He’s notched up 21 years on the soap – but never won a thing!

Emmerdale star Dominic Brunt, who plays village vet Paddy Kirk, has spoken of his delight at being nominated for a National Television Award.

The actor is one of six Emmerdale stars to have made it onto the long list for Serial Drama Performance – the others being Lucy Pargeter, who plays Dominic’s on-screen fiancé Chas Dingle, Charley Webb (Debbie Dingle), Emma Atkins (Charity Dingle), Jeff Hordley (Cain Dingle) and Ryan Hawley (Robert Sugden).

The 48 year old has wowed Emmerdale fans with his performance in the moving storyline that saw Paddy and Chas discover their unborn baby had the condition bilateral renal agenesis and wouldn’t survive outside of the womb.

Emmerdale spoilers! Chas Dingle and Paddy attend their baby's funeral

Dominic Brunt is involved in tragic scenes as Paddy next week

The couple decided to go ahead with the pregnancy, and poignant scenes airing two weeks ago saw their little girl pass away just minutes after she was born.

Speaking of his NTA nod, Dominic told us: “I’m thrilled to pieces! I’ve been to the NTA awards, and it’s an enormous deal. I’ve never been nominated and I’ve never won anything – I’ve never won a TV award in 21 years, which I wear as a badge of honour!

“It’s only the long list but I’ll continue my work here over the years thinking ‘I was nominated for an NTA once’ and that’s enough for me. However, if it goes any further, I’ll be even more delighted. It a dream come true; it’s lovely.”

Reflecting on his involvement in the tear-jerking plot, Dominic added: “It’s been handled completely differently to any story I’ve done before and it has been researched properly. It’s been an honour.”

In total, 26 actors have made it onto the long list. Amongst the other nominees are Coronation Street’s Jack P Shepherd (David Platt) and Sally Dynevor (Sally Metcalfe) and EastEnders stars Danny Dyer (Mick Carter) and Bonnie Langford (Carmel Kazemi).

Emmerdale continues on ITV.