Created 30th January 2004
Updated 27th May 2004

Rev. Ashley Michael Thomas

Original Ashley photo card

Profile from former Official Site

Played by John Middleton
First Appearance on 5 December 1996
Job; Vicar of Emmerdale
Married; To Bernice Blackstock on Christmas Day 2000

He immediately became involved in the joys and heartbreaks of the village upon arrival in December 1996. He presided over the wedding of Biff and Linda Fowler on Christmas Eve, only to hold the funeral for Linda’s brother Dave shortly afterwards.

In 1997, he was the vicar at the funerals for Frank Tate and Linda Fowler, as well as the farcical wedding attempt between Lisa Clegg and Albert Dingle.

Zoe Tate became a good friend, and Alan became more involved in the village. He got into a scrape with Eric Pollard over the storage of antiques in the village hall, and voted Alan Turner off the fete committee. Recently Ashley was the unwitting alibi in the Marchants’ scheme to steal a horse from the stud farm. He led the prayer service for Kathy Glover.

Ashley agreed to locate the Woolpack in the village hall after the recent fire, which caused conflict with Alan Turner. He has also become embroiled in the Dingles’ wedding dilemma, acting as an unwilling go-between between Mandy, Paddy and Butch.

Ashley thought he booked a gospel band for the village hall, they turned out to be a skinhead band. He got in Alan’s way while the Woolpack was located in the village hall, he enjoyed flirting with Bernice and conducted Vic’s funeral service.

He tries to cheer Terry up and conducts the christening for Belle Dingle. He discovers the church roof collection is stolen, he was angry and determined to find the culprit, threatening to involve the police. He gives Mandy advice about annulment, talks to Kelly and Roy about their wedding plans and is surprised at their maturity and determination. He has a heart-to-heart with Butch and later in the year conducts Rachel’s funeral. He also conducts the wedding of Roy and Kelly and is jealous of Gavin when he arrives at the Woolpack. He has realised that Gavin’s feelings for Bernice may not be as strong as she thinks and is falling for Bernice himself.

Ashley finally tells Bernice of his true feelings. First she is annoyed but then changes her mind and visits him at the vicarage where they kiss. The next day Betty sees Bernice at the vicarage wearing one of Ashley’s shirts. They are now openly a couple, receiving a few objections from various people who don’t believe it is correct for a vicar to be with a pub landlady.

In July she asks him to marry her. He accepts and they celebrate their engagement by throwing a party. Ashley is offered a job in Leeds, he decides not to go and despite some hiccups along the way they are married on Christmas Day.

Bernice is desperate to get pregnant and puts Ashley on a diet of healthy food and exercise. All this to fruition when Bernice falls pregnant but sadly she has a miscarriage. The pair slowly become estranged. Bernice cannot come to terms with the miscarriage. She starts an affair with Carlos, who happens to be her sister Nicola’s boyfriend.

Ashley is delighted that his wife seems much happier. The affair is off and on then off again, and still he is oblivious. Later in the year (September) Bernice discovers that she is once again pregnant. But whose baby is it? She decides to end the affair with Carlos once and for all and tells Ashley they are having a baby.

Ashley and Bernice with their baby daughter Gabrielle (Gabby) born 25 December 2001

In April 2002 Bernice left the village unable to cope with marriage or motherhood. Little Gabby was left with her father to be reaised with the help of her grandparents Rodney and Diane.


Laurel's Hardy

Thursday | 28.08.03

Laurel and Ashley share a drink

Emmerdale cleaner Laurel Potts is a woman on a mission.

The dippy local is desperately in love with vicar Ashley Thomas and refuses to give up the fight for her dream man.

However, her quest to win his heart has already faltered at the first hurdle. A few months ago Laurel made her feelings for lonely Ashley crystal clear but he gently told her he was still in love with his ex-wife Bernice.

Despite the embarrassing incident, Laurel has been unable to shake the feeling that she is the right woman for Ashley. Having kept her distance for a few weeks, Laurel was delighted when Ashley expressed an interest in the speed dating evening.

Taking this as a sign that finally Ashley is ready to move on from his dead marriage, Laurel immediately offered to join him. The situation looks even brighter when Ashley asks Laurel to help him prepare for the evening. But when it transpires that the twosome will not be alone, Laurel begins to get disheartened about her chances.

