Emmerdale’s character develops epilepsy

It follows vicar, Ashley Thomas’ involvement in a car accident.

Actor John Middleton who plays Ashley said it was a great opportunity to raise awareness of the condition. Epilepsy Action has supported the show’s depiction of epilepsy and was involved in writing the storyline. “I didn’t know that much about [epilepsy] until I did the research into it,” said John. “ I began to I realise there are many sorts of seizure, about 40 different sorts. As I read the script, I realised that what the people who’d written this had in mind was a tonic-clonic seizure – and it was carefully researched. ‘Now that,’ I thought, ‘is challenging… I’ve got to try and get this right.’” Click here to find out more about epilepsy following a brain injury. Epilepsy Action’s advice and information team had assisted Emmerdale’s writers in making sure the scenes were medically accurate. Meanwhile – with extensive online research, including Epilepsy Action’s website – John became much more confident about portraying Ashley’s condition. He continues: “The more I found out, the more I realised that epilepsy is different for each person. Nevertheless, as an actor it’s one of those things that you‘ve just got to go for – you can’t do this by half measures. I hope I’ve got it right! I did have medical advice on the days that we shot this – they seemed to think it was accurate.” Click here to read more.
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