John Middleton: Emmerdale crew wept filming my exit scenes
John Middleton - who has played Ashley Thomas on Emmerdale for 20 years - says the crew wept when they filmed his exit from the soap
Emmerdale's crew were in floods of tears when they filmed John Middleton's exit from the soap.
The 63-year-old actor's character Ashley Thomas lost his battle with dementia in emotional scenes which aired earlier this week and John - who has portrayed the lovable vicar for 20 years - revealed staff on the set were distraught and even the makeup artist's "tears were dripping" on him as he was prepped for filming.
He said: "It's going to be a tearjerker for everyone. Tears were pouring down everybody's faces while we were filming it. Someone was leaning over me to check costume and make-up and her tears were dripping on my cheek. Even the medical adviser was crying."
John admitted that it will be difficult to adjust to life outside of the soap and he expects he will grieve for his character - who is married to Laurel Thomas, played by Charlotte Bellamy - over the coming months.
He added to Inside Soap magazine: "I've spent half of my career at 'Emmerdale' which is a very odd feeling. But I think I'll only appreciate how odd later on. After two decades you get sort of institutionalized, so it will take a while to get used to it. My mother said something interesting to me a while ago. She said, 'You're going to experience something akin to grief." And I think she's right."
And the actor has decided that he won't tune into 'Ememrdale' now he's left for good because he doesn't believe it would be healthy to do so and he wants to make it a clean break.
Asked if he'll still watch 'Emmerdale' he said: That's a good question. Probably not. We've talked about it, but I want to take a complete break. I might dip in and out of it but you've got to take a break. I don't believe in looking back"