“I couldn’t have asked for a better way to leave!”
Ashley’s tragic death had people up and down the nation in tears. It was the end of one of the most heralded storylines in Emmerdale history – and it has earned actor John our Best Exit Award…
How does it feel to have won?
Oh, it’s fantastic! Of course, the other person who should be here to collect this Award with me is Charlotte Bellamy [Laurel], because she was there for Ashley’s exit, too. But I couldn’t ask for a better way to leave the show – it was terrific.
How much does it mean to you that this was voted for by the readers of Inside Soap?
It means so much. The reaction from the Emmerdale audience has been astonishing. It’s flattering when you win a prize voted for by other industry professionals, but I never thought of myself as a popular actor – so to get the reader vote is great.
Why do you think the whole storyline was so successful?
The relevance of it. Dementia is the biggest health problem we have in this country, and there’s not a day goes by where someone doesn’t stop me to say thank you very much for telling this story – and then they’ll tell me their own story, often in very moving detail. It has really gripped people’s imaginations.
Who else in the Emmerdale cast would you give an award to?
Well, aside from Charlotte, one of my best pals in the cast is Mark Charnock [who plays Marlon]. I wish we’d got to work together more, because he’s a real laugh to be with on set. So I’d give Mark a trophy for that!
BEST EXIT John Middleton Ashley Thomas Emmerdale