Menacing Ross Barton is to show a fresh side to his character in an upcoming episode when he saves the life of Gabby Thomas.
The moment of heroism comes after an argumentative Gabby (Annelisa Manojlovic) impetuously bolts into the road after arguing with Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy).
Ross, who has witnessed the exchange, clocks an oncoming car, throws himself into its path and pushes Gabby out of the way:
“It’s a completely instinctive move,” says Michael Parr, who plays Ross. “He’s doing what anyone would do in that situation and protecting a young person in need. Unfortunately, Ross does get hurt pretty badly after being hit by the car – he doesn’t break any bones but there’s a lot of bruising and some cuts on his face.”
Ever his first appearance in July when he carjacked Laurel, it’s been clear that Ross is not a person to be messed with. But does this new act of heroism mean that we’ll now be seeing a softer side to Ross?
“He is a nasty piece of work, but nobody is just one thing, are they?” says Parr. “The thing with Ross is that he doesn’t know how to be good because nobody has ever been good to him. He’s bitter and angry and it’s going to be a long time before he softens. If he softens at all. In fact, it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets any better.”
Yet despite Ross being an expert of intimidation, it seems that behind the scenes Parr is actually quite in awe of his co-stars: “I’m from the North West, so I’ve grown up watching the northern dramas. So I saw Bill Ward [James Barton] in Corrie and Jeff Hordley [Cain Dingle] in Emmerdale and to be on set with them is sometimes daunting. I do get a little bit starstruck.”