John Middleton bags more big roles?
John Middleton is yet to leave screens as 'Emmerdale's Ashley Thomas but he has admitted he's already been in discussions with bosses at ITV about joining various prime-time dramas
John Middleton is being lined up to star in a series of prime-time shows this year.
The 'Emmerdale' actor is set to bow out of the long-running soap later this week as dementia sufferer Ashley Thomas but, although his exit will involve his alter ego being killed off, he's adamant it won't be the last fans see of him on screen because he's been talking to ITV bosses about taking on new roles in a number of different dramas.
Speaking to the Radio Times magazine, he said: "I'm an actor - I haven't got plans, I've got hopes! But I've had very good conversations with people high up at ITV. I think the work is more likely to come from there."
John has been portraying Ashley's battle with the progressive brain disorder for over a year now but things will take a dramatic turn for the worse this week when his wife Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) decides to bring him home from his care home so he can pass away with his loved ones around him rather than in a hospital bed.
Speaking about the death scenes, John said: "On the day we filmed Ashley's death, Charlotte and I rehearsed it a few times before we did the take.
"And as costume and make-up came on to do their checks, they were all crying. To the point where their tears were dripping down onto my face."
John has received rave reviews about how well he's taken on the dementia storyline but he has admitted his main objective was to make people away of the illness.
He explained: "My hope is that 'Emmerdale' has at least been able to embed the issue of dementia into the public's consciousness.
"We're all guilty of looking the other way, but we ignore this at our cost. It could well happen to each and every one of us.
"It's possible that we could find a cure, but we need more money going into research to turn that possibility into a probability.
"The good news is that we're all living longer, but because of that, we're more likely to die of this disease. And there's no point living longer is we can't live well."