Published Saturday, 05 October 2013
Emmerdale actor John Middleton. (© ITV)
Relations between Ashley and Laurel have been fine in recent weeks, but while Laurel has seen their interactions as a civil friendship, Ashley has interpreted them as a chance of a reunion.
And while he has high hopes for their future, Ashley is unaware that Laurel has completely moved on and is now engaged to Marlon Dingle.
"The sad thing is, from Ashley's point of view, is that he still retains the same feelings for Laurel that he always has," explained Middleton in behind-the-scenes footage.
"He has never fallen out of love with her and the great tragedy of it is that she is talking about moving on (with Marlon) and Ashley just hasn't.
"He hopes that in some way (his feelings are) reciprocated and in fact he starts to believe that it is - which is an awful and tragic mistake."
As for the future for Ashley, there are big, big changes on the way and there might be a significant other person coming into his life - but I can't say much more than that.
John Middleton (Ashley Thomas)
Following a few happy encounters with Laurel, Ashley is convinced more than ever that she feels the same, but his hopes are soon blown apart when Laurel reveals her engagement ring.
"When Ashley finds out that (Laurel) is engaged to Marlon, he is devastated, utterly devastated," said Middleton.
"He has been working towards telling Laurel what he feels for her and hopes that she might be feeling the same, and just at the point where he is doing that he realises that his dreams are shattered."
Unable to process his feelings, Ashley soon loses control of his temper and his new housemate Edna Birch is the target of his wrath.
"We see the dark side of Ashley (who) has this dreadful temper which he is not very much in control of.
"And he is bitterly regretful and he sees that Edna is very concerned about this, and indeed frightened, and this devastates Ashley."
Emmerdale is on UTV every weekday from 7pm.
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