Emmerdale's Will Ash and Corrie's Peter Ash real-life family connection explained

Emmerdale and Coronation Street spoilers follow.

Emmerdale welcomed a familiar face to the show's cast at Christmas, as former Waterloo Road star Will Ash made his first appearance as Cain and Chas Dingle's long-lost brother.

Show bosses have brought in Will to play Caleb Miligan, who has infuriated Cain by trying to bond with the rest of the family in recent weeks.

While Will's past on Waterloo Road means that he's already well-known among fans of long-running dramas, his time as schoolteacher Chris Mead on the BBC show isn't his only connection to the soap world.

In real life, Will is related to Coronation Street actor Peter Ash, who has played Paul Foreman on the cobbles since 2018.

When Emmerdale announced Will's casting in the role of Caleb last November, Peter was among the first to celebrate the news.

Peter tweeted: "Yes! This is my cousin, Will! He's an absolutely fantastic actor, and was one of my big inspirations for getting into acting myself!

"Can't wait to see him do his stuff in #Emmerdale!"

Will and Peter are second cousins.

Peter's tweet was news to some soap fans, with one replying: "No way, I had no idea he's your cousin, well fantastic acting definitely runs in the family."

Another added: "I Googled you both earlier when I saw #Emmerdale's tweet, (before I saw your post). I actually thought you were brothers coz you look so alike. And yep Google told me cousins."

Will has appeared in Corrie himself in two different roles. In 1987, he popped up as a boy called Spike, who attended a charity fair on the street.

emmerdale, caleb

In 2002, Will returned to Corrie in the unrelated role of Johnny James, a criminal who planned an armed robbery at a post office.

Will's other notable TV credits include roles in Soldier Soldier, Where the Heart Is and Clocking Off.

Peter, meanwhile, had appeared in Casualty, Footballers' Wives and Hollyoaks ahead of landing his role as Paul on Corrie.

Both of the Ash cousins look set to feature prominently in their respective soaps over the coming months.

caleb, cain dingle, emmerdale

Caleb has shaken up life for the Dingle family in recent weeks, and with Cain refusing to make peace with him, there could be a tough road ahead for the warring siblings.

Caleb also seems likely to strike up a deal with Kim Tate, who wants him to invest in her new stud farm and recently set up a meeting with him at Home Farm.

Meanwhile, Corrie's Paul has a big year ahead as the show revisits his love triangle with Billy and Todd.

Corrie's producer Iain MacLeod recently said: "Historically there's been strong feelings from both Team Todd and Billy, or the other side with Team Paul and Billy.

billy mayhew and paul foreman in coronation street

"We've been back and forth for years and have picked a team, but whatever team ends up being the couple at the end, the story will be about the three of them.

"We see a lot of heart from Todd in places and a lot of deviance in places. We crash a huge story onto one of them, which causes former enemies to become best friends in secret.

"It's a really interesting year for all of them and they'll be at the centre of one of our biggest stories."

Emmerdale airs on weeknights at 7.30pm on ITV1, and streams on ITVX.

Read more Emmerdale spoilers on our dedicated homepage

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