Natalie J. Robb has told her 'Emmerdale' co-star Ash Palmisciano to "stay grounded" and ignore online trolls.

Natalie J. Robb

Natalie J. Robb

The actor first made his debut on the ITV soap last month as the soap's first regular transgender character, Matty Barton - who was previously known as Moira Dingle's (Natalie) daughter Hannah Barton - and Natalie has been giving Ash pointers about what life's like as a soap star.

She said: "I'm very protective. I've said to him, 'This is going to change your life. Don't worry about what's on social media. Just keep a level head and stay grounded.' And he will."

When Matty turned up at Butlers Farm, Moira instantly recognised him as her daughter Hannah, and the former 'Dream Team' actress "loves" the real-life comparisons to the plot.

Natalie added to TV Times magazine: "He's actually been through this. That's what I love about this story - we are dealing with something that is really happening and that's wonderful.

"It's daunting, it's challenging and it's scary thinking that people have been through this."

Ash recently admitted he "can't wait" to get stuck into his "ground-breaking" storylines.

He said: "I'm very excited to be joining the very welcoming Emmerdale family. From nervous auditions to now working alongside the team daily has been truly amazing.

"Matty's a ground-breaking character to play and I can't wait to see what's ahead for him."

Producer Kate Brooks added: "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.

"A skilful actor of great talent, he exudes charisma and there's an unflinching honesty to his performance that adds real depth to this complex character.

"Ash has already proven himself to be a brilliant addition to the cast and we look forward to charting his journey as he reconnects with old friends and forges new relationships along the way."