Andy Sugden is in for a shock this summer when he heads to his former home at Butler’s Farm, only to find it occupied by a new dynasty in the shape of the lively and loveable Barton family.
Striking yet down-to-earth couple John and Moira Barton arrive in the village with their three teenage children Hannah, Holly and Adam in July, having upsized their successful farm to take over Butler’s.
The warm, likeable and picture perfect family quickly settle into Emmerdale life, but will the locals be ready to welcome them with open arms? It certainly won’t be plain sailing after a dramatic accident looks set to spell a volatile relationship with the Wyldes. John proves he is more than happy to stand up for himself, and Moira feels compelled to do what she can to help out troubled Andy.
Principled family-man John Barton will be played by Bradford-born actor James Thornton, best-known for his role as Jake Loughton in Holby Blue. James has also appeared in The Palace, Kingdom and Where the Heart Is and is married to award-winning actress Joanna Page.
James says “John is a successful, ambitious farmer trying to run a business and keep his family on-track. He’ll stand up for what he believes in and that will make him an interesting character for me to get my teeth stuck into. I can’t wait to get started and to be back up to Yorkshire.”
Vivacious Moira Barton charms the locals as farmer’s wife by day and glamorous Woolpack barmaid by night. Moira will be played by acclaimed actress Natalie J Robb. Natalie previously played PC Andrea Dunbar in The Bill and her numerous TV credits include Silent Witness, Waking the Dead and London’s Burning.
Natalie says “I’m delighted to be joining Emmerdale. I’ve already met some of the cast who have been lovely and welcoming. Moira is a lot of fun, her family come first but she values her independence too.”
The Barton’s eldest daughter, free-spirited teenager Holly, will be played by Britannia High actress Sophie Powles. 17-year-old son Adam will be played by Waterloo Road actor Adam Thomas, following in the footsteps of his brother, Corrie actor Ryan Thomas. Cheeky younger sibling Hannah Barton will be played by Grace Cassidy, who has appeared in Grange Hill, The Street and Casualty.
Gavin Blyth, Emmerdale Series Producer says “We wanted to stay true to Emmerdale’s heritage by introducing a modern-day farming family at the heart of the village. The Bartons will continue to take the show forward in contemporary style as the show embraces a series of new signings for an exciting future.”