Ross Barton

Last updated
Ross Barton
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Michael Parr
First appearanceEpisode 6600
9 July 2013
Last appearanceEpisode 8303
2 November 2018
Introduced by Kate Oates
Classification Past; regular
Career criminal
Home Liverpool

Ross Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera Emmerdale , portrayed by Michael Parr. He made his first appearance in episode 6600 of the soap, broadcast on 9 July 2013. Ross first appears as the carjacker of Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy), before being revealed to be the nephew of Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb). The character is initially characterised as a bad boy and a "nasty piece of work". The softer side of Ross' personality is explored when he enters a secret relationship with police officer Donna Windsor (Verity Rushworth), who has terminal cancer. When Donna dies, Ross bonds with her daughter April Windsor (Amelia Flanagan).


Producers created a whodunit storyline in 2015 when Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) becomes pregnant and does not reveal the father. After giving birth to a son, Moses Dingle, Charity reveals that Ross is his father. Ross also embarks on an affair with Charity's daughter Debbie (Charley Webb), who at the time was engaged to Ross' older brother - Pete (Anthony Quinlan). The affair climaxes in the show's August stunt at Debbie and Pete's wedding.

Ross and Pete fight after the reveal, where Pete seemingly kills Ross and leaves his body in the woods. Parr confirmed that he had left the soap and a petition to reintroduce the character gained over 5,000 supporters. It was later revealed that the character is alive, with Parr stating that he liked the response to Ross' death. The character later became involved in several of the show's major events, most significantly where Ross is revealed to have shot his enemy Robert Sugden (Ryan Hawley) in the Who Shot Robert Sugden? storyline; with Ross having formed a deal with Robert's adopted half-brother Andy (Kelvin Fletcher) that he would help kill his brother in exchange for Andy killing Pete, though Andy later changed his mind. In 2018, Ross became the subject of an acid attack in one of the show's most issued storylines and the character's most defying event. Parr researched extensively for the storyline. Parr's decision to leave the show was announced on 23 May 2018 and Ross departed on 2 November 2018, leaving the village to start anew with Robert's former sister-in-law Rebecca White (Emily Head) and their son Sebastian. For his portrayal of Ross Barton and through the character's story arc, Parr has received several award nominations - while critics have praised the character.


Ross Barton made his first appearance when he hijacks local resident Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy), while she is waiting in her car. Laurel manages to escape and Ross takes the car. Laurel later tracks Ross down and tries to attack him with a pair of scissors, but she becomes scared of Ross. Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) and Marlon Dingle (Mark Charnock) rescue Laurel. Ross later comes to Butler's Farm looking for Cain, after he is shot while carrying out a job that Cain had initially intended to undertake himself. Cain's wife, Moira Dingle (Natalie J. Robb) later recognises Ross as her marital nephew and she allows him to stay at the farm.

Ross generally seems to believe he is a ladies' man and his wandering eye irritates various people. Ross has sex with Charity Sharma (Emma Atkins), as she is intent on making estranged husband Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) jealous. He is seen on occasions with a woman called Laura Atkinson (Farrel Hegarty), and Ross's lodger Debbie Dingle's (Charley Webb) daughter, Sarah (Sophia Amber Moore), becomes fond of her. Debbie tells Sarah she will probably never see Laura again.

Ross becomes close to Donna Windsor (Verity Rushworth), who he enjoys flirting with and teasing. He realises she is a dodgy policewoman and he agrees to help her burgle the house of Gary North, a prolific local criminal. However, Ross overhears Donna saying that she is only luring him into this position so she can arrest him, as she is fully aware of his previous crimes. But Donna convinces Ross that she was only saying it to keep things under wraps and they go ahead with the burglary. Later on Gary North attacks Ross' brother, Finn (Joe Gill), and nearly kills him. To keep his family safe, Ross agrees to do a dodgy job for Gary. Everything goes terribly wrong and the outcome of the job leads Donna to throw herself of a building while handcuffed to Gary, leading to their deaths. Ross is left devastated.

Ross and Debbie begin an affair after weeks of flirting, whilst she is engaged to his brother Pete (Anthony Quinlan). They plan to run away a few days before the wedding, however Cain stops them and announces he is the father of Debbie's half-brother, Moses. Debbie panics and breaks up with Ross after Cain adds that Ross made a deal with Charity to keep the paternity of Moses quiet if he broke up Cain and his wife, Moira. Ross tells Finn everything and he manages to get the letter Debbie had addressed to Pete, in which she confesses to the affair and planning to run away with Ross, before Pete can read it. Debbie and Pete still intend to get married.

