Emmerdale Ryan Stocks star’s life – fiancée, award win and important second role

Emmerdale resident Ryan Stocks is currently involved in a gripping storyline involving his secret son who was given up for adoption 13 years ago.

Ryan's girlfriend Gail Loman (Rachel Gill-Daivs) recently learned that Oscar is unwell and needed an urgent bone marrow transplant after his adoptive mum got in touch to share the heartbreaking news. However, Ryan was fuming when Gail revealed Oscar's diagnosis and didn't want to be involved in the little boy's life.

The character has become a popular and familiar face in the village since arriving in 2018, after being revealed as the long-lost son of Emmerdale long serving resident Charity Dingle (Emma Atkins). Actor James Moore has also becoming a fan favourite with many viewers, and was given the National Television Award for Best Newcomer just one year after arriving on the soap.

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Both on screen and in his personal life, James uses his role on the soap to promote an awareness of the need for more roles for disabled actors. He also shares a home with his beautiful girlfriend and their adorable cat. As Ryan finds it hard to digest his son's life-changing news, Daily Star has taken a look at James' life away from the cameras.

Disabled rights activist

James has spoken in the past about how he felt there were not enough roles for people with disabilities in TV programmes and films.

The actor has Ataxic Cerebral Palsy, which means that he has problems with his co-ordination and movement, and difficulties walking long distances.

Although James wanted to act from a young age, he struggled to find roles and instead, went to university to study photography.

He had previously told Leeds Live: "In order to have roles there needed to be disabled roles developed, so I was like, that could hold me back a little bit."

However after studying at university, he worked with the National Youth Theatre and had roles in plays and short films, which he sent to potential casting agents.

Within two weeks of signing with an agent, he landed the role of Ryan in Emmerdale, and he has since explained how he loves to represent people with disabilities on the soap.

He told The Mirror: "This is why I love being a part of Emmerdale – it’s showing disability in a new light and letting viewers know that disabled people can be independent and have full, healthy lives.

"Together, we’re proving that disability isn’t a defining factor."

As well as representing people with disabilities on screen, the actor is also a disability rights activist and previously told ITV daytime talk show This Morning: "I would like to get into a position where we’re putting more disabled people into the industry and casting them in more roles, because there are a lot out there."

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He added that he uses social media to raise awareness of having more roles for disabled people, saying: "I think it’s a great tool to use for activism and speaking up and getting your voice heard. I’ve always been aware there are a lot of barriers to it which is why I didn’t go to drama school the first time.

"But at the end of the day, especially considering how more open we’re getting in the modern day, I think now would be a good time to throw what I’ve got in and see what happens. I never thought that I’d be getting the role on Emmerdale."

Soap success

James landed his breakout role as Charity Dingle's biological son Ryan in Emmerdale back in 2018, and has since revealed that he had a huge part in shaping his character.

After auditioning for Emmerdale, he was invited to talk to the ITV production and research teams, who wanted to introduce a character with a disability into the soap.

However, he has described how he used his own experiences to help develop his character in Emmerdale alongside the team behind the soap.

He told The Mirror: "When I was brought in they were very open to learning about me, which I really liked.

"I had a lot of conversations with people at ITV in Leeds and the researcher team, who asked me lots of questions about my disability, what I do – like my background and my early life – they really did a deep dive."

James also added that the character had been written "fantastically" and that although there were some differences between him and Ryan, the two are quite similar to one another.

Award win

Within one year of joining Emmerdale as Ryan. James was named Best Newcomer at the 2019 National Television Awards.

The star beat fellow actors including EastEnders' Ricky Champ, Hollyoaks' Aeden Duckworth, Coronation Street's Alexandra Mardell and Casualty's Neet Mohan to claim the award.

Receiving the award, James told the audience in his acceptance speech: "'Thank you so much this means the world to us, a year ago I never thought I'd be here.

"And for Emmerdale to take on someone with a disability shows the progression we need in this day and age. This means the world to me."

His performance on the soap has been widely praised, with viewers taking to social media to congratulate the actor following his win at the NTAs.

One viewer said: "So so proud what a brilliant actor and a very well deserved award. Congratulations James!", while a second said: "'Little bit emotional that James Moore won the NTA! Hard work pays off and it's just so well deserved!"

A third fan added: "Nobody deserved an NTA more than James Moore. What an inspiration. Legend."

James also later said that the win also meant so much to him after the horrific abuse he had received from trolls on social media, following his performance in the soap.

Love life

Away from the limelight, James lives with his girlfriend Sophie and their adorable cat Tonto.

The couple have been together for over three years and James regularly shares sweet snaps of their life together on social media, including a photograph from Sophie's university graduation.

Last year he posted a tribute to Sophie on Instagram to celebrate their second anniversary together, saying: "2 years. I can’t believe it. We’ve had 2 amazing, happy, incredible years together. We’ve come so far from where we started.

"We live together, we have our own little fur baby, and we are stronger than ever.

"I’m so thankful for your support and encouragement and just pure, absolute love that you give me each and every day, and I can’t wait to make some new memories with you in the years to come. Happy anniversary, I love you."

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV at 7.30pm

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