Adam Barton (Emmerdale)

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Adam Barton
Adam BartonED.jpg
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Adam Thomas
Duration 2009–
First appearance 17 July 2009
Introduced by Gavin Blyth
Classification Present; regular
Occupation Farmer
Home Butlers Farm

Adam John Barton is a fictional character from the British soap opera Emmerdale, played by Adam Thomas. He made his first screen appearance on 17 July 2009. He is the son of James (Bill Ward) and Moira Barton (Natalie J. Robb). Originally Adam believed that his biological father was James' brother John (James Thornton) who died in a car accident in 2012.

Creation and casting[edit]

In May 2009, it was announced that Emmerdale's new series producer, Gavin Blyth, would introduce The Bartons, a new farming family, as part of an ongoing overhaul of the show.[1] The family, which comprises five members - mother, father, two daughters and a son - took over the running of Butler's Farm.[1] Of the family, Blyth said "I don't want to make Emmerdale a show about teenagers and young people, it's about family values. The Bartons are sexy, modern and contemporary. They're almost happy - and in soapland that's quite strange!"[2] Natalie J. Robb and James Thornton were cast in the roles of parents, John and Moira. Sophie Powles and Grace Cassidy were cast their daughters, Holly and Hannah respectively.[1]

Jake Roche auditioned for the role of Adam, however, it was actor Adam Thomas who was eventually cast.[3] Speaking of his casting, Thomas said that "Adam's a family man... Whatever his dad says, he does. The whole family is really close. Even with his sisters, he's the middle child but he wants to be the older brother and look after them all."[4]


Towards the end of 2009, Holly Barton (Sophie Powles) starts flirting with Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller) and it looks as though a relationship is brewing. At first, Adam isn't keen but comes round, making friends with Aaron. When Aaron suddenly starts playing hard to get with Holly, Adam questions it but Aaron says its all part of the plan. However, everything slots into place when the boys and Holly go on a "lads" night out. When Aaron and Adam are on the way back, they are involved in a car crash and Aaron cuts his head. As Adam is checking it out, Aaron leans in for a kiss.[5] Adam is horrified and pulls away, questioning Aaron's sexuality, but Aaron convinces him that it's all in his head. Not completely convinced, he tells Holly after realising that she has slept with Aaron but his parents insist he drops it when Holly, refusing to believe Adam, gets annoyed with him. Aaron watches jealously as Adam gets closer to Scarlett Nicholls (Kelsey-Beth Crossley) and starts dating her.

In early 2010, Adam is still convinced that Aaron is gay but leaves Aaron alone as he learns that Hannah is being bullied, but is confused about why Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins) did it. When sheep on the Bartons' farm start being stillborn, John knows something is wrong but doesn't know what. When Carl King's (Tom Lister) children, Thomas (Jack Ferguson) and Anya (Ceryen Dean), are hospitalised, Jai (Chris Bisson) and Nikhil Sharma (Rik Makarem) are blamed but tests clear them and Adam remembers moving some toxic barrels a few months back and is shocked to discover he's responsible. When he confesses to his parents, John goes mad but realises that they have to admit responsibility. They are fined by Nathan Wylde (Lyndon Ogbourne) for the clean up so John stops Adam's wages until the bill is paid.

In April, Adam witness Aaron kissing secret boyfriend, Jackson Walsh (Marc Silcock), and is positive of his sexuality, but tells Aaron that he'll still be his mate, regardless of his sexuality, and keep his relationship secret. On his birthday, Adam and others at The Woolpack see Aaron punch Jackson, after Aaron thinks he's flirting with him in public, resulting in Aaron being arrested. When released, Aaron decides he can no longer risk people finding out he's gay and attempts suicide in the garage. When Adam and Cain Dingle (Jeff Hordley) discover him, they save him but Aaron reveals that he wishes he had died.

Adam and his whole family struggle to come to terms with his sister, Holly's, addiction to heroin. He takes her to see Jackson who, after a horrific accident, has lost his ability to walk, Adam tries to show Holly that, she (unlike Jackson) can choose to get better and has made herself ill. The message doesn't sink in, however, and Aaron is annoyed with Adam for using Jackson to get this message across to his sister.

Scarlett notices that Adam has less and less time for her, ignoring her phone calls and text messages. This decline in their relationship culminates in Adam kissing Mia Macey (Sapphire Elia) on New Year's Eve. Devastated by this, Scarlett leaves for a holiday in Canada. Adam tries to pursue Mia, although she plays hard to get. They later start a relationship although Adam ruins this when he starts an affair with Mia's mother, Ella (Corrinne Wicks). She is furious when she finds out the truth and leaves the village. Adam is understandably distraught when he learns of his mother's affair with Cain, but he is delighted when John and Moira patch things up and they get back together. When John and Moira spend the night in a hotel, Adam is stunned to receive a phone call from Katie Sugden (Sammy Winward), informing him that John and Moira have been in a car accident. Shortly after arriving at the hospital, Adam watches in horror as the doctors declare his father dead.

Adam falls to pieces after the death of John, blaming Cain for his death, believing that if Cain had not seduced Moira, his parents would have never split and had to go on the romantic break, resulting in John's death. Adam then set fire to the Dingle Automotors Garage, trapping Cain inside, then saving him. Adam confides in Aaron. Seeing Adam's pain at the grieving of John, Aaron tells the police he started the fire. Missing court, Adam helps Aaron escape to France with Ed Roberts (Lloyd Everitt).


For his portrayal of Adam, Thomas won Best Soap Newcomer at the 2010 TV Choice Awards.[6]


  1. ^ a b c Green, Kris (22 May 2009). "'Emmerdale' casts 'sexy' farming family". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  2. ^ Green, Kris (12 June 2009). "Gavin Blyth (Series Producer, 'Emmerdale')". Digital Spy (Hachette Filipacchi UK). Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  3. ^ "Emmerdale star 'begged for a role'". Daily Mirror (Trinity Mirror). 13 August 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Adam Thomas (Adam Barton, 'Emmerdale') - Emmerdale Interview - Soaps". Digital Spy. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  5. ^ "Aaron tries to kiss Adam - Emmerdale Spoiler - Soaps". Digital Spy. 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  6. ^ Love, Ryan (7 September 2010). "'Emmerdale' scoops three TV Choice awards". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 19 April 2012.