The Bourne Ultimatum and Harry Potter star causing the latest stir on Emmerdale

Ellis Chapman’s family strife is about to be exacerbated in Emmerdale when his near-forgotten father, Al, makes a surprise appearance amid stormy scenes.

Missing from the lives of Ellis (Asan N’Jie) and mother Jessie (Sandra Marvin) for years, Al hangs back from from making his first approach, watching from his car as his spurned ex-partner engages in a drunken outburst in front of the Woolpack after losing her job.

Marlon (Mark Charnock) enrages Jessie by dragging her home but the uproar only delays the inevitable as the first encounter between Ellis and Al takes place within 24 hours.

Understandably, Ellis is unimpressed at his father abruptly re-emerging and expecting to make up for lost time – and trouble brews as Jessie introduces Al to Marlon.

Who plays Al Chapman in Emmerdale?

Al is played by Michael Wildman, whose breakthrough role can be traced back to Bring Me the Head of Mavis Davis, a 1997 film starring comedy icons Rik Mayall and Jane Horrocks.

Wildman has become a television regular on well-known shows including Casualty and Peep Show, and he had his first brush with Hollywood as a CRI agent alongside Matt Damon in The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007.

He has also appeared alongside Samuel L Jackson in Ricky Gervais series Extras, as well as playing fearsome centaur Magorian in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

His most recent role was a part in Steven Spielberg’s Ready Player One, an American science fiction adventure film released last year.

Wildman, who has also appeared in the West End, admitted the news of his casting in Emmerdale made his mum ‘jump for joy’ at seeing her son in her favourite soap.

The excited actor concedes that his character risks unsettling Marlon and Jessie, who only married last Christmas.

‘On paper, Al Chapman will be a dream to play for any actor,’ said Wildman. ‘With the help of the current cast I look forward to him mixing things up in the village and, for myself, bringing him to life.’

Wildman’s wife, Welsh singer and actress Ceri Ann Gregory, has been busily sharing the news of her husband’s new role on Twitter.

The couple live in Oxfordshire and have a five-year-old son.

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