Trans Emmerdale star Ash Palmisciano says he’s been ‘overwhelmed’ with positivity – despite the odd troll

Ash Palmisciano

Emmerdale’s first trans star Ash Palmisciano has faced a few unfortunate trolls during his time on the show, but the majority of feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Palmisciano, 30, made history two years ago when he joined Emmerdale  as trans character Matty Barton. Speaking on Monday’s (September 7) episode of Lorraine, the actor looked back on his pioneering performance and the response he’s had from viewers.

“If you put yourself out there you’ll always attract a troll online here and there,” he admitted. “But actually, the positive letters I’ve received, the comments from people have been overwhelming.

“That’s exactly why I wanted to play this character. I wanted a positive representation, I wanted someone to feel like there was something out there that they could relate to. And I’ve had some lovely comments from parents who have been going through the same thing. It’s been great.”

Matty’s transition was something that had never before been seen on the soap, and Palmisciano hopes it’s had the effect of normalising the transgender experience.

“It sparks conversation,” he said. “That’s what soaps are really good about. It makes it seem usual and not something to be scared of. There is that storyline with Matty, but he is just a regular guy.”

Before he landed the Emmerdale role the actor was taking any job he could, including working as a Christmas elf.

He told Lorraine Kelly he was “so grateful” for his big break, particularly as his character’s storyline was only supposed to last a few months before bosses decided to keep him on.

“When I started it was a three-month contract, and to still be there two years later is amazing,” he commented.

After pausing filming due to coronavirus the cast of Emmerdale returned in May, much to Palmisciano’s relief, who is thankful to have secured steady job when many in the entertainment industry are struggling.

“I feel really lucky I had a job to go back to. A lot of actors are out of work right now,” he said. “It was great, it was getting to the point where I had to get out of the house. I’m just so happy to be back.”