Emmerdale’s best newcomer, James Moore, tells Now about life in the spotlight

James Moore hasn’t even been on our screens for a year and he’s already bagged a National Television Award – winning the Newcomer award at the annual bash in January.

The 26-year-old has made quite the impression since arriving on the Dales as feisty Ryan Stocks – Charity Dingle’s long-lost son.

Like his character, James too has cerebral palsy, a condition that affects his body and muscle coordination. But if you think he’s going to let that stand in

his way, you’re mistaken! Here, the actor opens up about dealing with his new-found fame, why he’s not ruling out Hollywood and how disabled actors are more pivotal than ever…

Hi James! How did it feel to win best newcomer at the NTAs this year?

Just incredible. I haven’t even been in Emmerdale for 12 months, so to have the public welcome me like this is amazing. It’s also made me realise how much support I have, not only from viewers, but from within the industry itself.

How did you celebrate?

My friend came to the after party with me, and there, we met a lot of people that I’d only ever dreamed of meeting beforehand. Paul O’Grady came up to me and personally congratulated me, which was insane! Emmerdale also won best soap that night… the atmosphere was electric.

Do you get recognised in the street now?

My family and I went on holiday last year to a place that is fairly isolated. We went into a pub, and I couldn’t believe it when someone recognised me. I’m normally spotted at the supermarket, yet now it seems to be in the sticks, too. I love to say hello and sign an autograph, but it’s a strange feeling.

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Dingle family photo

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How do you find working with Emma Atkins, your on-screen mum?

Emma’s fantastic. I hadn’t done any real TV work up until now – so I had to adjust quite quickly. She taught me what certain words on set meant and helped me get my foot in the door.

My last few storylines have been really challenging, but it’s exciting exploring all these different emotions.

What’s it like to be a notorious Dingle?

It’s brilliant! I never used to watch Emmerdale beforehand, so while we’re filming, it can be quite confusing remembering who’s who, but I’m slowly getting my head round it. It’s quite touching to be part of this big family. I’m definitely proud to be a Dingle.

You’ve said you want to get into writing music – who inspires you?

My taste in music is quite a mixed bag, but Kanye West really inspires me – both as a person and an artist.

How would you like to see more roles for actors with disabilities come about?

Writers need to introduce more diverse personalities into scripts. Ryan is human – he has flaws, and he messes up occasionally – but he’s as real as anyone else on the show. We shouldn’t have to rely on a character’s disability to see them as a person.

What’s the best thing about working at Emmerdale?

The people – they’re all great. Because I live in Cheltenham [and not Leeds, where Emmerdale is filmed], I don’t have a lot to do when we’re not filming. So the cast will ask me to hang out and we’ll often go bowling. I’m closest to Emma Atkins, Ash Palmisciano [who plays Matty Barton] and Olivia Bromley [who plays Dawn Taylor].

What’s your dream future role?

I’d like to be in a musical, or direct one, and I’d like to star in something on Netflix. As for Hollywood – who knows? I don’t really watch big blockbuster movies, but I’m definitely a massive Star Wars fan!

Catch James in Emmerdale, ITV weekdays at 7pm