He may be best known for playing nasty Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street but British actor Bill Ward is set to swap the cobbles for the dales as he has been cast as James Barton, the older brother of John Barton in Emmerdale.
Ward, whose other roles over the years have included Cold Blood and the West End musical Spamalot will be playing the older brother of deceased farmer John Barton, formerly played by James Thornton who was killed off in a motor accident last year.
Ward will begin filming at the ITV1 soap in September and his first scenes will see him paying his sister-in-law Moira (Natalie J Robb) an unexpected visit. The character is introduced as a single father of three grown-up sons who like his younger brother, farms for a living. Viewers will soon discover that he had a rift with John which sadly wasn't healed before his brother passed away.
Speaking of his new role, Ward quipped: ''I'm really looking forward to it. The Emmerdale team are a very talented bunch indeed and I'm extremely chuffed to have been asked to join them."