Adam Barton (Emmerdale)

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Adam Barton
Adam BartonED.jpg
Emmerdale character
Portrayed by Adam Thomas
Duration 2009–2018
First appearance 17 July 2009
Introduced by Gavin Blyth
Classification Present; regular (departing)
Occupation Farmhand (2009–2013)
Businessman (2013–)
Home Keepers Cottage

Adam Barton is a fictional character from the ITV soap opera, Emmerdale, portrayed by Adam Thomas. The character and Thomas' casting was announced alongside that of the Barton family in May 2009. Thomas called Adam "a family man". The character first appeared during the episode broadcast on 17 July 2009. Following a break to participate in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2016, Thomas opted to leave the serial and Adam's departure was announced on 22 June 2017, with his exit scheduled for early 2018.

Adam's storylines have included: his bromance with Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller); suffering a breakdown and committing arson following the death of his father, John Barton (James Thornton); discovering his uncle, James Barton (Bill Ward), is his biological father; his on-off marriage to Victoria Sugden (Isabel Hodgins); believing he fathered Johnny Woodfield after a one-night stand with Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick); and his fertility issues which prevented him having a child with Victoria.


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 it's 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.[1] 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 witnesses Aaron kissing his secret boyfriend, Jackson Walsh (Marc Silcock), 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).

In August 2014, Adam is shocked as Aaron returns two years later and is ready to cover for Adam, following recent events of the fire at the garage. Aaron confesses to arson, but Adam later clears his name and spends a while in prison. During his time there, Adam suffers a beating, but recovers in hospital and is later released from prison. Adam and Aaron set up a small scrapyard business nearby. It nearly ends in tears when Aaron is hardly attending work, but the two friends continue to make it work. In March 2015, Adam proposes to Victoria Sugden on her 21st birthday. Victoria accepts, but later admits that she is not ready for marriage and lets Adam down, leading to the pair breaking up. Adam sleeps with Vanessa Woodfield, who later becomes pregnant, but the father is unknown. Eventually, results reveal that Adam is the father, when really the actual father of Vanessa's baby is Kirin Kotecha. Adam and Victoria elope to get married, following Victoria's accidental knock down of Ashley Thomas, who is hospitalized and diagnosed with epilepsy. Adam and Victoria marry on the day of Victoria's court hearing and she is given a caution for accidentally running Ashley over. In late July 2015, Adam and Victoria return from their honeymoon and focus on their life as a married couple, but it is interrupted by the existence of Adam's unborn child, as it is still believed that Adam is the father. Adam fails to arrive at Vanessa's scan, which angers her and she makes the decision to leave Emmerdale because she does not want Adam involved in the upbringing of Vanessa's baby. In August 2015, Adam considers him and Victoria leaving instead to start a new life, but Victoria thinks Adam is mad thinking of leaving. Adam gets grief from Rhona Goskirk and he gets drunk, rather than attend the wedding of Pete Barton and Debbie Dingle. Adam falls asleep in a car at the scrapyard, but is unaware that a fire had been started, which then caused some gas canisters to explode and collide with a helicopter, which then crashed through the roof of the Village Hall. Adam wakes up in the car and Robert and Chrissie got him out before the car exploded.

In January 2016, Vanessa takes another DNA test to see if Adam really is the father of Johnny (Vanessa's baby), after she finds a birthmark which the midwife says that it's perfectly normal for a mixed race baby to have. The DNA test reveals that Kirin is actually the father. When Vanessa breaks the news to Adam, he is devastated and attacks Kirin's father after he learns that it was him that switched the DNA results. Vanessa gives Adam some time alone with Johnny, but Adam takes off with him and hides in a hotel. Victoria talks Adam into returning Johnny to Vanessa before it gets serious. In February 2016, after learning that Aaron had been repeatedly raped at the hands of his father when he was younger, Adam is livid and offers to help Cain deal with Aaron's dad. After Aaron returns from giving evidence at the police station he hugs him and apologises for not being there for him.

In March 2016, Adam left shocked to found out that Holly return to the village after 4 years away. A month later, Adam supports Aaron through the court case where Gordon is found guilty and sent to prison. A few weeks later, Adam celebrates with the rest of the family when Aaron gets his deed poll letter officially declaring him as a Dingle.

