New Emmerdale hunk Matthew Wolfenden was straight in at the deep end when he joined the Yorkshire soap.

Matthew, 26, plays David Metcalfe, the secret son of Emmerdale schemer Eric Pollard, and from his first appearance in the soap on Sunday he causes quite a stir.

With his tousled blond hair and Beckham-esque looks, David turns quite a few female heads in Emmerdale, but he's on a mission to find his father.

Matthew, of Norwood Green, near Wyke, Bradford, said his character gets close to Delilah Dingle and confides in her that he's searching for his father.

Matthew, who went to Brighouse High School and Stage 84 in Idle, Bradford, is delighted to be starring in the soap he grew up watching.

"It's my mum's favourite soap and my grandparents always had it on when I was a child," he said.

"It was quite daunting going into a big show with such a close-knit cast, they all spend lots of time together and on my first day I was sitting in the green room thinking Oh my God it's him, it's her.' "But everyone's been great. I'm doing lots of scenes with Chris Chittell, who plays Eric, who's a great actor and a lovely man.

"It's been a baptism of fire going straight into a big storyline but I took a deep breath and just got on with it. I'm loving it."

Is Matthew prepared for life as the nation's new soap heart-throb?

"I've signed a six-month contract so we'll see how it goes," he said.

"David has a hidden agenda and although he seems like a nice lad, who everyone likes, he has his father's devious side.

"The Emmerdale writers are great and it's a case of them seeing how I am in the role, and how the character develops.

"David is a great character to play and I can't wait to see what's in store for him!"

After graduating from the Northern School of Contemporary Dance in Leeds, Matthew worked on West End shows before touring with the musical Saturday Night Fever, appearing in it at the Alhambra in 2003.

"I've done a bit of telly but Emmerdale is my first big role," he said.

"Working on a soap is fantastic experience because it's such a quick turnaround and you get lots of different storylines."