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Emmerdale's Matthew Wolfenden confirms first role since leaving soap

Emmerdale star Matthew Wolfenden has landed his first role since it was confirmed that he would be leaving the ITV soap after 17 years.

The actor, whose upcoming exit as David Metcalfe was announced last month, will return to the stage later this year to play Buddy in the musical adaptation of ELF.

Wolfenden will make his debut at London's Dominion Theatre on November 15, with his stint running until January 6, 2024.

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The musical, which debuted in 2010 on Broadway, tells the "funny and charming" tale of Buddy, who is raised in the North Pole as an elf after he accidentally crawls into Santa's sack of toys as baby.

The official synopsis continues: "Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy's enormous size and poor toy-making abilities finally cause him to face the truth and realise he'll never belong in the North Pole.

"With Santa's permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York to find his birth father, discover his true identity and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas."

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Tom Chambers, who has starred in multiple soaps over the years such as Father Brown, Holby City, Casualty and Waterloo Road, will reprise his role as Buddy's father Walter Hobbs from the show's 2022 run.

Other cast members include Georgina Castle as Buddy's love interest Jovie, Rebecca Lock as Walter's wife Emily, Nicholas Pound as Santa, Kim Ismay as Debs and Dermot Canavan as the store manager.

ELF marks yet another theatre credit for Wolfenden, who has previously starred in multiple musicals including Sex, Chips and Rock 'n' Roll, Aladdin and Saturday Night Fever.

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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