Emmerdale boss Iain MacLeod has revealed that he's already planning a big new storyline for Laurel Thomas following Ashley's tragic death.
Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) is left devastated later this week as her husband Ashley passes away, bringing the show's long-running dementia story to a conclusion.
However, fans of Laurel don't need to worry about her disappearing into the background afterwards, as there are major plans for her beyond that too.
Iain has already ruled out rushing Laurel into another romance as he's keen to respect her history with Ashley, but viewers will have to stay tuned to find out exactly what's in store for her.
Speaking to Digital Spy at an Emmerdale press event, Iain explained: "There's a big story coming up for Laurel. It's not a romance, as I think that the viewers will have no appetite to see that right now at all – and nor do I.
"The way I describe it is that when you are grieving, you are such a ball of emotion that you can become quite tenacious and quite combative.
"So I think we might see her butting heads against somebody quite unexpected in the near future."
Friday's emotional Emmerdale episode sees all of Ashley's loved ones gather to say their goodbyes to him at Mulberry Cottage, knowing that he doesn't have long left.
Ashley then shares his final moments just with Laurel, recognising her in a brief moment of lucidity before passing away peacefully.
Emmerdale airs weeknights at 7pm on ITV, with an extra episode at 8pm on Thursdays.
Digital Spy Soap Scoop video – hit play below for all the latest Emmerdale spoilers, as Ashley sadly passes away and Aaron gets released from prison.
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