The 21-year-old - who portrayed schizophrenic Newt's imaginary alter-ego Eli on and off between 2008 and 2009 - takes on the role of Jackson Walsh, a potential new love interest for sexually confused mechanic Aaron Livesy (Danny Miller).
At the end of last year, Aaron's world was thrown into turmoil when he made a pass at his best friend Adam Barton (Adam Thomas) following a car accident. With villagers gossiping about his true sexuality, Aaron was forced to try to cover his tracks and embarked on a relationship with Adam's sister Holly (Sophie Powles).
In the coming weeks, though, Aaron panics when his cover story Holly ends their relationship. On a night out with Eli (Joseph Gilgun), Aaron is tempted to visit a gay bar. When he eventually plucks up the courage to go inside, he's taken aback when Jackson takes an interest in him.
Speaking of Jackson's arrival in the village, Emmerdale series producer Gavin Blyth told DS: "Like Aaron, Jackson's a very contemporary gay character - he's not a stereotype. He's someone who exists in his own right in the world because of who he is - not what he is in terms of his sexuality. We've got to realise that for everything that Aaron's fighting, if he's ever going to let anyone in, it's going to be someone he can relate to.
"I also stated from the outset that I wanted Aaron's tale to be a very modern story of someone not only wrestling with their sexuality but also loathing himself at times for it and (wrongly) fearing other people judging him. If we're to play a relationship of any sense as Aaron moves forward, I want it to be a very real one, not based on clichés or stereotypes."
He continued: "And as, when and if the relationship goes anywhere, it's paramount that both characters can ultimately continue to drive the story beyond that of their sexuality."
Meanwhile, speaking of his casting, Silcock said: "I've always been a fan of Emmerdale, so I'm thrilled to be joining the cast. Jackson will play a big part in Aaron's journey and I'm so pleased to be involved in this story."