Emmerdale stars talk Ashley exit on This Morning

Emmerdale stars John Middleton and Charlotte Bellamy were guests on This Morning today ahead of an important episode of the soap.

Emmerdale‘s long-running dementia storyline concludes this evening at 7.00pm on ITV. Ahead of what is sure to be an emotional episode of the Yorkshire based soap, John and Charlotte joined Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on This Morning where Eamonn admitted how wife Ruth had been an avid follower of the storyline following her own experience with her father having the condition.

Eamonn said, “Ruth is about to cry, anyone that can identify with this condition in their family life will be crying tonight…”

John said, “It was an extraordinary thing to film, the atmosphere on set was amazing… you could have heard a pin drop. The team really wanted to finish the story well.”

Ruth confessed, “I’ve said previously how I’ve followed this story for a long time, and obviously my father had dementia, and I think you and the Emmerdale producers have absolutely done it proud…”

“We are literally stopped in the street most days and someone will come up to us and ‘thank you very much, I don’t feel so alone’ and that’s a wonderful endorsement. The Alzheimer’s Society are also using it [some scenes] as a training video so they can show the world from a perspective of someone with dementia which is immensely flattering.” – John Middleton

On missing working with each other, Charlotte confessed, “I’m bereft!”

Whilst John said, “For me leaving the show after 20 years and this working relationship – although Charlotte and I will stay friends – we live in the same town and there’s lots of places to have coffee and we both have dogs we walk, but I really love working with Charlotte and [I’m sad] I won’t be doing that anymore.” 

“As I often say, I haven’t got plans, I’m an actor… I’ve got hopes! But if I could choose… I’d love to play something evil!” – John Middleton”

Talking about the potential future of her character Laurel, Charlotte said, “Well she has a young family, so I think the children will kind of give her the strength to carry on, but what a journey… and yes [she is a recovering alcoholic] and under the pressure of grief and keeping it all together, that is always going to be sitting on her shoulder.”

At the end of the interview, Ruth fought back the tears once more to say, “From all the families who have got loved ones with dementia, or who have lost people, you really have done a fantastic job with promoting awareness I think. So thank you from all of us.” 

John replied, “That’s an award in itself, thank you very much Ruth.”

Eamonn and Ruth continued to read messages of praise for Emmerdale from viewers, before offering advice to others going through the same.

John made his first appearance as Ashley in 1996. His storylines include an ill-fated marriage to Bernice (Sam Giles) and the birth of their daughter Gabby, a second marriage to Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy), losing his and Laurel’s son Daniel to cot death only to find out as a result of a mix-up that the baby wasn’t biologically theirs and that their real son is living with another couple; being stalked by Sally Spode (Sian Reeves); abusing his father Sandy (Freddie Jones) and more recently his diagnosis with dementia.

Emmerdale, Friday at 7pm on ITV, STV and UTV.

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