James, who starred as Finn in Hollyoaks, is set to pop up in the dales as Ruby Haswell's ex-boyfriend Seb.
The actor played Finn from 1998 to 2002 but turned his attentions to stand up comedy once he had waved goodbye to the C4 soap.
Last year, however, James reprised the role of Finn alongside fellow past co-star Jeremy Edwards for Hollyoaks Later - and it appears it has given him the acting bug again!
James said: "Having taken a five year break from acting to concentrate on stand up comedy I am really looking forward to getting back on the horse.
"It will be great to join the cast of Emmerdale and Seb will be my first time playing a northerner!"
Veteran actor Dudley Sutton has also joined the ITV soap as Seb's elderly father William, who coincidentally Ruby becomes a carer for.
Will you be tuning in to see James in Emmerdale? Tell us below, as the best comment from across the website each week wins £50.