Matty Barton and what is he looking for?
Moira gets a shock when she walks in, but she knows exactly who Matty is. “She recognises him as her youngest daughter Hannah instantly,” actor Ash Palmisciano tells Soaplife. But Hannah is Matty now. “She has undergone a full gender transition to become a man and this is the first time Moira has seen her ‘daughter’ in five years.”
Why does Matty come to Emmerdale?
“He needs to get hold of Hannah’s birth certificate.”
Why doesn’t he just knock on the door and introduce himself?
“He thinks about it, but he realises it will be awkward explaining and too much time has gone by, so he breaks into the house.”
Well that’s not very clever… What happens then?
“He’s going through some drawers when he feels a tap on his shoulders. It’s Cain. He has no idea who Matty is and pushes him over a table where he gets knocked out. It’s a nice entrance – getting knocked out by Cain in the first five minutes!”
Then Moira gets home… what happens when she meets Matty?
“Matty comes round and Cain wants to know who he is and why he has Hannah’s documents on him. He’s not ready to explain and just as he is thinking about how he can worm his way out of the situation, Moira walks in.”
How does Moira react?
“She is confused. She looks at Matty’s face and says ‘Hannah, what have you done?’ She is shocked, as her child looks totally different.”
How did you feel about landing this role?
“Over the moon. I have done some theatre and had one line on the telly, so I was really nervous at the audition. I was so chuffed when I heard I’d got the part.”
Give us an idea of what Matty is like?
“He is a cheeky chappy, a real people’s person. He wants to fit in and he wants to impress. He’s a bit insecure as he is still in the process of finding himself.”
What was your first day like?
“It was surreal. My first day was at the village and it was like stepping into the TV. I was super nervous, confident on the outside but inside very scared. But everyone made me feel at home, way better than I could have hoped for.”
How does it feel to be Emmerdale’s first transgender character?
“It is a fantastic opportunity for me personally and for the show to build a groundbreaking character. It’s very exciting.”