Matty Barton (born Hannah Barton) is the son of John Barton and Moira Dingle, and brother of Holly and Adam Barton as well as Isaac Dingle. While identifying as female during his early years in the village, when he returned in 2018 it was revealed he was a transgender man and had transitioned during his time away.
2009-2010: Arrival at the farm
Matty (then known as Hannah) arrives in the village with his family, who have purchased the Sugdens' former farm, Butlers Farm. He soon gets a crush on Andy Sugden, but he rejects him since he's just a teenager. It is revealed that he is being bullied via text, however, he hides this from his family, who have failed to realise that he is having trouble settling in. The texts he is receiving are from classmate Kayleigh Gibbs.
In January 2010, Matty confides in Victoria Sugden, who is aware of the texts as she has been forced into sending some herself. Eventually, Matty confronts Victoria in the Woolpack toilets, and is hurt when Victoria admits she and Kayleigh have been sending the texts. As a result of this, Matty flushes Victoria's head down the toilet. After the fight is broken up Matty reveals he is being bullied. Months later Matty forgives Victoria and the two become friends again.
In August 2010, Matty starts a relationship with Isaac Nuttall, a student. Feeling under pressure, Matty sleeps with Isaac but is mortified to discover their contraception had failed. Because of this and Holly's drug problem, they break up.
2011-2012: Life on the farm and father's death
In 2011, following the arrival of Alex Moss, who is immediately attracted to Matty, he sleeps with him but the relationship does not last and Alex deserts Matty the next day. Alex later turns his attention to Victoria and they start a relationship, much to Matty's disappointment and jealousy. Victoria becomes suspicious of Alex and Matty's behaviour, and Alex admits that he seduced Matty and then left him, but Matty gives Victoria and Alex his blessing for the pair to continue their relationship.
After his father's death in February 2012, Matty begins to work more on the farm, at the same time slipping behind with his college work. It is later revealed that he failed to turn up to some of his A-level exams. When his sister Holly went to live in London with her friend Roz Fielding, Matty decided he had had enough of life in Emmerdale and the bad memories there, and goes with Holly to start afresh in London.
2013-2018: Move to London and Manchester
Matty tells his family he cannot return after Holly's death; he can't cope with attending his sister's funeral, much to Adam's dismay. However, he does send a holly bush in remembrance of her. A few months later, he informs Moira he also can't return for Christmas.
At some point, Matty transitioned to male, always feeling that he was born in the wrong body. He moved to Manchester but continued to tell his mother that 'she' was still living in London, even masquerading as "Hannah" when Moira went to visit.
2018-: Transition to male and return
In June 2018, Matty returned and snuck into Butlers Farm to retrieve his birth certificate, with which he intended to legally change his gender. He was caught by Cain Dingle, who mistook him for an intruder, but when Moira walked in she instantly recognised him as "Hannah". Moira reacted badly to Matty's revelation, telling him to leave. Victoria was also shocked to see her friend was now a man, but accepted him immediately. Cain tried to set Moira and Matty up to get them to reconcile but Matty walked in on Moira saying harsh things about him and left. Cain tried to convince him to forgive Moira, but Matty felt unable to and returned to Manchester. A few weeks later Moira visited Matty in hospital. She apologised for her previous behaviour and after they reconciled, Matty moved back to Emmerdale.
Before his transition, he was always shy and quiet, for a number of reasons. He was bullied, had numerous problems in his family, and all the while he felt like something was wrong. He grew up scared, thinking he was "just a lesbian". After time away from his family, he realised that he was not a lesbian, but actually a transgender man, and began the process of transitioning from female to male. After transitioning, he is more confident in his body and gender identity, although still relatively quiet.
Hobbies and interests
Not much is known about Matty's hobbies, but we do know that he loves being a big brother to Isaac. He is seen as a football fan as he recently has joined the team and is a strong team member. In July 2019, he started a business named Matty's Tat which revives old furniture and makes them modern.
Matty has always been close to his mother, especially following his father's death. Despite their close relationship, Matty always felt that he was second best to Holly and Adam and had a tendency to keep things to himself. However, the pair became estranged when Matty began transitioning from female to male and, scared about her reaction, Matty refused to stay in contact with Moira until July 2018. After a few chances and a happy reconciliation, Moira and Matty have built back up their happy relationship.
Matty has served in a variety of jobs. Prior to moving back to the village, Matty had mentioned that he had previously worked in a call centre. He worked as a farmhand at Butlers Farm but found himself not cut out for the heavy stuff or the paperwork, and decided to seek elsewhere for work after getting scammed for a bull (which Matty got their money back with the help of Victoria Barton)
|Customer service||Unknown call centre||Prior to 2018|
|Farmhand||Butlers Farm||19th July 2018 to 23rd July 2018|
|Shop Assistant||David's Shop||8th August 2018 to present|
|Barman||The Woolpack||3rd September 2018 to present|
Role in the Community
Matty currently doesn't play a major role in the community as he left for London not long after leaving school. Matty enjoys helping people and will instinctively jump in where he feels he is needed - which earned him a job at David's Shop. He is also a barman at The Woolpack putting him in two of the most central places in the village.
|Butlers Farm||17th July 2009 to 20th June 2012|
|London||20th June 2012 to c.2016|
|Manchester||c.2016 to 12th July 2018|
|Butlers Farm||13th July 2018 to present|
- Grace Cassidy quit the role of in 2012, deciding to leave to pursue other jobs and advance in her career. The character departed with on-screen sister Holly.
- In June 2018, it was revealed that producer Iain MacLeod had recast the role. Actor Ash Palmisciano was initially brought in to assist the team with the storyline on 31st January but they were interested to discover that he is an actor, and impressed by his performance gave him the role of Matty.
"Alcoholic!" - first line, about Andy Sugden.
"Hiya mum" - to Moira Barton when she begins to realise that her child is transitioning from female to male.
"You're the best friend I've had in ages. I don't want us to muck that up and we would when you realise that you just wanted some comfort and I'm the rebound guy. You mean too much to me to risk it" - to Victoria Barton.
"But I'm sick of being scared and jealous, when all I want to do is..." - to Victoria Barton before he kisses her for the first time.