Emmerdale star Charlotte Bellamy has revealed that the soap’s dementia storyline is becoming more traumatic to film.
“It’s getting harder without a shadow of a doubt,” said the actress. “The character of Ashley is diminishing in front of our eyes. So that’s really hard. It feels like a loss because we know that John Middleton is going to be leaving soon.”
Next week’s episodes of the ITV soap will see Laurel make the heartbreaking decision to put her husband into full-time care.
“She feels torn,” added Bellamy. “She’s cared for him for a considerable amount of time, but it gets to the point where she can’t do it anymore. It’s become almost unbearable and he’s a danger to himself, the children and Laurel.”
The emotional plotline has earned both popular and critical acclaim and viewers should expect further anguish as Laurel packs up Ashley’s belongings for the final time:
“I found it awful to film,” said the star. “As she’s folding his clothes, she’s reminded of the Ashley who was once so capable and caring. And suddenly, he’s become this person that’s almost like a child. Laurel is having to say goodbye to someone who isn’t aware of what’s going on. It’s crucifying for the family.”
The next chapter of the story will see fans getting an insight into life for Ashley in care. And Bellamy warns that the depiction will be unflinching:
“It’s a very brave performance from John – it really is warts and all. There’s a lot still to come and it is quite shocking. But it’s been amazing to be part of such an incredible story. It’s an honour.”
You can watch a 60-second rundown of next week’s episodes of Emmerdale below.
And visit our dedicated Emmerdale page for all the latest news, interviews and spoilers.