EMMERDALE actor Bradley Johnson has launched digital Woolpack Sessions, featuring the cast singing live from their living-rooms.

The Bradford actor, who plays Vinny Dingle in the Yorkshire soap, was first to perform in the weekly sessions streaming on Emmerdale’s YouTube channel. Sitting at a piano in his Low Moor home, he sang a poignant version of Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody.

“I was asked to do the first Woolpack Session - no pressure! It’s a great opportunity to lift spirits during lockdown,” said Bradley. “I like to put my own twist on songs and once we had the go ahead to use the Whitney hit I did my own arrangement. It’s a party classics but I wanted to bring something new to it.”

Bradley, 23, went to Idle theatre school Stage 84 and landed TV and film roles as a child. Aged 11 he appeared with Colin Firth in a film. He’s also a singer and in 2017 reached the final of BBC1’s Let It Shine, Gary Barlow’s search for a band.

“Singing is a massive passion of mine. During the first two weeks of lockdown I filmed myself singing a couple of covers, the response on Twitter was brilliant,” said Bradley, a former pupil of Dixons City Academy. “People said it brightened their day. Music is bringing people together in this challenging time. People are used to going to gigs and the theatre but now they can’t. I know loads of performers who are out of work right now but still want to perform.

“So many of the Emmerdale cast have musical talents. We’re so lucky to have the technology to perform digitally.”

While filming is halted on Emmderdale, due to coronavirus, the Woolpack Sessions feature a different cast member each week singing a favourite song. Next week it’s Isobel Steele who plays Liv, followed by Olivia Bromley (Dawn).

Bradley joined Emmerdale a year ago as Mandy Dingle’s loveable son. In recent scenes Vinny has been getting friendly with newcomer Paul, played by Reece Dinsdale, without knowing he’s his father. “We shoot six weeks in advance; because the weekly episodes are now reduced there are enough until early summer,” said Bradley. “We’’ll be back filming once it’s all safe. I work so closely with the cast - I see more of Lisa Riley than I do of my mum - and I miss them. Lisa is fantastic, we clicked right from the start, and Reece is a pleasure to work with.

“I grew up watching Emmerdale, my mum’s a huge fan, and I’m loving it, When Vinny had his ‘initiation’, drinking beer out of the ‘Dingle Welly’, I thought, ‘This is it, I’ve arrived in soap royalty’!”

* To watch the Woolpack Sessions go to youtu.be/oZdZCL0RBfk