Michael Parr has been wowing Emmerdale fans since 2013 with his portrayal of bad boy Ross Barton. From acid attacks and family tragedy, to romance and drug dependency, it seems there’s no storyline the actor can’t tackle. But when he’s not working hard filming at Emmerdale, what makes Michael really tick?

Here are 7 things you might not have known about 32-year-old Emmerdale star Michael Parr, who plays Ross Barton…

1. Acting isn’t the only job on his CV

Emmerdale Ross Barton

Michael Parr as Ross Barton

Before becoming an award-winning actor, Michael worked as a teaching assistant in a school for teenagers with learning difficulties. He told Digital Spy back in 2015, “Playing Ross is a walk in the park compared to that job. Working with kids with special needs required a lot of patience. Every day is new to those guys, but I learnt a lot from them.”

2. He has a secret passion for the West End

Acting isn’t Michael’s only skill. Last Christmas he took part in TV show All Star Musical where he bought the house down after performing the infamous song “Master of the House” from Les Miserables. He delivered the song with perfection and even got a standing ovation at the end for his efforts!

3. He used to be in Hollyoaks

Just a year before he joined the world of Emmerdale, Michael had his first taste of soap acting when he appeared in Hollyoaks in 2012. He was in just one single episode playing Billy Parker, who was Leah Barnes’s biological dad.

4. He’s climbed Mount Everest

Despite the fact he has a jam-packed schedule at Emmerdale, somehow Michael managed to find time to climb Mount Everest back in 2016. At the time he posted a picture of himself on the climb, telling fans: “The Everest base camp challenge was up there with the hardest things I’ve ever done. We really did suffer for 12 days but if the money we raised can help people and give them comfort in some way then I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.”

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What can I say? The Everest base camp challenge was up there with the hardest things I've ever done. I was lucky enough to travel and journey with some exceptional human beings but non more so than Taylor Prescott and Linzi Prescott. Their strength was what was usually pushing me forward when I didn't think I could carry on. Taylor became a man on this trip and quite obviously has his fathers heart and his mothers determination. Linzi really was a rock and helped every single person usually by having what they need but then also by leading by example. Never moaned. Never gave up. Always encouraged others. Thank god I had two of my best friends there also….Sean and Ross. They insulted me every step of the way and made sure I knew what a loser I was being when moaning. We really did suffer for 12 days but if the money we raised can help people and give them comfort in some way then I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. @seanperrypt @rosswpry @steveprescott1

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5. He’s half American

Michael might have been born in Saint Helens in Merseyside, but he has a dual nationality thanks to the fact his mum’s side of the family hail from the USA. Back in 2015 he appeared on ITV breakfast show Lorraine to talk about his family history. He told host Lorraine Kelly: “My grandad fought in Vietnam and came to the UK where he met my nan. They moved back to America and because he was in the airforce they moved around a lot and my mum was born in Oregon. I still have an uncle living in New York who I try to visit every summer.”

6. Michael Parr goes boxing with Anthony Quinlan!

Pete Barton, Ross Barton

The Barton boys box off screen!

Michael is really into his boxing and takes along one of his co-stars! Talking to the Daily Star, he said: “Usually as soon as I leave the set I put on some music in my car and head to the gym. I’m really into my boxing so I like to punch a bag to de-stress. I like my sport and I’m into Thai boxing as well. I go and train with Quinny (Anthony, who plays Pete) but he likes to get quite competitive!”

7. He’s a proud family man

As well as posting heart-warming, and often hilarious, videos of time spent with his beloved grandparents, Michael is also a proud uncle to his little sister’s baby boy who was born in the summer. He’s clearly very proud of his beautiful nephew and keeps fans up to date with his latest milestones. You can follow Michael on Instagram here: @mikeparr226

Emmerdale continues on ITV.

Main Michael Parr picture: David Fisher/REX/Shutterstock