Corrie star Bill Ward becomes new face of Emmerdale

Bill Ward said: "The Emmerdale team are a very talented bunch indeed and I’m extremely chuffed to have been asked to join them.” Credit: Ian West/PA Archive

Former Coronation Street actor Bill Ward has joined the cast of Emmerdale as a surprise new member of the Barton family.

Ward plays farmer and single father James Barton, the estranged older brother of the recently deceased John Barton, who turns up in the village out of the blue.

The actor, whose Corrie killing as builder Charlie Stubbs won him "best exit" at the 2007 British Soap Awards, is also known for roles in Cold Blood and the West End musical Spamalot.

He said he was "really looking forward" to filming, which starts next month before his screen debut in late October.

Kate Oates, Emmerdale series producer says: “I'm delighted to welcome Bill to the show. The Barton family have always been extremely popular with our audience and the arrival of James will be the start of a new era for them.”