Emmerdale’s Jason Kirk: Actor James Carlton’s surprising new career in the sun

He's moved across the pond to start a whole new life in California

Emmerdale’s Jason Kirk was Paddy’s cousin. He arrived in the village in 1999, after his parents had thrown him out of their home when he told them he was gay.

Jason was in fact Emmerdale‘s first gay male character, though Zoe Tate had come out as a lesbian back in 1993.

Paddy welcomed his cousin to Emmerdale though he warned him to keep his sexuality quiet as he wasn’t sure how the Dingles would react.

Jason was soon feeling at home, and getting up to all sorts…

Jason Kirk
Jason arrived in the village after a row with his parents (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Read more: Complete Emmerdale cast list 2022 – meet them all here!

Jason and Gavin

First up, Jason caught the eye of hunky Woolpack barman Gavin Ferris.

Womaniser Gavin was in a relationship with Bernice Blackstock at the time, but it turned out it wasn’t just women he was addicted to – it was men, too.

Bernice and Gavin split up and far from being a secret, Jason’s sexuality became the talk of the village!

Gavin and Bernice look serious as they break up in Emmerdale
Gavin left the village after Bernice found him kissing Jason (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Fake visa storyline

Though he played the field for a while, Jason eventually fell for Australian Joe Fisher.

The two were in love but Joe’s visa was about to expire and he was heading back Down Under. Because same-sex marriage wasn’t legal back then, Joe and Jason couldn’t tie the knot.

So instead, Joe got married to Tricia Stokes. The pair created a whole fake relationship history, and Joe got his visa.

But it wasn’t happy ever after. Sadly, he and Jason broke up.

Tricia and Joe got married, much to the disgust of Tricia’s boyfriend, Marlon (Credit: ITV/Shutterstock)

Jason delivers Latisha Daggert’s baby

When Jason found a woman in labour at the side of the road, he sprang into action. He helped deliver a bouncing baby boy to mum Latisha Daggert.

Latisha named her baby Kirk, after Jason, and she and Jason became firm friends.

Their relationship was rocked by her affair with Cain Dingle, but they managed to reconcile just before Jason left the village.

Jason moved to Leeds in January 2002.

However, he returned in December 2002 to offer Latisha and her family the chance to move with him to Portugal.

Latisha and Cynthia accepted his offer, but Danny Daggert decided to remain in the village.

PC Steve Crane looks shocked in Heartbeat
James played PC Steve Crane in Heartbeat (Credit: ITV/YouTube)

Read more: Has Angelica King been recast in Emmerdale?

Who played Jason Kirk?

Jason was played by actor James Carlton.

After he left Emmerdale, he had roles in various television shows including Cold Feet, Casualty and Where the Heart Is.

He also played PC Steve Crane in Heartbeat for two years.

What’s James doing now?

Most former soap stars who head to California do so in search of the bright lights of Hollywood.

But James moved to the sunny West Coast of the United States for another reason.

He has left television stardom behind and now runs an almond and walnut farm in the Sunshine State.

From his social media, it seems he has been embracing the farming life with a partner and young daughter.

Though he hasn’t been updating his Twitter feed regularly since the Covid pandemic.

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Emmerdale usually airs weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV, with an hour episode on Thursdays.

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Kerry Barrett
Freelance Soap Writer