‘This is a fantastic starting point for more diversity on TV’ – Emmerdale star James Moore speaks out after winning NTA for Best Newcomer

Moore, who has cerebral palsy, hopes his recognition will help pave the way to making TV and film roles more inclusive

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James Moore says that winning the National Television Award for Best Newcomer is “a fantastic starting point” for casting more actors with disabilities on television.

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The 26-year-old, who plays Ryan Stocks in Emmerdale, has cerebral palsy, a condition that can affect movement, speech and muscles.

EMMERDALE JAMES MOORE 'RYAN' AND EMMA ATKINS 'CHARITY'

Speaking exclusively to RadioTimes.com after scooping the gong, Moore explained, “I think this could be a fantastic starting point for [greater diversity in the industry].

“I’ve seen the support that I’m getting, and hopefully this will encourage more diversity in the industry now that people like me are getting recognition.

“I hope we can progress this further so it’s more inclusive in TV and film.”

Moore joined the soap as Charity Dingle’s (Emma Atkins) long-lost son in a hugely powerful storyline which explored how a 14-year-old Charity was sexually abused by a police officer.

Believing he would die, Charity left the baby at the hospital, and was left stricken last year when she discovered Ryan was still alive.

Discussing his on-screen mum, Moore said, “Emma is a veteran and it works really well for me. She took me in and took me under her wing, and got me used to the whole process. She made me feel comfortable about it. She’s been amazing, she’s been there for me through a lot of this year, and I do have a lot to thank her for.

“My life has changed immeasurably since I joined the soap, it’s been a real whirlwind.”

The coming year in Emmerdale will see Ryan engage with more characters on the soap, while his relationship with fellow newcomer Dawn Taylor will deepen.

The NTAs was a huge night for Emmerdale, with the soap also winning Best Serial Drama for the third year in a row.

“I might be having a drink!” Moore said cheekily at the end of the interview. “We’ll have to see where the night takes us.”

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Emmerdale continues weeknights at 7pm on ITV


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