Emmerdale fans call for show to be awarded after groundbreaking episode about dementia

Emmerdale has been praised after airing an entire episode through the eyes of long-stay character Ashley Thomas to highlight dementia.

Fans of the show have watched former vicar Ashley's condition gradually worsen having suffered from stroke-related early onset vascular dementia.

On Tuesday night, an entire episode was seen through the eyes of Ashley - played by John Middleton.

The groundbreaking move was lauded by fans on social media, some who called for the episode to be given an award.

One viewer tweeted: "Such a sad episode makes you think what all these people are going through. Well done in bringing this to the forefront."

Another posted: "That surely is an award-winning episode. Poignant, realistic, scary, deeply moving and superbly written and acted."

The one-off production saw changes to camerawork and editing to show Ashley's confused point of view as he left a hospital and made his way out on to the streets alone.

He said to himself: "Where was I going? Was I visiting someone? Yes, that was it. No. I was leaving."

As he walked through a door and headed outside, he said: "This is the way. Yes. This must be the way. This is the way home."

Viewers saw him walking down the street in his pyjamas as he said: "Keep going. It's all right. I can find it. I can get home."

Emmerdale producers worked closely with both the Alzheimer's Society and MHA throughout the storyline.

Iain MacLeod, series producer, said: "People living with dementia face challenges most of us can barely imagine.

"So, I took it as a challenge to help people picture this experience - to put them inside the mind of someone living with this condition.

"With this chapter of Ashley's story, we set out to give people an insight into how ordinary, day-to-day experiences can become disorientating and distressing when refracted through the lens of dementia

MacLeod added that by telling the episode solely from Ashley's point of view, he hopes they are "showing a side of dementia that is seldom represented on television".