Emmerdale star has TV prize in his sights

Emmerdale star Michael Parr, who hails from Windle, is up for a TV gong
Emmerdale star Michael Parr, who hails from Windle, is up for a TV gong

A soap star from St Helens is set to find out this evening whether he has won a prestigious National Television Award.

Michael Parr, who plays bad boy Ross Barton in Emmerdale, is on a shortlist of four for the best newcomer gong - up against Lee Mead, of Casualty, Maddy Hill of Eastenders, and Cameron Moore of Hollyoaks.

The former St Teresa’s and De La Salle pupil, from Windle, has already won an Inside Soap award for his performances on the popular ITV soap and been shortlisted for a British Soap Award.

Voting for the NTA awards closes at midday today (January 21) ahead of the awards ceremony at the O2 Arena in London this evening.

Michael 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 go to my head!

“I’ve had some big storylines in the last 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 the 28-year-old has really made his name.

“It 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 last 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!”