Pal Nicola Blackstock tells Laurel honestly that she is wasting her time but the optimistic cleaner is convinced they're a match made in heaven.

If only Ashley agrees...

ITV.COM Let's Spend The Night Together

Friday | 29.08.03

Ashley and Laurel

Emmerdale's Laurel Potts and Ashley Thomas are getting much closer.

The duo decide to hit the Marsden's party after their speed dating night and get carried away with the jovial party atmosphere.

After being deeply disappointed that Ashley - the object of her devotion - has once again rejected her during their speed date, Laurel can't believe her luck. At the 1970s themed party, Ashley has had a little too much to drink and it's down to Laurel to ensure he gets home safely.

As they stumble through the village, love struck Laurel decides that the time is right to be absolutely honest about her feelings for the lonely vicar.

Having got Ashley to the vicarage and settled him on the sofa, Laurel tells Ashley that her initial attraction to him has grown into something deeper and that she is in love with him. How will the inebriated clergyman react?

Laurel and Ashley


The Morning After...

Monday | 01.09.03

Emmerdale vicar Ashley Thomas is having trouble remembering his actions.

The tipsy clergyman enjoyed himself rather too much at the Marsden's party and fears he may have accidentally bedded pal Laurel Potts.

Hung over and mortified Ashley spends the entire morning trying desperately to recollect what happened the fateful night before. He can recall the speed dating event and arriving at the '70s themed bash - but events beyond that remain a mystery.

When he wakes up with Laurel, he is convinced that some romantic encounter must have occurred due to his inebriation, but has no firm proof.

Ashley has been fending off Laurel's attentions for quite some time now. Although he has let the dippy cleaner down gently, Laurel remains convinced that something could develop between them. Frightened that if they have slept together, Laurel will take it as confirmation of his feelings, Ashley prays that there is an innocent explanation.

But with no-one else in the village able to confirm or deny any raunchy antics between them, it looks like only Laurel can give Ashley the answers he needs.

The Sun 25th August 2003


Weekdays  ITV1


RONNIE and Frances throw a Seventies party and as the drinks flow it seems that romance is in the air for some of the revellers.

Laurel takes a drunken Ashley back home and tells him she loves him - but by then he is asleep on the sofa. And with Donna away, Elaine and Robert share a kiss.

But there is no happy ending for either couple.

" Laurel is besotted by Ashley," says Charlotte Bellamy, who plays the lovelorn Miss Potts. "Nicola tries to warn Laurel not to make a fool of herself but Laurel thinks she can make Ashley happy."

Louise mentions she is going to try her luck at speed-dating, a night of five-minute mini-dates, in the hope of finding a new man. Lonely Ashley takes an interest, so Laurel instantly wants to come too. The evening goes slowly until Ashley and Laurel finally have their mini-date.

" They have a great time," says Charlotte. "But I donít think he thinks of her as a possible partner. They go back to the Marsdensí party afterwards and by then Ashley has really had too much to drink. Laurel takes him home and, as she settles him onto the sofa, she whispers to him that she loves him. But by then Ashley is fast asleep!"

Meanwhile, Robert and Elaine share a tender kiss but Elaine is instantly wracked with guilt over Robertís regular girlfriend, Donna.

Robert coolly says that no-one need know, which only upsets Elaine further and she rushes off in tears.


Talent Show Trauma

Thursday | 18.09.03

Bob in fancy dress and Eddie in drag

Emmerdale's talent show ends in terrible tragedy for the villagers.

Wacky brothers Eddie and Bob Hope delight the Woolpack punters with their high camp show but a horror incident is unfolding elsewhere.

Village vicar Ashley Thomas has been worrying all week that the event will be a resounding failure after failing to secure any definite acts. But, unable to resist the lure of the stage, Bob and his brother decide to update their classic show - complete with leopardskin outfits and fake moustaches.

The hilarious sight distracts attention from Sam Dingle's lamentable impression of a bird and everybody is having a whale of a time - until the police arrive.

Shocked Zoe Tate is taken outside to be told that there has been a death at Home Farm and has to be escorted back to the vicarage by Ashley. As the news spreads, Terry Woods breaks down devastated that he might have prevented the incident.

