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  1. ITV Report

Thousands of Emmerdale fans demand return of murdered badboy Ross Barton

Distraught Emmerdale fans have launched a formal petition demanding show bosses rethink their decision to kill off lovable badboy Ross Barton.

Ross Barton was killed off earlier this month Credit: ITV

Barton, played by Michael Parr, was beaten to death by his brother Pete in a violent scene earlier this month, before being buried in the woods.

The loss sparked outcry online - and more than 6,000 people have now backed calls to bring him back.

The petition was launched by Christopher Bell, from Norwich, who said he would do his "utmost" to ensure it reached the producers of the ITV soap.

Since joining Emmerdale, Michael Parr has had involvement in some incredible and heart-warming storylines, most recently the departure of Donna Windsor.

One thing that's for sure - Michael Parr made a huge impact to Emmerdale and is sorely missed by thousands of fans.

– Christopher Bell

Comments from the thousands of people to sign the petition so far include speculation that Ross may yet make a miraculous comeback - and some who threaten to boycott the soap altogether until he returns.

Lovable badboy Ross Barton was killed off earlier this month Credit: ITV

Self-confessed lifelong fan Laura Thompson, from Yorkshire, said Ross was a "fantastic character".

"Bad lad with soft heart, he brought so much to the show. Ross is awesome I implore you to bring [him] back," she said.

"I'm devastated he has gone."

I want Ross back! He's such a great character, and Emmerdale is not the same without him.

– Gabrielle Walker, Pleasley

Ross is my favourite! He's the reason I carried on watching emmerdale when the story lines were boring! Since him being killed off I haven't watched it since. Bring him back!

– Annette Medlam, Kirk Sandall