Ash Palmisciano was initially only going to be an 'Emmerdale' advisor for the Matty Barton storyline - but he was asked to audition, and landed the part.

Ash Palmisciano on Lorraine

Ash Palmisciano on Lorraine

The actor was drafted in by soap bosses to give some first-hand advice about the introduction of the transgender character - who was previously known as Moira Dingle's (Natalie J. Robb) daughter Hannah Barton - and he was keen to have a "cheeky day out", before finding himself cast in the soap.

He said: "It is crazy. There's an amazing charity called All About Trans. They work with just positive representations in the media of trans people.

"They said to me, 'We're doing interaction with 'Emmerdale', they're thinking about doing this storyline, they're looking for some advice on positive reps'.

"They said, 'Do you want to come?' I said, 'Sure, cheeky day out!' I went along, the next thing they said, 'Do you want to audition?' Being an actor, I said, 'Of course!' And here I am.

"It was like stepping into my TV. My first day, it was incredible. I was acting with the legend that is Jeff [Hordley], who plays Cain dingle.

"On my first day he had to chuck me over a table. So that was an experience and a half."

Ash is now hoping Matty can show people that "we're all different", but everyone can achieve their ambitions in life.

Speaking on ITV's 'Lorraine', Ash added: "It's great that I've got a similar background story to the character, because I can bring something to that.

"But also, as an actor, what a fantastic first job to work on a soap like 'Emmerdale'.

"And I just hope it's a great message to show that yeah, you might have a past, a bit of a journey to be who you are, but also, you can achieve your dreams and ambitions.

"If anyone can take anything away from this it is that we're all different, we've all got pasts but hopefully you can achieve your ambitions."

Upon Ash's casting, new 'Emmerdale' producer Kate Brooks recently said: "The character of Matty certainly knows how to make an impact: cheeky, effervescent, quick-witted and headstrong, it's not long before he's charmed his way into the affections of all those who meet him.

"His tale of a man trying to shake off his past and find acceptance in the present is full of emotion, humour and ultimately hope as he settles back into rural village life, turning Moira's world upside down in the process.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have Ash on board to play this role."