Emmerdale viewers have been gripped to their seats following the arrival of Matty Barton last month, who has already been making an impression on the villagers - including his former best friend and sister-in-law Victoria Sugden – so much so, that fans are hoping that they will become an item. And now, just weeks into his new role, newcomer Ash Palmisciano has been nominated for his first soap award. It was revealed by Digital Spy that the actor is up for the Best Newcomer accolade at the Inside Soap Awards 2018. Ash will be up against his Emmerdale co-star Sandra Marvin, who plays school headteacher, and Marlon Dingle's love interest Jessie Grant.
Emmerdale's Ash Palmisciano has been nominated for Best Newcomer
Other actors in the category include Coronation Street's James Burrows – who plays Ali Neeson, and Alexandra Mardell as Emma Brooker. EastEnders stars Tony Clay - Halfway - and Hayley Slater actress Katie Jarvis are also in the running, while making up the list are Hollyoaks' Rishi Nair (Sami Maalik) and Liberty Savage actress Jessamy Stoddart.
MORE: What bizarre detail did Phillip Schofield spot on the Emmerdale set?
Even more remarkably, Ash's Emmerdale role came to him by complete chance. The actor explained during an appearance on ITV's Lorraine that he had originally been asked to advise the long-running soap on the nature of the storyline, but it wasn’t long before he was asked to audition for the role himself. He told host Lorraine Kelly: "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!"
Matty Barton has made quite the impact since he arrived in the village
MORE: Emmerdale star hits back at trolls who were unkind about his appearance
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."