Emmerdale airs Ross Barton acid attack – what happens next?

Disturbing scenes kicked off a major new storyline tonight

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Emmerdale has aired Ross Barton’s shocking acid attack, kicking off a huge new plot for the character.

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Following last week’s announcement about the hard-hitting storyline, tonight’s double bill showed Ross set upon by drug dealing thug Simon who ambushed him in the street and threw the corrosive substance in his face.

In disturbing scenes, Ross writhed in agony as Joe Tate and Graham Foster came to his aid and administered water to the affected area, before he was rushed to hospital where doctors leapt into action to deal with his burns.

Word reached the Woolpack as Joe and Graham recounted Ross’s ordeal to the Dingles, leaving Debbie reeling as she realised this was her fault – she’d secretly instructed sinister Simon to ‘mess Joe up’ after her and Cain’s plan to have him plant drugs in Home Farm failed when he was busted by Graham.

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But when disgruntled Ross stole Joe’s car as revenge for sacking him, Simon mistook the Barton lad for the Tate tycoon and attacked the wrong man…

Medical staff battled to dilute the acid on Ross’s skin and hooked him up to morphine for the pain, but as they warned him he may be left with permanent facial scarring a dramatic cliffhanger finally showed the audience the full extent of the damage to the left side of his face.

Meanwhile, devastated Debbie called Simon as she privately panicked she’d seriously injured her ex-boyfriend, and that the trail could lead back to her.

Next week explores the aftermath of the attack, as Ross struggles to deal with what’s happened and his family attempt to process the situation. As Cain urges Debbie to visit Ross in hospital, father and daughter are stunned when Graham confronts them and says he knows they were involved in the attack – will Deb be busted?

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Michael Parr (impressively visceral and affecting in tonight’s episode) previously said of the development for his character: “We want to raise awareness of the devastating consequences an attack like this has on a person’s life. I know this is a reality for some people and the Emmerdale team have done extensive research.

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“It’s the most excited I’ve been about a storyline since I started on the show,” he adds. “This is something I can sink my teeth into and study.”

You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.

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And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.