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Charlotte Bellamy reveals Laurel's secret feelings for Ashley

(Image credit: Doug Peters)

Emmerdale star Charlotte Bellamy has revealed her character Laurel Dingle is to admit she still has feelings for her ex-husband Ashley Thomas.

The actress teased Laurel’s romantic intentions towards Ashley, who is currently struggling after being diagnosed with early onset dementia, will come to the surface in the ITV soap in coming weeks.

John Middleton as Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale

John Middleton as Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale (ITV)


However, as vicar Ashley (John Middleton) is seemingly happy with girlfriend Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton), Laurel’s realisation leaves her in a difficult predicament in the scenes airing from 8 December.

Ashley Thomas (John Middleton) and Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton) in Emmerdale

Ashley Thomas (John Middleton) and Harriet Finch (Katherine Dow Blyton) in Emmerdale (ITV)


“She doesn’t want to ruin things for them because that’s not the kind of person she is,” Charlotte said, before hinting romance could be on the horizon for the pair in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Charlotte also admitted she “can’t even think about” actor John Middleton departing the soap.

The 62-year-old actor has starred alongside Charlotte in Emmerdale for 13 years, but the dementia plot will be his exit storyline on the ITV soap.

“It is weird playing somebody’s wife for that amount of time,” Charlotte said, who also said she was initially “shocked” when she learned of the dementia storyline.

“You spend so much time together, so I will be really sad when the day comes. Really sad. But it is a long way off.”

Charlotte Bellamy as Emmerdale's Laurel Thomas

Charlotte Bellamy as Emmerdale’s Laurel Thomas (ITV)


Meanwhile, the 42-year-old actress also admitted the tough storyline could see Laurel turning again to alcohol and hitting the bottle as she struggles to come to terms with gradually losing the father of her children.

Asked if Laurel would again be reaching for a drink, Charlotte replied: “I don’t know. The pressure’s going to be on, I’m sure down the line they might revisit…”

In order to do thorough research for the role, the actress also said both herself and John have been visiting care homes and meeting those living with dementia.

John Middleton as Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale

John Middleton as Ashley Thomas (ITV)


“There are so many different charities that we will be working with as the story progresses,” she explained.

“And everyone is obviously very keen that we get this right. But the show has written it really nicely and very sensitively.

“It’s really good to be armed with as much information as you can so you can play a truthful portrayal of it,” she added.


Emmerdale continues on ITV at 7pm on Monday

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