Who did James Burrows play in Emmerdale and where is he now?

17 May 2023, 11:35

Who is Emmerdale's James Burrows and what else has he been in?
Who is Emmerdale's James Burrows and what else has he been in? Picture: Instagram/ITV
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

Who was Kenny McDonald Emmerdale and what else has James Burrows been in? Everything you need to know about the actor...

Emmerdale fans might recognise James Burrows for starring in the soap all the way back in 2012.

The actor only had a short-lived role in the Dales, before going on to star in shows such as Coronation Street and Doctors.

But who is James Burrows and what else has he been in? Everything you need to know about the Kenny McDonald actor…

Who did James Burrows play in Emmerdale?

James Burrows guest starred in Emmerdale for two episodes as Kenny McDonald in 2012, who was homeless.

James Burrows as Ali Neeson in Corrie
James Burrows as Ali Neeson in Corrie. Picture: ITV

He hasn’t appeared on the soap since, but did then go on to bag a full-time role on Coronation Street as Michelle Connor’s son Alex Neeson.

Ali, turned up on the cobbles as the new GP trainee on a placement at Weatherfield practice, and he kept it a secret from Michelle.

What else has James Burrows been in?

James Burrows is best known for his role as doctor Ali in Coronation Street but left after two years in the ITV soap.

Netflix fans might recognise him for starring in the film Three Day Millionaire, in which he plays larger-than-life Curly Dean.

James Burrows played Ali Neeson in Coronation Street
James Burrows played Ali Neeson in Coronation Street. Picture: ITV

The actor is also starring in the upcoming Apple TV series, Hijack, which is a new seven-part thriller starring and executive produced by Idris Elba.

James has also appeared in Doctors, Casualty, Skins, Silent Witness, My Mad Fat Diary, Father Brown, Fresh Meat, Mount Pleasant and Love, Lies and Records.

He also starred alongside Jack O'Connell in the Shaun Ryder biopic, Twisting My Melon.

Why did James Burrows leave Coronation Street?

When asked about his former character Ali, James said the soap was ‘a weird one, really’ and said it ‘wasn’t for him’.

He told Metro: “It just wasn’t really for me personally hence why I left,’ he said, before explaining how he was getting ‘bored of playing the same character.”

James also said at the time: "As an actor that sort of character is great to play and I got to work with some amazing actors.

"But I came into acting to play different roles and explore a variety of characters so the time has come for me to move on," he told Digital Spy.

"I've had a fantastic few years on Coronation street, Ali is such a flawed character and so much has happened to him.

"To play such a complex character with so many flaws has been great. At the heart of it, though he was a good guy, he wanted to settle down and have a family but his upbringing and family history really meant that he had a lot of issues."