On the wedding day, Cain ties Ross up and puts him into the back of a van, which he parks at the edge of a cliff. Ross escapes by jumping into water below and is unconscious for a while. When he wakes up, he goes back to the village to witness Cain and Pete putting a lifeless Debbie into the car as a result of a helicopter crash. He goes to the hospital and asks Pete whether Debbie is alive; Pete does not respond, worrying Ross. Ross goes back upstairs to see Debbie, but Pete sees him again and attacks him. Security guards throw them out of the hospital, but they continue to fight outside. After Ross punches Pete to the ground and goads him, Pete charges at Ross, causing him to hit his head on a stone wall. Pete keeps punching him, but stops when Ross is unresponsive. Instead of finding help for his dying brother, Pete places Ross into the boot of his car and drives to the woods, where he hides him a ditch and covers his body with leaves.

Three weeks later, Pete and James go to the woods to find the body of Ross, but it was nowhere to be seen. The pair return to inform Chas, Cain and Debbie that the body is gone and that they believe he is still alive. Unbeknownst to anybody, Ross is lying in a hospital bed but in a coma. The next day, Ross wakes up from the coma. The hospital thought that he was named Stephen having found a passport given to him by Cain. Ross tries to get out of talking to the police and leaves the hospital, returning home. He finds Pete and they argue about the events with Ross being angry that Pete had told everyone what he had done and not been reported to the police. He collapses when he tries to punch Pete and returns to the hospital where his parents and Finn were reunited with him. Ross shocked everyone when he forgives Pete for his actions but later kidnaps him and ties him to a bridge with the intention of making him look like he committed suicide.

The Barton family suffered further anguish in 2016 with the death of James, and again in 2017 with the deaths of Finn and Emma. Emma was murdered by Moira Barton, yet Pete and Ross decided not report her.

In 2018 Ross was a victim of an acid attack at the hands of Simon ordered by Debbie Dingle, however the attack was actually meant for Joe Tate and Debbie never ordered acid. Months later Ross caught Simon and was going to kill him but was stopped by Moira. Simon was later arrested for the attack along with Debbie but Ross forgave her for her part.

Ross left the village in November 2018 to live in Liverpool with Rebecca White and her son Seb.


The character and Parr's casting was officially announced on 24 October 2013. [1] On joining the show, Michael Parr stated "I am thrilled to be playing a regular character in Emmerdale. It was always the plan that Laurel's carjacker would be revealed as Moira Barton's (Natalie J. Robb) nephew – Ross Barton. It has been fun keeping his identity and my role a secret. Although I did nearly burst from wanting to tell people. Ross is a great character and there is lots to come for him in future episodes." [1]


Ross was involved in a storyline where brother Pete, played by Anthony Quinlan, (pictured) was believed to have killed him. Anthony Quinlan.png
Ross was involved in a storyline where brother Pete, played by Anthony Quinlan, (pictured) was believed to have killed him.

Speaking of Ross' character, Parr explained "He [Ross] is a nasty piece of work, but nobody is just one thing. There are many levels to Ross, but all that we've seen so far is him just being a nasty piece of work. Over time you may see another side to him but predominantly he is that." [2] Asked if Ross feels any guilt about what he's putting Laurel, Parr responded "There is an element of guilt but also he's out for himself - he's just trying to survive. Ross is an adapter, he's just doing whatever he has to do to get by"

In May 2014, in an interview with Digital Spy , Parr revealed that Ross makes a surprising alliance with Donna Windsor portrayed by Verity Rushworth. Asked what Ross makes of Donna, Parr replied "Donna is an attractive girl, but Ross knows that she's a police officer, so he doesn't trust her. Ross finds himself attracted to Donna and she has approached him with these deals to make money, so he's intrigued by her to start with." [3]

Baby reveal

Emmerdale had a "Who's the daddy?" storyline in 2015 where it was a revealed after months of speculation that Ross was the father of Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins) baby Moses. Speaking about the twist, Parr, said: "I was chuffed to bits. I like working with kids and I have got a good relationship with Amelia, who plays April. I've got little sisters and I have always grown up around children. I got told that it was going to be a mystery and I had to keep my mouth zipped up. It has been good - a lot of people have guessed but I have never let anything go." Parr also teased that the latest twist will have huge repercussions for everyone involved if Debbie does eventually find out. He said: "When Debbie finds out, she is obviously going to react. But how she will react and if she will actually find out, we will have to wait and see." [4] Other potential suspects included Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley), Jai Sharma (Chris Bisson) and Declan Macey (Jason Merrells).

