Star John Middleton explains that Ashley Thomas's failure to recognise his daughter is the beginning of what turns into carnage in Emmerdale

Alzheimer’s sufferer Ashley Thomas does something which precipitates a disaster in Emmerdale, says John Middleton, who plays him.

Fans will be aware that at least one character will die in the devastation during Emmerdale’s super soap week, in which four storylines get stand-alone episodes before they culminate in a massive episode on Thursday.

John told What’s on TV that Ashley’s awful disease is at the heart of the drama: “I don’t want to give away too much, but Ashley does something he shouldn’t that puts himself in danger and others in danger. It culminates in something, which I can’t reveal, but is huge, a huge event involving numerous characters, each one of which is put in extreme danger.”

Earlier, Ashley awakens in a confused state, but realises it’s an important day without knowing exactly why.

“Then he begins to realise. he is reminded that it’s Dotty’s Christening,” said John. “A huge day for him, but he keeps forgetting, he keeps going back upstairs and forgetting why he’s there… and eventually Arthur helps him and writes a message on his hand to remind him, as does Laurel, and they make it to church.”

He continued: “But the real moment of crisis is at the church. He suddenly doesn’t know why he’s there or who he’s holding in his arms. When it’s pointed out to him it’s his daughter it’s an absolute moment of crisis for him because for the first time he hasn’t recognised one of his family.

“At that moment he’s suddenly self-aware and aware how far he’s deteriorated. It’s a tragic moment for him.”

Watch the interview with John Middleton, above, ahead of Emmerdale’s epic week which begins Monday, October 17