Emmerdale star Mike Parr spoke about the fragile life of an actor and how he takes nothing for granted because ‘it’s bleak out there’.

He talked to What’s on TV at the British Soap Awards about his character Ross Barton’s relatively quiet time on the ITV soap, which won best soap at the 2016 awards.

He said: “I had such a busy two and a half years, it was going to be impossible to keep up that level of RPMs, so maybe it was good to have some downtime. Iain [MacLeod, Emmerdale’s executive producer] has just come in, it’s nice to work with him and see his ideas, so I’ve just got to keep my fingers crossed and hope he doesn’t [mimes cutting his throat]!”

Mike doesn’t want to rest on his laurels – Ross has been a pivotal character in much of Emmerdale’s biggest storylines and he hopes that continues.

“I want to be there so much that the work rate is nothing out of the ordinary for me,” he said. “I went to drama school and we were doing the same hours at drama school so they really drilled it into us how on top of it you have to be.

“I’m just grateful to be working, you know, it’s bleak out there. I feel everyone that’s trying and hustling and isn’t getting anywhere and that could’ve been me. I’m just lapping it up while it’s there.”

He had lavish praise for his on-screen mother, Gillian Kearney, who plays Emma Barton. “It’s just great to be on set and to watch Gill work. She’ll kill me for saying this, but she was acting way before, she was doing Debbie and Damon [Brookside] way before I was even a sparkle in my father’s eye, so it’s just lovely to watch her, to see her professionalism. and her attitude towards it and just watch her.

“She’s got great professionalism, she’s inspiring and she plays one kooky b—-… Especially because Ross is crazy, she’s crazy I think they’ve got a lot of things to come in the future.”

Watch the interview with MIke Parr, above.