Fake death

On 6 August 2015, an episode aired where Ross got into a fight with brother Pete Barton (Anthony Quinlan) resulting in Pete seemingly killing Ross and dumping his body in the woods. [5] Parr spoke of his 'exit' saying: "I'm sorry that I've had to keep this one a secret from you guys, Thank you so much for all your support over the last couple of years. I've had so much fun playing Ross. Thank you, keep watching the show, stay tuned and it's goodbye from me!" [6] A petition to bring Ross back gained over 5,000 supporters. [7] However a shock twist in an episode broadcast on 25 August 2015, where it was revealed that Ross had survived and was seen opening his eyes in a hospital bed. Discussing the huge secrecy involved in the storyline twist, Parr: "It's been difficult, fun and exciting. I've had to sneak in and out of the building at work to avoid being seen by fans outside, and I've even had to lie to family! People aren't idiots, so some people in my family have asked what I've been up to. I said that I've been working but I made a story up that I had a new job in a hotel. There's been a bit of speculation that Ross wasn't dead, so I've also been trying to throw people off. I was tweeting lies about going for auditions and stuff like that, so it's been good fun. The reactions I've had have been quite funny, actually - I've had so many different ones. It was funny when people were saying, 'You'll get something bigger' or 'This is going to be good for you, you'll get a film off the back of this'. I was thinking, 'No not really, because I'm still under contract!'" [8]

Acid attack

On 5 November 2017, Parr confirmed that Ross would feature in an issue-based plot in 2018. The actor spent a lot of time researching for the story and said that he relied on his drama school studies for it. [9] Parr told Daniel Kilkelly of Digital Spy that his new storyline is not "straightforward" and requires several acting techniques. [10] On 30 January 2018, it was announced that Ross would be involved in an acid attack storyline after being attacked by drug dealer Simon McManus (Liam Ainsworth). The storyline commenced on 8 February 2018. [11] Emmerdale decided to tackle to subject to raise awareness of how an attack can affect lives. Parr said that he is nervous about portraying the subject, commenting, "I know it's a reality for some people and it's so important to get it right and do the story justice." [11] The story begins when Ross' employer, Joseph Tate (Ned Porteous), learns that Ross is working with Debbie Dingle (Charley Webb), who is Joe's enemy. Joe sacks Ross so Ross steals his car. Meanwhile, Debbie pays Simon to physically attack Joe and when Simon sees Ross stepping out of Joe's car, he believes Ross is Joe and throws acid in Ross' face. [11] Duncan Lindsay, a reporter for the Metro , described the storyline as a "arduous and devastating journey" for Ross. [12] The scenes prompted over 200 viewer complaints to broadcast regulator Ofcom. [13]


On 23 May 2018, it was announced that Parr had decided to leave Emmerdale at the end of his contract. [14]


Parr was longlisted nominated for "Best Villain, "Sexiest Male", " and "Best Newcomer", respectively at the 2014 British Soap Awards but did not make the shortlist for the latter two categories [15] [16] In August 2017, Parr was longlisted for "Best Bad Boy" and "Sexiest Male" at the Inside Soap Awards. [17] He made the viewer-voted shortlist for "Sexiest Male", [18] but lost out to Davood Ghadami, who portrays Kush Kazemi in EastEnders . [19] In April 2018, he was nominated for "Best Actor" at The British Soap Awards 2018. [20] For his portrayal of Ross, Parr was nominated for Best Soap Actor (Male) at the 2018 Digital Spy Reader Awards; he came in sixth place with 8.5% of the total votes. [21]

See also

Related Research Articles

Cain Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Cain Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Jeff Hordley. Cain made his first appearance on 30 March 2000, and in 2006, he was written out of the series when Hordley left the soap; however, the option for a return was confirmed, which occurred when Hordley returned to the cast in February 2009. Cain's main storylines have focused on discovering his uncle Zak Dingle is his father; his relationship with his cousin Charity Dingle ; discovering he is Debbie's father; his affair and subsequent relationship with Moira Barton ; being attacked in a whodunit storyline where his assailant was eventually revealed to be his father; being diagnosed with a brain aneurysm; supporting his nephew Aaron Livesy after discovering Aaron was sexually abused by his father Gordon Livesy as a child; reuniting with his and Chas's mother Faith Dingle ; his relationship with local vicar Harriet Finch ; building up a relationship with his children; and being blackmailed by DI Malone to do drug runs for him.

