As fans of Emmerdale will know, Vicar Ashley had to hand back his dog collar when he was fired from the clergy following the revelation that he’d abused his elderly dad Sandy (Freddie Jones).
His wife Laurel (Charlotte Bellamy) booted him out of their home, and now, his daughter Gabby is so afraid of him that Ashley isn’t allowed to spend time with her or his son Arthur unsupervised.
To top it all, now the church aren’t paying the rent on the vicarage, Ashley has to start trying to pay it himself to keep a roof over his family’s heads, but things looked up a little at the end of the week when he had a job interview.
But what nobody knew is that the job is working in a burger van, and though he does get the job, he loses it just days later when he’s caught stealing buns!
He’s actually only taking bread rolls that were going to be thrown away, figuring he can give them to homeless people, but his boss doesn’t view his actions with any charity…
Of Ashley’s new job, and getting fired from it, John Middleton, who of course plays the shamed cleric, told What’s On TV, “It’s bizarre because the clergy is all he’s ever known.
“He’s keeping up a pretence that he’s doing something equivalent to his job in the Church, but of course he isn’t. He’s flipping burgers.
“Ashley’s deeply ashamed of what he’s been reduced to. But at the same time he realises he’s brought it all on himself.”
Of the stealing incident, John said, “Well, the rolls are being thrown away, anyway, and to Ashley this is just plain wrong.
“There’s nothing wrong with the rolls and Ashley knows the homeless would be grateful for them.
”Laurel finds out where he’s working and goes to confront him, just as he’s being sacked. He’s completely humiliated.
“Later in the pub he sees Laurel come out from the back and accuses her of crying on Marlon’s shoulder. She says, ‘How dare you!’ and he explodes.
“He’s dreadfully hurt. Laurel’s thing with Marlon was the catalyst for all this.”
John added, “He did a terrible thing to his father, but she’s shut him out completely. Ashley still believes that he’ll be forgiven if he tries hard enough.
“He doesn’t understand that this isn’t going to happen.”
”He’s pretty much [at rock bottom]. He’s skint, virtually homeless and he runs out of money to pay for Sandy’s care.
“And he doesn’t know his way around the welfare system.”
See the drama of Ashley’s disastrous start to his new job next week.