In September 2016, Adam is heartbroken by the sudden loss of his sister Holly, who died from a heroin overdose. He and Victoria move back to Butlers to support Moira. On the day of the funeral, Adam is angry and upset that his sister Hannah is unable to attend and comforts Moira as they say their final goodbyes to Holly. The following week, Adam helps Robert to pulls Aaron out following a motorway collision and Adam went to ambulance with Aaron who later survive. Later, on the same day, is devastated when James dies as a result of the same accident. On the day of James' funeral, Adam tries to put a brave face on everything, insisting to Moira that he has already buried his dad. However, when Ashley interrupts the service Adam gets upset and asks Laurel to take her husband out, saying he's ruining his dad's funeral. Adam is surprised to learn that James has left him an equal share in his will much to Ross' displeasure. They clash over the issue and Adam admits he wasn't going to take it but changes his mind and decides to accept it.

Adam fights with Ross after he learns that he tried it on with Victoria. Vic tries to break them up but ends up getting hurt. She is taken to the hospital where she tells a shocked Adam she might be pregnant. The test comes back negative but Vic confides in Finn that she wants a baby and she's not sure how Adam feels. Later at Butlers, Vic tells Adam she wants a baby and Adam concedes that if thats what she wants then they will start trying. The next day, Adam confides to Aaron his doubts about starting a family after his experience with Johnny. Aaron assures Adam he's already proven he'll be a great dad and offers to babysit for him anytime. Later, Ross apologises to Vic and Adam for his earlier behaviour and they call a truce. Adam tells Moira that he and Vic are trying to start a family and she is delighted.

In February 2017, Adam helps the Sugdens and the Dingles organise Robert and Aaron's impromptu wedding. The next day, Adam is gutted when his best friend is sent to prison for 12 months on a GBH charge.


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.[2] The family, which comprises five members - mother, father, two daughters and a son - took over the running of Butler's Farm.[2] 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!"[3] 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.[2]

Jake Roche auditioned for the role of Adam, however, it was actor Adam Thomas who was eventually cast.[4] 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."[5]



In March 2017, it was reported that Thomas had decided to leave Emmerdale after appearing in reality TV competition, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!, although the actor denied the reports.[6] However, on 22 June 2017, it was announced that Thomas had opted to leave the serial after eight years in the role. Adam's final scenes are scheduled to be broadcast in early 2018.[7] Thomas called the decision to leave "tough", but cited his reasons for leaving as wanting to try new roles. He added that he had enjoyed working at Emmerdale and thanked the team for providing him with the role of Adam and for creating "some great storylines" for the character.[7] The show's series producer, Iain MacLeod, revealed that Thomas had alerted show bosses far in advance so they were able to create a "huge" departure storyline for him, which MacLeod is looking forward to. He also commented, "Everyone will be really gutted to see Adam go! [...] It will be [sad] to wave goodbye to such a brilliant character and cast member."[7]


For his portrayal of Adam, Thomas won Best Soap Newcomer at the 2010 TV Choice Awards.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Aaron tries to kiss Adam - Emmerdale Spoiler - Soaps". Digital Spy. 2009-11-25. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  2. ^ a b c Green, Kris (22 May 2009). "'Emmerdale' casts 'sexy' farming family". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  3. ^ Green, Kris (12 June 2009). "Gavin Blyth (Series Producer, 'Emmerdale')". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 8 September 2011. 
  4. ^ "Emmerdale star 'begged for a role'". Daily Mirror. Trinity Mirror. 13 August 2010. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Adam Thomas (Adam Barton, 'Emmerdale') - Emmerdale Interview - Soaps". Digital Spy. 2009-07-07. Retrieved 2012-11-28. 
  6. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (30 March 2017). "Adam Thomas hits back at those Emmerdale exit rumours: 'Don't believe everything you read'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Dainty, Sophie (22 June 2017). "Emmerdale confirms that Adam Thomas IS leaving his role as Adam Barton". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 22 June 2017. 
  8. ^ Love, Ryan (7 September 2010). "'Emmerdale' scoops three TV Choice awards". Digital Spy. Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 19 April 2012. 

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