Debbie Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Debbie Dingle is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Charley Webb. Webb has taken maternity leave three times, with the first time being in 2010 before returning in 2011, and the second throughout 2016 with Debbie departing on 1 January 2016. She returned on 24 January 2017 and then went on maternity leave for a third time in 2019 as Debbie left for Scotland on 13 August 2019. She returned on 25 December 2020.

Chas Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Chastity "Chas" Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Lucy Pargeter. She made her first appearance during the episode broadcast on 16 October 2002. Chas returned on 21 September 2003. Chas was absent for six months in 2005, when Pargeter took maternity leave. She left temporarily on 5 June 2005, and returned full-time from 13 December 2005. In 2013, Pargeter announced that she would be taking a short break from the show in order to appear in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!. Pargeter was briefly recast for one episode on 20 December 2016 to provide an alternative physical appearance to the character through the eyes of dementia patient Ashley Thomas. Chas departed temporarily once again on 31 March 2017 when Pargeter took a second maternity leave. Pargeter confirmed her return to filming on 31 August 2017. Chas returned on 25 October 2017.

Charity Dingle Fictional character from Emmerdale

Charity Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Emma Atkins. Suranne Jones originally auditioned for the role of Charity, before Atkins was cast. The actress began filming her first scenes in February 2000, and she made her first screen appearance as Charity during the episode broadcast on 30 March 2000. Actress Mica Proctor played a young Charity in a flashback episode about the character's past, which aired on 29 May 2018.

Aaron Livesy Fictional character from Emmerdale

Aaron Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Danny Miller. The character was originally played by Danny Webb and appeared in a recurring capacity. Aaron made his first appearance during the episode broadcast on 24 December 2003. When Aaron was reintroduced in 2008, he was promoted to the full-time cast and the decision was made to recast the role. Miller successfully auditioned for the part and later admitted that he would have quit acting if he had not been cast.

The ITV soap opera Emmerdale has featured numerous major storylines since it began in 1972. A viewer poll conducted in January 2021 found that the top three storylines/episodes voted by viewers were the Emmerdale plane crash of 1993, the Storm of 2003 that occurred on around the 10th anniversary of the plane crash, and the Hotten Bypass Crash in 2016.

Moira Barton Fictional character from Emmerdale

Moira Dingle is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Natalie J. Robb. The actress successfully auditioned for the role after a call came through her agent. Robb's character and her family were created and introduced to Emmerdale as part of an overhaul of the show by the series producer Gavin Blyth. The Barton family took over the running of Butler's Farm and they were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary". Robb first appeared as Moira during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009.

Adam Barton (<i>Emmerdale</i>)

Adam Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, portrayed by Adam Thomas. The character and Thomas' casting was announced alongside that of the Barton family in May 2009. Thomas called Adam "a family man". The character first appeared during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Following a break to participate in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2016, Thomas opted to leave the serial and Adam's departure was announced on 22 June 2017, with his exit airing on 2 January 2018.

Holly Barton

Holly Barton is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, played by Sophie Powles. She made her first on-screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Holly was introduced to the soap as part of the Bartons, a new farming family who took over the running of Butler's Farm. Holly was joined by her mother, father and two siblings. The family were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary" by the show's series producer, Gavin Blyth. Holly departed on 20 June 2012, but Powles later reprised her role and Holly returned on 24 March 2016 for a six-month stint. The character was killed off on 29 September 2016.

Donna Windsor Fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale

Donna Windsor is a fictional character from the British ITV soap opera Emmerdale. She was originally played by Sophie Jeffery until 1997. Actress Verity Rushworth took over the role in 1998. She made her first appearance in the show on 31 August 1993. Donna departed on 30 January 2009. At the time of her departure, Donna was the third longest running character on Emmerdale. It was announced on 8 January 2014 that Rushworth had decided to reprise her role as Donna for five months. She returned on 19 March 2014 and it was revealed that Donna was terminally ill. Donna committed suicide on 14 August 2014, after throwing herself and Gary North from a multi-storey car park to her death, but made her final appearance the following day, on 15 August 2014.