But, while Emmerdale's shocked locals try to take in the tragedy, the police are working hard to establish what exactly happened at Home Farm.

And start to suspect foul play...

The Sun's Weekly Guide to the Soaps 28th September 2003

Louise and Ashley kiss


Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri - ITV1

LOUISE and Ashley set plenty of tongues wagging when she gives him a tender kiss on the cheek in The Woolpack.

For her, it’s a way of winding up Edna and the gossips. But as the charade continues, Ashley struggles to hide his changing feelings for his friend.

The very public peck comes in a week where Louise rescues Ashley from a date with Susan, a woman he met speed-dating, by pretending they are engaged.

Louise and Ashley are both after new partners but she quickly realises her creepy date, Guy, isn’t the man for her and then notices Ashley can’t stop Susan going on about her ex.

"It’s hilarious," says Emily Symons, who plays the landlady. "Louise says she’s Ashley’s fiancée. Susan is shocked and angry. She pours a drink over the ‘womaniser’, and then Louise does the same."

Despite his soaking, it’s obvious Ashley is grateful and Edna and her gossiping friends are convinced something is going on between the vicar and the bar boss.

Next day, Louise helps Ashley out at the tea dance. Edna, Pearl and Betty note how close they seem. Laurel insists they’re just friends but Pearl is sure there’s real chemistry there.

"Ashley tells Louise to ignore the silly speculation," says Emily. But she kisses his cheek to give the gossips something to talk about.

"As the speculation grows, Louise winds up the locals even more. And when Ashley comes in to The Woolpack, she kisses him again."

Ashley is aware that his feelings for Louise are changing but he is determined to keep them hidden as he’s convinced she could never feel the same way about him.


The Sun's Weekly Guide To EMMERDALE 8th Jan 2004

Ashley, Gabby and Bernice

Sun to Fri - ITV1

BERNICE makes a comeback to Emmerdale as the villagers prepare to say a sad farewell to her mate Tricia.

But Bernice’s return is delayed when her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere as she and baby Gabby drive back from Brighton.

Gabby’s dad Ashley is upset by her anguished phone call because - still suffering injuries from the New Year road accident - he can’t drive to the rescue.

Loyal Laurel volunteers to go, only for Bernice to take her car and thoughtlessly leave her abandoned at the roadside.

"It’s a bit of a comical comeback in some very tragic circumstances," says Samantha Giles, who plays popular Bernice.

"She is devastated by Tricia’s death and she’s desperate to get Gabby to safety, but she does leave Laurel in the lurch."

Laurel drives out to fetch Ashley’s ex in her tiny car, which is already full with cleaning products. When she arrives, Bernice quickly takes charge and jumps in to the driver’s seat with Gabby beside her.

"There is no room for anyone else," says Samantha. "So Laurel is left behind. And when Bernice gets to Emmerdale, she has a happy reunion with Ashley and they forget all about poor Laurel."

Bernice’s return comes at the end of a week that is totally dominated by the preparations for poor Tricia’s funeral.

Marlon wants a service to suit his late wife’s fun-loving personality.

He doesn’t want black veils and miserable hymns, insisting it’s not how Tricia would want to be remembered.

Steph, Tricia’s mum, struggles with her own emotional turmoil, and grandfather Turner is angry when she rows about who will speak at the service.

The Dingles offer a horse for the procession but Steph thinks it’s tacky and hits the roof.

She says she won’t go to the funeral and Turner walks out in disgust, leaving his daughter to burst into tears.

ITV.COM Mad About The Boy

Thursday | 22.01.04


One Emmerdale resident is delighted by vicar Ashley's love split.

Laurel Potts sees the demise of his relationship with Louise Appleton as her chance to win his heart after months of longing.

Despite the fact that Ashley has repeatedly told the smitten cleaning lady he only wants to be her friend, Laurel's passion for him has remained undimmed.

And the horrific car crash he suffered on New Year's Eve brought the pair closer together than ever before. Laurel comforted delirious Ashley as he lay in agony and he believed her to be his guardian angel. And while their bond was strengthened by the accident, Ashley's relationship with Louise hit the rocks.

