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Emmerdale set to air an informative episode dedicated to dementia sufferers

Author: Nathan | Posted: 8th November 2016 | Category: New Services


Ashley Thomas (played by John Middleton) has been a much-loved character on the popular soap Emmerdale. From weddings to divorce, to heartbreak and car crashes, he’s seen it all. In this special episode, audiences will see the world from the perspective of Ashley Thomas, as he leaves hospital having just been diagnosed with early onset vascular dementia.

“People living with dementia face challenges most of us can barely imagine. Said Emmerdale producer, Ian MacLeod.

“So, I took it as a challenge to help people picture this experience – to put them inside the mind of someone living with this condition.

“By telling the episode solely from Ashley’s point of view and seeing things the way he sees them, I hope we’re showing a side of dementia that is seldom represented on television.”

The episodes have been closely supported by the Alzheimer’s Society and MHA (Methodist Homes).

Advising the soap on ways to give the most realistic portrayal of the former vicar’s dementia as it progresses, both organisations have been working closely with the production team since the start of Ashley’s dementia storyline.

Kathryn Smith, director of operations at Alzheimer’s Society, commented: “We are incredibly moved that Emmerdale will be filming an episode dedicated to showing the audience the world from Ashley’s point of view.

“Storylines like this can help people raise awareness of dementia and help them to understand how dementia can impact a person’s ability to think, communicate, process new information and break down the stigma that is still associated with the disease.” said Theresa Knight, media relationships manager for MHA.

“We have been delighted as to how seriously the whole team at Emmerdale is taking the storyline and the lengths they are going to in their research.

“We know from having had discussions about and given feedback on the episode from Ashley’s viewpoint that it will be an exceptionally moving piece of drama.”

Mr MacLeod is keen to focus on the relationship between Ashley and his wife Laurel. He said: “This has always been a love story between Ashley and his wife Laurel, and this episode is a heart-breaking landmark in the evolution of their relationship.”

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