John Barton (<i>Emmerdale</i>)

John Barton is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by James Thornton. The actor was asked to audition for the part and he called it the "most frightening audition" he had ever done. Thornton won the role of John, who was introduced to Emmerdale along with his family as part of an overhaul of the show by the series producer Gavin Blyth. The Barton family took over the running of Butler's Farm and they were described as being "sexy, modern and contemporary". Thornton made his debut screen appearance during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. The following year, he signed a one-year extension to his contract. In November 2011, Thornton revealed that he was to leave Emmerdale after three years and he departed on 16 February 2012.

Michael Parr is a British actor, known for playing the part of Ross Barton in the ITV soap opera Emmerdale. and Billy Parker in Channel 4 soap opera, Hollyoaks.


  1. 1 2 Kilkelly, Daniel (24 October 2013). "'Emmerdale' unveils new regular Ross Barton in storyline twist". Digital Spy . Hearst Magazines UK . Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  2. Daniel Kilkelly (26 November 2013). "'Emmerdale': Michael Parr reveals new Ross Barton twists". Digital Spy.
  3. Daniel Kilkelly (19 May 2014). "Emmerdale's Michael Parr: 'Ross develops feelings for Donna'". Digital Spy.
  4. Sophie Dainty (30 June 2015). "Emmerdale's Michael Parr on Charity baby reveal: 'I was chuffed to bits'". Digital Spy.
  5. Daniel Kilkelly (6 August 2015). "Emmerdale kills off a Barton as Ross and Pete's feud leads to tragedy". Digital Spy.
  6. Rachel Babbage (6 August 2015). "Emmerdale's Michael Parr speaks out after Ross's exit: 'I'm sorry I had to keep it a secret'". Digital Spy.
  7. Katy Finbow (16 August 2015). "Petition to bring Ross Barton back to Emmerdale crosses 5,000 signature mark". Digital Spy.
  8. Daniel Kilkelly (25 August 2015). "Emmerdale's Michael Parr on shock return: 'Ross Barton will want revenge'". Digital Spy.
  9. Kilkelly, Daniel (5 November 2017). "Emmerdale will air a huge new storyline for Ross Barton next year". Digital Spy . Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  10. Kilkelly, Daniel (9 January 2018). "Emmerdale star Michael Parr drops more hints on Ross Barton's massive new storyline". Digital Spy . Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  11. 1 2 3 Kilkelly, Daniel (30 January 2018). "Emmerdale confirms an acid attack storyline for Ross Barton". Digital Spy . Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  12. Lindsay, Duncan (30 January 2018). "Emmerdale spoilers: Devastating acid attack storyline confirmed for Ross Barton". Metro . Retrieved 30 January 2018.
  13. Brown, David (9 February 2018). "Ofcom receives 228 complaints about Emmerdale's acid attack on Ross Barton". Radio Times . Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  14. Harp, Justin (23 May 2018). "Emmerdale losing Ross Barton as Michael Parr leaves the show". Digital Spy . Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  15. Kilkelly, Daniel (17 March 2014). "British Soap Awards 2014 voting opens, longlist announced". Digital Spy . Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  16. "Michelle Keegan shortlisted for Sexiest female". Hello! Magazine . 28 April 2014. Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  17. Harp, Justin (22 August 2017). "Coronation Street, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks all make the Inside Soap Awards longlist". Digital Spy . Hearst Magazines UK . Retrieved 22 August 2017.
  18. Kilkelly, Daniel (31 October 2017). "Inside Soap Awards 2017 shortlist revealed – which Corrie, EastEnders, Emmerdale and Hollyoaks stars are up for prizes?". Digital Spy . Hearst Magazines UK . Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  19. Dainty, Sophie (6 November 2017). "Emmerdale wins best soap at the Inside Soap Awards for the third year running". Digital Spy . Hearst Magazines UK . Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  20. Williams, Rob (2 June 2018). "British Soap Awards 2018 - full list of winners on triumphant night for Corrie". Manchester Evening News . Retrieved 4 April 2020.
  21. Robinson, Abby (28 December 2018). "Emmerdale wins big at the Digital Spy Reader Awards 2018". Digital Spy . Hearst Magazines UK . Retrieved 31 December 2018.