We are currently trialling our new-look independent.co.uk website - please send any feedback to beta@independent.co.uk


From the cobbles to the Dales: Coronation Street actor Bill Ward joins Emmerdale


Former Coronation Street villain Bill Ward is joining the cast of rival ITV soap Emmerdale.

Ward played builder Charlie Stubbs on the cobbles for just over three years before he was killed off in 2007.

He will arrive in the Dales as Moira Barton's brother-in-law James, a farmer and single father to three grown-up sons.

Ward said: "I'm really looking forward to it. The Emmerdale team are a very talented bunch indeed and I'm extremely chuffed to have been asked to join them."

He starts filming in September and will be seen on screen from late October.

Ward has had an extensive career in the West End, and most recently appeared as a Simon Cowell-inspired TV talent show judge in the ill-fated Spice Girls musical Viva Forever.

He is best known for playing Stubbs, who wreaked havoc on the street during a stint which saw him embark on a controlling and abusive relationship with Rovers Return landlady Shelley Unwin (Sally Lindsay) before beginning an affair with Tracy Barlow (Kate Ford) who eventually killed him.