Emmerdale Gabby star pays tribute to co-star five years after Ashleys death

Emmerdale actress Rosie Bentham has paid a sweet tribute to former co-star John Middleton on the fifth anniversary of Ashley Thomas' heartbreaking death.

Fans of the ITV soap were left in floods of tears on April 7 2017 as the village vicar passed away in tear-jerking scenes.

He was diagnosed with dementia in 2016 and soap bosses aired a special episode featuring Ashley's point of view to give viewers an insight into how ordinary, day-to-day experiences can become disorienting and distressing when refracted through the lens of dementia.

He died peacefully when wife Laurel Thomas (Charlotte Bellamy) went to get him more pillows to make him comfortable.

Actor John, who played Ashley for 21 years before leaving the soap, appeared in further episodes in home movie scenes, making his final appearance on 13 February 2018.

Speaking to Daily Star and other press about the anniversary of her on-screen father's death, actress Rosie said: "It seems so long ago. Gabby has come so far.

"John Middleton was an icon at Emmerdale. It was the biggest storyline I'd ever done. I was thrown into the deep end with that one when I first arrived.

"I learned so much from Charlotte and John with that storyline."

Since leaving Emmerdale, John, 68, has appeared in BBC soap opera Doctors as Fergual Lumsden.

Rosie, 20, has played new mum Gabby since 2016, taking over the role from Annelise Manojlovic.

The soap star has teased a huge bombshell in upcoming scenes which will leave fans on the edge of their seats.

She explained: "I was not expecting this twist at all.

"I think the audience are going to be really shocked. It's interesting and what's to come from it is left quite open.

"I can't wait to watch it and read peoples reactions. I haven't told my mum and she watches it every night.

"I just know her text is going to be 'What? How has this happened?' so it's going to be really good."

Fans of the ITV soap will have to wait and see what leaves Gabby gobsmacked.

Emmerdale airs weeknights on ITV at 7.30pm

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