‘I don’t feel like the new boy anymore’

Michael Parr
Michael Parr
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A soap star from St Helens has told of his delight after he was nominated for a National Television Award.

Emmerdale actor Michael Parr is in the running for the best newcomer gong for his portrayal of bad boy Ross Barton on the popular ITV soap.

The former St Teresa’s and De La Salle pupil, from Windle, is getting used to award nominations too - earlier this year he won an Inside Soap award and was short-listed for a British Soap Award.

He said: “It’s really nice to be nominated alongside such high-calibre actors. I am getting quite used to being nominated for awards now - but there’s no way I’m going to let it get to my head!

“I’ve had some big storylines this year, which helps, but it’s always flattering to be recognised.

“My Twitter followers have gone up from 4,000 to over 30,000 now.”

A former member of the Elizabeth Hill drama school, Michael went on to study at the East 15 acting school in Essex - graduating in 2008.

He then worked in London for a time as a teacher for children with special needs while making cameo appearances in the likes of Hollyoaks, Casualty and the daytime BBC soap Doctors.

But it is on Emmerdale - where he says the Saints vs Leeds rivalry is as fierce as ever - where he has really made his name.

“Being on Emmerdale has completely changed my life,” he said.

“I work from 7am to 7pm most days but the long hours are well worth it. I love what I do.

“When you play a bad lad there’s always the potential for your character to get his comeuppance at some point. But I enjoy playing a villain - it enables me to be cheekier and push my luck further than I would in real life.”

Michael, 28, who took a break from filming this summer to travel around Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina with a group of pals from St Helens, hopes to go into the writing and directing side in the future.

But, for now, he’s very much in his comfort zone on Emmerdale.

He added: “I feel like I’ve finally landed now and there are a few people here who have been here for less time than I have. I don’t feel like the new boy anymore!”