Emmerdale fans are hoping that fan-favourite Ross Barton, played by Michael Parr, is coming back to the ITV soap opera following his mention in tonight's episode (27 December).
The character of Ross, who was introduced in July 2013, has not been seen in the Yorkshire village since his departure three years ago when he moved away with Rebecca White, played by Emily Head.
The Mirror reports that Ross has however been mentioned a couple of times as his son Moses Dingle, played by Arthur Cockroft, still lives in the village with his mother, Charity Dingle, who is played by Emma Atkins.
Ross was mentioned another time in tonight's episode, which teased that the character had returned to the Emmerdale village, although he was absent on-screen.
Ross was referenced during a scene between Charity and her boyfriend Mackenzie Boyd (Lawrence Robb) – whom she has only recently started dating.
Charity revealed that Ross would be visiting the village to drop off Moses, after spending some time with him over Christmas. She told Mackenzie that they would need to tell Moses about their relationship once he had returned.
She said that this was because her eldest son, Ryan Stocks (James Moore), had been less than impressed after he was made aware of the relationship after catching the couple together.
Charity said: "Ross is dropping Moses off, so we need to do the introductions." Mackenzie however suggested that it might be too soon, though she wasn't convinced.
She responded: "Well, he's gonna find out sooner or later – we may as well do it from the off. Unlike what happened with [Ryan], where we learnt our lesson remember."
Later in the episode, the couple met with Moses to announce their relationship – her first since splitting up from Vanessa Woodfield (Michelle Hardwick).
And although viewers didn't get to see Ross dropping off his son, the reference to him prompted fans to express hope that he'll soon make an on-screen return.
One viewer said on Twitter earlier: "Please someone tell Ross he is welcome to stay [in the village]." Another said that they would at the least like a "cameo" appearance from him.
"I wish Ross would come back," commented another. Whilst a fourth fan of the character said in a tweet this evening that it would "be great to see Ross back on Emmerdale."
A different viewer tweeted: "I want Ross to come back and just cause chaos." Whilst another commented: "Ross was such a king. [I] miss him every single day."
Another wrote: "I am pretty sure it's never gonna happen but I'd love Ross to return to the village." They added: "He just had a certain energy that no one else has had."
One viewer excitedly tweeted: "A ROSS MENTION?!" They later added: "Every day I miss him." In response, another fan shared a similar sentiment, writing: "He was one of my first faves in Emmerdale."
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