Emmerdale: James Thornton quit to be with his wife, and Natalie J Robb talks steamy sex scenes

by Lynn Connolly

James Thornton – who of course plays farmer John Barton in Emmerdale – has revealed that he decided to quit the show because he wants to spend more time with his wife, former Gavin and Stacey star, Joanna Page.

While speaking to the Daily Star, James explained that during the week, he lives in Leeds, close to the show’s studios, while Joanna stays at the couple’s home in London. That has meant that he’s only been able to see Joanna at weekends.

He said, “When I first joined I signed for three years but it took me a while before I got it into my head that I would be staying that long…

“But then once I started doing it, the people and the atmosphere, I really, really enjoyed it.

“The main problem has been the logistics – I still live in London. It’s been hard…

“When you’re on a soap your life is dictated by a two-week block.

“If you want to go anywhere you have to put a request in four months before.”

And when asked if he has any other projects lined up for when he leaves Emmerdale in the New Year, James said, “I’m really lucky as I do a lot of voiceover work, which is a safety net for me coming out of the show.”

There has of course been speculation that John will be imprisoned for attacking Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) but there’s been no official news of how James will be written out.

In other Yorkshire news, Natalie J Robb, who of course plays John Barton’s wife Moira, has told BANG Showbiz that she loved filming steamy sex scenes with Jeff Hordley.

She said, “It was brilliant doing the sex scenes. Jeff was really good to work with, he made it easy.

“The director choreographed it all. It was quite racy!”

Natalie added, “Luckily, it was a double episode so they were able to go a bit further than usual.

“One of the sound guys was really embarrassed because he was right next to us while I was snogging Jeff.”

Here’s a reminder of one of those steamy scenes, and of John finding out about his wife’s indiscretion…

Don’t miss Cain’s Judgement Day episodes this week!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.