With Louise and Ashley both resigned to the fact they can never make their relationship work, the lonely vicar is on his own once again. But Laurel is already planning to curtail his newfound singleton status as soon as she can.

But will the dreamy romantic be able to convince Ashley that she is the woman of his dreams?

ITV.COM Ashley's Epithany

Tuesday | 10.02.04

Emmerdale vicar Ashley Thomas sees Laurel in a new light.

The lovelorn clergyman was grateful for dizzy cleaner Laurel's support and quick thinking when daughter Gabby was taken ill earlier this week.

And when he returns from the doctors, where Gabby has been diagnosed as having chicken pox and not meningitis, he starts to ponder how important Laurel is to both him and his daughter.

Although he knows Laurel has long held a torch for him, Ashley is attracted to glamorous and unsuitable women like Bernice and Louise. But when Laurel offers to give Ashley a hand with caring for poorly Gabby, he starts to become more and more impressed with her.

Actor John Middleton - who plays Ashley - explains, "Laurel is very good with Gabby, and Ashley finds himself enjoying her company.

"He likes having her around as a friend, without the pressures that come with being in a relationship."

Can Laurel settle for just friendship with the object of her affections?

ITV.COM Laurel's Lament

Wednesday | 11.02.04

Emmerdale singleton Laurel Potts has her heart broken once again.

The kindly cleaner has been getting closer to vicar Ashley Thomas in recent weeks and hopes their relationship is moving into romance.

Ever since Ashley's horrific car accident on New Year's Eve, Laurel has been sure there is something between them. During the crucial hours following the accident, Laurel kept a vigil by Ashley's side and he became convinced she was his guardian angel.

In the past few months things have changed dramatically for Ashley, he has split up with girlfriend Louise, lost pal Tricia and had a visit from ex-wife Bernice.

And now he is alone again with baby daughter Gabby, Ashley has leaned on Laurel for support once again. But all the attention he is lavishing on her is giving poor Laurel the impression they could have a future together.

But during a nice meal at the vicarage, Laurel's dreams are shattered once again.

Actor John Middleton explains, "As they're having a meal he mentions to Laurel how impressed he is with the way she looks after Gabby, and asks if she has ever considered working as an au pair.

"He doesn't realise it, but Laurel takes it to mean that he doesn't want her around any more."

Can Laurel recover from the heartbreaking setback?


Lovelorn Laurel set to leave Emmerdale

Extract The Sun's Weekly Guide To The Soaps 8th February 2004,,2001330006-2004052146_3,00.html


Sun to Fri - ITV1

LAUREL finally summons up the courage to tell Ashley how much she loves him. But the vicar is so shocked by the sudden outburst that he refuses to even consider a relationship.

It’s only when Laurel is heading off to become an au pair in Finland that Ashley starts to see he doesn’t want to lose her.

"Laurel really loves Ashley," says Charlotte Bellamy, who plays the caring cleaner. "She has felt this way for ages but, this week, she can’t keep quiet about her feelings any longer."

Ashley and Laurel are drawn closer together when Gabby has a meningitis scare. She shows frightening symptoms, but when Ashley rushes his daughter to the doctor, he’s told it’s only chicken pox.

"Laurel instantly offers to help out," says Charlotte. "She can see Ashley is worried and she gets on well with Gabby."

Ashley starts to wonder what he would do without Laurel and the next day, after she’s done more baby-sitting, he asks her if she can stay longer.

"Laurel quickly rings her boss Nicola and makes an excuse to get out of work for the rest of the day," says Charlotte.

"Ashley and Laurel have a meal together and Laurel’s in heaven. Ashley’s clearly impressed with her, but then he suggests she could do well as an au pair.

"Laurel’s shattered. She feels he can’t have any feelings for her if he wants her to go and work in another country."

Next day, Laurel steels herself to tell Ashley how she feels and blurts out "I love you".

"Ashley is shocked," says Charlotte. "He’s flattered but he has just come out of a relationship and doesn’t want to get into another. Laurel is mortified. She calls an employment agency who later suggest a possible au pair’s job in Finland. She wants to get as far away as possible.

"Ashley comes and says that he hopes they can still be friends. He gives her a kiss on the cheek, but Laurel is numb. She just wants to get away."

