Ruth Langsford thanks John Middleton for dementia storyline
Ruth Langsford has praised John Middleton on how well he's depicted dementia in 'Emmerdale'
Ruth Langsford has personally thanked John Middleton for portraying dementia "so well" on 'Emmerdale'.
The 'This Morning' host felt she had to express her gratitude to the 63-year-old actor for depicting the chronic disorder on screen so accurately and for helping to spread the word about the condition after her own father Dennis sadly passed away from the illness, which affects the brain, at the age of 84 in 2012.
While presenting the brunchtime show on Tuesday (20.12.16), Ruth told John - who was appearing on the programme as a guest: "I do appreciate how you've done this slow burn. It's all about talking about dementia. Fifteen years ago when my dad had dementia, we wouldn't have talked about it like this. There was still a slight stigma attached.
"I would like to say thank you from families because it's not often that dementia gets represented so well and I think, as programme and as an actor - you particularly John - have done it so brilliantly so thank you."
And the 56-year-old presenter isn't the only one who has felt a connection to John's character Ashley Thomas, as the actor has also been approached by viewers during his memory walks for Alzheimer's Research.
He explained: "I've done three memory walks ... so many people came up to me and were saying thank you very much for telling this story. You and the storyline and the team are getting this absolutely right. That's really gratifying."
The past few months have seen Ashley - who is a vicar at the village church - deteriorate and lose control but this week is set to particularly bad for him after he manages to leave his bed and escape the hospital without anyone seeing.
And with his mindset that of a 19 year old, Ashley attempts to go back to his family home to visit his terminally ill mother but, with his condition plaguing him, he fails to realise the dangers of the outside world and can't even see cars.
The disease will ultimately lead to Ashley's death over the festive season and, although he's sad to be leaving the show after 20 years in the village, John can't wait to explore other ventures.
He said: "I'm very sad to be leaving 'Emmerdale'. I love the place, I love everyone who works there and I've got some great friends there. Some of them will be great friends of mine for the rest of my life ... I'm very sad to leave."