Emmerdale Natalie J Robbs life – co-star fling, first job and rival soap roles

Emmerdale star Natalie J Robb catapulted onto our screens as feisty farmer Moira Barton in 2009 – a loved up farmer's wife who led a simple life.

Since entering the Dales, Natalie's character has had many ups and downs – including the storyline that saw her marry into the infamous Dingle clan, her daughter overdosing on drugs and countless steamy affairs.

The actress previously said that being part of a modern-day farming family is what drew her to the role of Moira.

Her early storylines in the soap focused on family life before things began to heat up for the character.

Viewers have seen Moira's husband John tragically die, they've seen Moira have an affair with Cain Dingle who she later married, another affair with her brother in law James Barton and a third with her stepson Nate Robinson.

More recently Moira's estranged brother arrived in the Dales and shacked up with Cain's ex Charity Dingle.

Emmerdale aired an emotional departure for Mack Boyd last week.

He was struggling with where he stands with Charity after her hot and cold behaviour towards him.

His departure has left Moira broken and totally taken aback back by his sudden exit.

As Moira takes centre stage in upcoming scenes, Daily Star has taken a look into Natalie's life away from the soap.

Glasgow girl

Natalie was born in Scotland in December 1974. She is the the youngest of three children and has an older sister and brother.

The Emmerdale actress became close to her mother after her parents split when she was just 15.

Her mum currently lives in Spain, and Natalie has a life-long ambition to make a film telling the story of her mother's life.

Natalie's love for acting came to her early and she attended weekend drama groups as a young child.

She ended up going to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

At just nine years of age she kickstarted her TV career when she starred in an STV documentary drama.

When she was 13 she was awarded the BBC Young Entertainer of the Year award on kids' TV show Going Live!

And at 14 she took on the role of Trish McDonald in the Scottish soap opera Take the High Road.

Rival soap roles

Soon after taking Scottish TV by storm, Natalie took on the role as Jude Carlyle in the BBC daytime soap Doctors – which is where her soap opera career began.

Jumping from the BBC to ITV she then got cast in The Bill and played the role of an undercover journalist posing as PC Andrea Dunbar.

Hopping back to the BBC she popped up in EastEnders in July 2006 as Gemma Clewes, Max Branning's mistress.

And three years later she could be seen in Waterloo Road as a school counsellor.

Emmerdale icon

After her stint in BBC's Waterloo road Natalie landed her most prominent TV role in Emmerdale as Moira Barton – the feisty character we all know and love today.

In 2009 she joined the soap as the head of new farming family, the Bartons. With Natalie making her Emmerdale debut on our screens in July.

Moira was still married to her childhood sweetheart John when she had an affair with hunky bad boy Cain Dingle in 2011.

In 2011 Natalie spoke out about Moira's attraction to Cain, saying: "Moira just can't help herself. So she does it. The sex is amazing – the chemistry is so powerful it's electric and she can't control it."

Following John's death though, Moira and Cain began a relationship which resulted in them marrying years later.

Moira proposed to Cain which is a symbol of their unique relationship with one another.

Co-star romance

Natalie was previously dated Emmerdale co-star, Jonny McPherson, who plays hunky Doctor Liam Cavanagh in the ITV soap.

The actors shocked fans when they found out that the pair had moved in together during the first lockdown in 2020.

Jonny previously spoke about their relationship to The Mirror when he said: "We had to make a decision as lots of couples did. We decided to move in together and so, yes, lockdown did fast forward our relationship.

"We get on so well. We come from quite different backgrounds but we are essentially the same person. We are both a pair of big kids. We have exactly the same stupid humour."

The two Emmerdale actors announced they had parted ways last summer in 2021.

Since calling it quits, Jonny has reportedly moved into his own boat with his dog Molly.

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV at 7.30pm

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