But it’s clear that Ashley is more upset than he has shown at the thought of Laurel leaving the village.

Emmerdale's Laurel Potts gets so fed up pining over vicar Ashley that she decides to leave the country, according to All About Soap.
Laurel has always been a good friend to Ashley Thomas, but she longs for something more to happen between them.
Now that Ashley has split up with barmaid Louise she has the perfect opportunity to tell him how she feels.
So Laurel takes the day off work to spend time with the village vicar and blurts out the truth.
Charlotte Bellamy, who plays the cleaner, told the magazine: "Ashley's flabbergasted! He's very fond of her and really values their friendship, but he doesn't see her like that."
"This forces Laurel into doing something pretty drastic. She feels so rejected she decides to leave town."
Laurel has been offered a job as an au pair in Finland and pretends she's really excited about the move.
She has always been there for Ashley (John Middleton), cleaning and looking after Gabby.
And now she is leaving the vicar suddenly realises he does care for her - but it may be too late as she is heading for Manchester Airport.

Charlotte added: "I'm not allowed to reveal anything. They would make a good couple though, don't you think?"

ITV.COM I Love You...

Thursday | 12.02.04

Emmerdale's smitten Laurel Potts lays her cards on the table.

The besotted cleaner has been enjoying the company of love interest Ashley Thomas and decides it's time to tell him the truth.

Poor Laurel took a severe blow to her confidence earlier this week when Ashley told her she would be a great au pair. Taking his compliment to mean he would be happy to see her move far away, the ditzy cleaner was left reeling by the conversation.

But ever the optimist, Laurel decides to gage Ashley's true feelings by declaring her love for him directly - and her confession shocks the unsuspecting vicar to the core.

Actor John Middleton explains, "It's the last thing Ashley expects Laurel to come out with. He had absolutely no idea that she felt that way about him. He's extremely flattered and doesn't want to hurt her feelings, but he has only just come out of a relationship with Louise.

"The last thing he wants to do is to start a new romance."

Can Laurel settle for being "just good friends"?

Extract From The Sun's Weekly Guide To The Soaps 22nd February 2004,,2001330006-2004080013_3,00.html


Sun to Fri - ITV1

VICAR Ashley sees the light at last and rushes to the airport to try and stop Laurel flying off to a new life in Finland.

He asks her to stay, but is too shy to tell her he loves her and she heads off to board her plane. Then Ashley has a change of heart and jumps on the same flight to Helsinki, not knowing that Laurel has had second thoughts and is not on board when it takes off!

"Trust Ashley to complicate things!" says John Middleton, who plays the lovelorn vicar. "He only realises the strength of his feelings for Laurel when he can’t face life without her."

The week begins with Laurel saying her goodbyes and giving little Gabby a silver bracelet to remember her by.

There’s an emotional farewell party in The Woolpack, complete with karaoke. Laurel sings Leaving On A Jetplane, then trips and tumbles into Ashley’s arms as she walks off stage.

"Even then, he doesn’t say anything about how he feels," says John. "And when Laurel later gets in her taxi to leave, he can hardly bear to watch. As her car pulls off, it dawns on him that he doesn’t want Laurel to go. He gets a taxi to the airport to stop her going."

He manages to catch up with a shocked Laurel at the airport, but still can’t find the words to express his feelings.

"Ashley just gets terribly tongue-tied," says John, "and goes on about how everyone will miss her."

While a disappointed Laurel heads off towards the departure gate Ashley reaches a dramatic decision - he realises he simply must follow Laurel. He rings Chastity and asks for his passport to be brought to him.

When Ethan arrives at the airport with the document, he warns his colleague he’s being irresponsible. "But Ashley doesn’t care," says John. "He’s just chasing after the woman he loves."

He hurries on board, unaware Laurel is explaining to confused ground staff that she has changed her mind and doesn’t want to go after all, and the plane departs.

As she’s leaving the airport Laurel sees Ethan, who explains Ashley has jetted off to Finland after her!

"Ashley feels a fool," says John. "He’s frightened of his feelings and his fear gets him into this mess. But he flies back the next day and Laurel meets him at the airport. At long last he tells her that he has been blind and can’t imagine life without her.

