BRADFORD actor Bradley Johnson has joined one of soap’s biggest families - the Dingles in Emmerdale.

Bradley, who started acting as a child and has appeared in a film with Oscar-winning actor Colin Firth, plays Vinny, son of Mandy Dingle, in the Yorkshire soap. Viewers recently saw the pair make quite an entrance; turning up in the village with a couple of suitcases and nowhere to call home. Hoping to stay with Marlon, a fellow Dingle, Mandy barged into his house...and discovered his wife in a steamy clinch with her ex-husband.

Bradley first appeared in Emmerdale last November, when it seemed he may be the secret son of Paddy Kirk, Mandy’s ex. “I did three episodes, it gave everyone a taster of Vinny and now we get to see more of him,” said Bradley. "I'm loving it. It's a fantastic storyline that can lead in various different ways.

"It can be daunting coming in to such a big show as a newbie, but the cast are so friendly. It's like a big family."

Added Bradley: "Joining the Dingles is like being part of soap royalty! They're an institution. Everyone has been so welcoming to me."

With Mandy and Vinny set to become a soap double act, Bradley is enjoying working with Lisa Riley, who is returning to the role of Mandy Dingle after 18 years. "She's fantastic to work with, we get on like a house on fire," said Bradley, 22. "It's Vinny and Mandy against the world. It won't be plain sailing for them."

Bradley, of Low Moor, a former pupil of Dixons City Academy, grew up watching Emmerdale and says his mum is a big fan. "She and my grandma love it, they're so proud I'm in it," he said.

As a child he went to Stage 84 and in 2007 he played the title role in the Idle theatre school's production of Oliver! at the Alhambra. The same year he was in the film And When Did You Last See Your Father, with Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent. "It's brilliant seeing myself in a film. I definitely want to do more acting," Bradley told the T&A, aged 10, while a pupil at Low Moor C of E School. He went on to be in TV dramas including Shameless, Kay Mellor's The Syndicate and Five Days with Suranne Jones.

Bradley is also a talented singer and in 2017 he reached the final of BBC1's Let It Shine, Gary Barlow's search for a boy band for his musical The Band. Bradley's audition performance of Bring Him Home from Les Miserables wowed the judges, including Gary Barlow, Martin Kemp and Danni Minogue.

"I love to sing, it's something I will always do but right now I'm focussed on Emmerdale. It's a dream to be back here," said Bradley.

* Emmerdale is on ITV, Monday-Friday, 7pm, and also Thursdays, 8pm.