The 31-year-old admitted he would struggle with balancing his regular role as Darren Osborne on the Channel 4 soap with his Strictly Come Dancing training if he makes it through to the final stages of the dance show.
“I’m worried, I don’t know how I’m going to cope. It’s been mental. I rehearse until one in the morning and start filming at seven,” he told the Daily Mirror.
“We know storylines six months ahead and mine was always going to be pretty strong this year. My producer Bryan Kirkwood’s biggest worry was taking me out of things, especially when my storyline has been going on for a while.”
Ashley, who is paired with Ola Jordan on BBC1’s Strictly, continued: “He was at EastEnders last year when Scott Maslen did it so he set the bar out for me.
“He said, ‘You’re going to come to me in two months’ time, your eyes will be bleeding, you’ll be crying and asking for time off. You won’t get it.'”
Ashley is also coping with dadhood, after he became a father for the second time when his fiancee Karen McKay gave birth to their son in October.
He previously told Hello!: “I’m currently getting around five hours’ sleep per night. I’ve found it hard being away because I’m such a hands-on father and my children are my world. But it’s not forever.
“I have a fantastic day job at Hollyoaks, I’m doing Strictly – which is like a surreal dream – and I’ve got two wonderful sons. No matter how tired I am, I can’t complain. It’s an exhausting schedule…”