Wil Johnson proud to bring diversity to Emmerdale

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 10 July 2013
Wil Johnson

Wil Johnson

Actor Wil Johnson thinks being cast as one of the first black characters on 'Emmerdale' in years is a big "landmark" for the ITV soap

Wil Johnson is proud to be making 'Emmerdale' more diverse.

The star - who plays smooth-talking biker Dom Andrews in the ITV soap - thinks it was about time a black actor was cast to bring the Yorkshire Dales community up-to-date and is over the moon that he was the person for the job.

He told The Sun newspaper: "It's a bit of a landmark, I feel like I have accomplished and achieved something. It's good for 'Emmerdale' as it's bringing it up to the times. People migrate and move around and live in different places, so it is a really positive move.

"They wanted a black actor for the role - it was specific - and another black actor for Dom's 14-year-old daughter. There was no agenda to it other than wanting to represent the fact that black people do live up north. There's an Asian family in the show so why not have a black family too?"

Prior to Wil joining the show in January alongside Tendai Rinomhota - who plays his teenage daughter Gemma - 'Emmerdale' hadn't had a black family since the Daggerts, who left in 2002, with Danny Daggert leaving in 2006.

ITV famously hit the headlines in 2011 when 'Midsomer Murders' producer Brian True-May revealed he had banned non-white actors from the programme because they weren't "English enough" for the small rural village in which the crime drama is set.

Wil - who has previously starred in 'Walking The Dead' and 'Holby City' - insists he has never experienced any racism or typecasting during his career.

He said: "I can honestly say if I look back at the characters I have played they have all been rich, three-dimensional and very diverse. I haven't experienced any stereotyping."

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