Emmerdale star Michael Parr has revealed that he agreed to stay an extra year on the ITV soap in order to film Ross Barton’s acid attack storyline. Speaking to RadioTimes.com on the red carpet at this year’s British Soap Awards, the actor said:
“When I originally signed, I said that I would do four years max. And in my fourth year, I was ready to go. Iain MacLeod said that they’d like me to say. So I said, ‘do a storyline that’s never been done and I’ll stay’, thinking he wouldn’t be able to come with anything.
“But his wonderful mind came up with what was going on in the papers and they wanted to try and tell this story. In September, I will have done that extra year. So it’s a natural time for me to move on.
“I’m so used to doing a play every six weeks because I went to drama school. I’ve never done a character for this long – and where else can Ross go?”
Asked for clarification regarding that September date, Parr replied: “You’ll have to wait and see whether that means on-screen or when I finish filming.”
Since Parr’s Emmerdale debut in 2013, he’s been involved in no end of drama from heists to shootings by way of relationships with the likes of Donna Windsor and Debbie Dingle. The last half-decade has also seen many of his screen family killed off, with dad James, mum Emma and brother Finn coming to a grisly end.
As to whether he wants Ross to go the same way, Parr commented: “A lot of Ross’s family have gone, but he’s still got Pete to look after. It’d be nice if they kept the door open. If Ross leaves with [son] Moses, Charity is still going to want to see him. If Ross leaves without, he’s still going to want to see him. So we’ll see.”
Speaking recently about Parr’s departure, Emmerdale series producer Kate Brooks said: “Michael Parr will leave Emmerdale later this year at the end of his current contract. His decision to pursue other acting opportunities has given the writing team the opportunity to create an intriguing storyline for his exit.
“Michael, who is nominated for Best Actor at the British Soap Awards next month, will leave the show on a high after brilliantly portraying Ross for five years.”
Visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news