Emmerdale could air some experimental twists tonight

Sophie Dainty
Photo credit: ITV

From Digital Spy

Fans will need their tissues at the ready as Emmerdale airs Ashley Thomas's funeral tonight... but there could be an unusual twist in store.

The ITV soap aired John Middleton's final scenes in the role last Friday, as Ashley passed away a few days after being diagnosed with pneumonia.

Ashley has been living with vascular dementia for nearly two years, but his loved ones weren't expecting the end for him to come so soon.

As the funeral gets under way tonight, both Ashley's young son Arthur and his ex-partner Harriet Finch will find themselves struggling in their own ways as the enormity of the sad day overwhelms them.

However, there could be some unannounced twists in store as Emmerdale's producer Iain McLeod previously teased another experimental episode in the aftermath of Ashley's death.

Photo credit: ITV

Speaking to Digital Spy and other media at an Emmerdale press event earlier in the year, Iain said: "Shortly after the death, it's obviously Ashley's funeral and what we've got for the funeral is something that is every bit as quirky – though not in the same way – as that special Ashley episode that we did last year.

"It's as experimental as that, but in a different way. That will be really special and will probably be talked about for quite some time to come. I hope people are as surprised as I was when I read it. It's pretty special, I have to say.

"The story has been so well written and so well played that I'd be hard pressed to find anything that we would have done differently.

"It's super warm and funny – and almost festive and boisterous. It's just beautiful and I couldn't be more proud of the script, which is in very capable hands with our cast and crew."

Emmerdale airs Ashley's funeral on Thursday, April 13 at 7pm and 8pm on ITV.

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