It’s official – Ashley Thomas’s heartbreaking exit from Emmerdale will air on our screens next week.
It’s been a difficult few months for the family as they struggle to deal with Ashley’s worsening condition, but as doctors tell Laurel this is it, she makes a major decision about his care.
Later this week Ashley starts coughing up blood and is rushed to hospital. Laurel’s devastated, but tries to stay positive and hopes he might rally and recover.
But it’s set to be a false hope when the doctor confirms Ashley has pneumonia and advises the distraught mum to prepare her kids for the worse.
Gabby, in particular, struggles with the news and is desperate for some time alone with her dad to say a proper goodbye. Bernice assures her she’ll get it, but with Ashley deteriorating very quickly, and lots of people wanting to see him, will she get the chance?
Laurel soon takes matters into her own hands and decides if this is to be the end, she wants her husband at home, surrounded by the people he loves and the place he knew so well.
“She doesn’t want him to die in hospital,” Charlotte Bellamy, who plays Laurel, revealed to Inside Soap. “She doesn’t want him to be somewhere cold and clinical. She wants him to be surrounded by family, and the pictures of his life.
“She doesn’t know how long he has, but she knows that it’s days.”
Details of exactly how Ashley dies are being kept under wraps, but we know his final scenes will air on Friday 7 April.
It’s going to be a heartbreaking watch as friends and loved ones say their tender goodbyes before just Laurel is left alone at his bedside.
“We can’t say what happens, but it’s a beautiful ending,” explained Charlotte. “The team have done us proud, and it’ll make your heart swell.”
We’re not sure we’re ready for this, but we knew it had to come at some point.
Just how will poor Laurel cope with the loss of her husband, though?
“She still has her family, so she must be brave and carry on,” Charlotte said. “She needs to survive, doesn’t she? In life you pick yourself up and carry on.
“But I have no idea what she’ll do, and I haven’t even asked because in a way I don’t want to know.”
Brace yourselves, next week’s going to be very emotional.