MATTHEW Wolfenden wowed fans when he shared a rare snap of his “Mini-Me” son just days before his departure from Emmerdale.
This weekend The Sun exclusively revealed that Matthew, 43, would be stepping down from his role as David Metcalfe on the ITV soap opera after 17 years.
This comes after the actor faced an investigation into a racial dispute in 2021.
Off screen, Matthew is married to former Emmerdale co-star Charley Webb, 35, who played Debbie Dingle on the ITV soap between 2002 and 2021.
They are proud parents of three children and welcomed their first son Buster into the world in 2009.
Second son Bowie was born in December 2015 and in 2019 Charley gave birth to their third son Ace.
In July, the actor captured a tender moment showing himself and second eldest Bowie, aged seven, at a local cricket match.
They wore matching white shirts and snuggled on the outfield while the boy clutched a cricket ball.
Matthew referred to his son as “Mini Me” in the caption on Instagram, followed by a red love heart emoji.
One fan gushed, “Bowie is your double Matthew x”
Another commented, “Mathew won’t go far wrong if he turns out like you, right?” as the third sentence: “He’s the picture of you xx”
One then guessed: “Beautiful family.”
Another added: “Nice to meet you today. I hope Bowie managed to eat something to quell his hunger too xx.”
One fan simply capped it all off with the word, “Gorgeous.”
He got the delightful glimpse into Matthew’s personal life just days before his career change was announced.
The popular star’s shocking decision came when he blamed a lack of crisp storylines for his exit from the soap.
Matthew – loved by millions since 2006 as shopkeeper David Metcalfe – and co-star Isabel Hodgins were absent from the Yorkshire set for four months.
They returned, but Matthew has told his friends that he’s bored of his character’s recent storylines.
A TV source said: “Matthew had a great time on the soap but feels ready for a change.”
“He hasn’t been getting any dark storylines lately, so he wants to see what else is out there.
“He’s a fan favorite so will have a lot of support for whatever he chooses to do next.”
“He is very enthusiastic about the opportunities that are presented to him.
“He’s only just announced his departure, so the writers are already working on his exit to the big screen. It is possible that David will be killed.”
In 2021, The Sun on Sunday reported how ITV had conducted an in-depth investigation into allegations of a comment made towards an actress of mixed race and her claims that her accent had been faked.
Bosses accepted explanations from Matthew and Isabel – his former girlfriend Victoria Sugden – that the alleged remark and impersonation had been “mistaken”.
No formal action has been taken against the couple.