Emmerdale's Ash Palmisciano got the role as Matty Barton by complete accident – and here's how

The talented actor appeared on Thursday's Lorraine to talk about his new job

Hanna Fillingham

The Barton family have been rocked by the arrival of newcomer Matty Barton over the past few weeks in Emmerdale, who turned up out of the blue in the village following a secret gender transition. Matty had last been in the Dales in 2012 as Hannah Barton, and his mum Moira has been slowly coming to terms with the news. And while Matty is having a hard time of it at the moment, things couldn’t be more different for the show's newcomer Ash Palmisciano, who appeared on Thursday's Lorraine to chat to host Lorraine Kelly about his first few weeks in Emmerdale. While talking about the "incredible" experience so far, Ash revealed that he had come to work in the show completely by chance.


Ash Palmisciano plays Matty Barton on the soap

MORE: Emmerdale spoilers - Moira Barton bonds with Matty

Originally, Ash was asked to advise Emmerdale on the nature of the storyline, but it wasn’t long before he was asked to audition for the role himself. "It is crazy. There’s an amazing charity called All About Trans. They work with just positive representations in the media of trans people. They said to me, 'We’re doing interaction with Emmerdale, they’re thinking about doing this storyline, they’re looking for some advice on positive reps'. They said, 'Do you want to come?' I said, 'Sure, cheeky day out!' I went along, the next thing they said, 'Do you want to audition?' Being an actor, I said, 'Of course!' And here I am!"


Ash Palmisciano chats to Lorraine Kelly about his soap role

MORE: What bizarre detail did Philip Schofield notice about the Emmerdale set?

On working with the Barton family, Ash had nothing but positive things to say, describing actor Jeff Hordley, who plays Cain Dingle, as a "legend". He added: "As an actor, what a fantastic first job to work on a soap like Emmerdale!" It was first announced in June that the character of Hannah would be returning to the show as a man called Matty. Emmerdale producer Kate Brooks said of the character: "The character of Matty certainly knows how to make an impact: cheeky, effervescent, quick-witted and headstrong, it's not long before he's charmed his way into the affections of all those who meet him. His tale of a man trying to shake off his past and find acceptance in the present is full of emotion, humour and ultimately hope as he settles back into rural village life, turning Moira's world upside down in the process."

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