ASHLEY Thomas takes a turn for the worse next week on Emmerdale after he spits out BLOOD after a violent coughing fit.
Ashley’s – played by actor John Middleton – death was recently confirmed to OK! Online by executive producer Iain MacLeod at a press event.
And while Iain teased that Ashley’s passing will be “unbelievably beautiful”, it looks as though the character’s exit could happen sooner than viewers thought if the spoilers are anything to go by.
After being mistaken for a vicar and going missing from the care home, Laurel is left relieved next week when her husband is returned safely back to the building.
The two characters share a treasured loved-up moment when they dance together and lose themselves in the music.
However, while Laurel is grateful to have Ashley safely back, she is still struggling to forgive her father Doug for a crass comment he made while Ashley went missing.
And things get even more stressful for the character when Arthur falls ill and instead of turning to Doug for help, Laurel struggles on her own.
In a bid to alleviate his mother’s worries, an ill Arthur lies to Laurel and pretends that he’s fine.
So Laurel brings Arthur to the care home to visit Ashley, but this results in Arthur throwing up everywhere.
And later on in the week, when Bob Hope goes to visit Ashley, the former village vicar takes a dramatic turn for the worse.
Ashley suffers a violent coughing fit and finds blood on his hands after the ordeal – will he pull through?
And how will Laurel react when she finds out Ashley is ill – will Arthur think it’s his fault?
As well as confirming Ashley’s death recently, executive producer Iain also teased the beloved character’s exit storyline too.
He said: “It’s oddly joyous – it’s a celebration of the character.
“We didn’t want to do a story where he just absconded from a care home and was discovered dead from hypothermia or something, it would be too bleak.
“In a story that is already desperately sad, what we wanted to do was make this the best possible death so that coming out of the other side of it, his family members think ‘well none of us wanted him to go so soon’ but knowing that he had to go, these were the best circumstances for his death that we could construct.”
But despite the tragic event, Ashley’s death will not be as dark and depressing as viewers may think.
Iain explained: “It’s super warm and funny and almost festive and boisterous.
“It’s just beautiful and I couldn’t be more proud of the script, which is in very capable hands with our cast and crew.”
Emmerdale continues on weekdays at 7pm on ITV.