"They pledge to try to make a go of things and fall into each other’s arms. There are still some nervous moments ahead, but I think they make a good couple."

ITV.COM Laurel Leaves

Monday | 23.02.04

Emmerdaleís Laurel Potts says goodbye to the village - and Ashley.

The dizzy cleaner wants to start a new life as an au pair in Finland after being rejected by the confused vicar.

However, despite being adamant that he doesnít want a relationship with Laurel, Ashley is surprised by his strong feelings as she prepares to go.

Although he has never considered her as a potential girlfriend, the lonely vicar has come to depend on her friendship and support.

But is what Ashley is feeling real love?

Actor John Middleton explains, "Itís only when sheís going to leave that he realises heíll miss her. But Ashleyís reluctant to admit his feelings because heís been badly hurt in the past.

"Itís painful for Ashley to say goodbye to Laurel, and eventually he realises that he canít say goodbye - he has to stop her going.

ĎSo he races off in a taxi to the airport and thereís this big rush to get there."

Will Ashley make it in time to win his woman?

ITV.COM Laurel At Bay?

Tuesday | 24.02.04


Emmerdaleís lovestruck vicar Ashley Thomas is running out of time.

Having realised he is in love with ditzy cleaner Laurel Potts, romantic Ashley has to stop her leaving for Finland for good.

But considering his previous bad experiences with women, Ashley is understandably nervous about getting himself involved in another serious relationship so soon.

However, the nature of their situation means the vicar must act fast, but when he arrives at the airport to declare his love - Ashley chickens out.

Actor John Middleton explains, "Well, itís terrible as the poor man still canít bring himself to say what he should be saying.

"So in the end, he lets her go without saying it! But then he decides heís going to follow her to Finland and tell her how he feels.

"He forgets everything else thatís important in his life and goes racing off after her."

And in the meantime, confused Laurel wonders why he came to the airport and makes some decisions of her own.

Actress Charlotte Bellamy explains, "Laurelís waiting to get on the plane and starts to think that Ashley must have some sort of feelings for her if heís come all the way to the airport.

"So just as Ashley begins to board the plane she decides not to go after all."

Will the perfectly-matched pair ever get together?


Together At Last

Wednesday | 25.02.04

Emmerdaleís Ashley and Laurel finally catch up with each other.

The unlucky duo have both realised they are meant to be together but some crossed wires have prevented them from meeting up.

Laurel abandoned her flight to Finland after vicar Ashley turned up at the airport, but the besotted clergyman got on the plane to declare his love.

Fortunately the misunderstanding is cleared up but as Ashley arrives back from Helsinki, he wonders what the future holds for him.

Actor John Middleton explains, "Ashleyís very shocked to discover Laurel waiting for him at the airport when he returns from Finland.

"He didnít expect anyone to be there to meet him, so the fact that itís now the love of his life whoís there is a very touching moment."

Has Ashley found the happiness he craves?

It must be something about the name Ashley that makes women go weak at the knees for both Corrie's hapless butcher Ashley Peacock and Emmerdale vicar Ashley Thomas get together with the women of their dreams next week.
The Street's Ashley has been fighting his feelings towards nanny Claire since the death of his wife Maxine at the hands of a serial killer last year.
But when he hears Claire Casey is leaving Manchester for a job in Florida, he realises he has to act now or lose her forever.
A Corrie spokesman told The Daily Mirror: "As Ashley is making his way to the shop he sees a car moving off and thinks Claire's inside. He dashes after it - but Claire is watching from the butchers and realises how much he thinks of her.
Ashley, played by Steve Arnold, then whisks Claire (Julia Haworth) into his arms and they share a passionate kiss.
In sister ITV soap Emmerdale, Ashley Thomas also has a race against time to stop the woman he loves from leaving.
Cleaner Laurel Potts, played by Charlotte Bellamy, fell in love with the village vicar almost as soon as she set eyes on him more than a year-and-a-half ago. But after resigning herself to the fact that nothing will ever happen between them, she accepts a job in Finland.
However, Ashley (John Middleton) suddenly realises he does have feelings for Laurel and rushes to the airport to stop her leaving. But for one reason or another he can't bring himself to tell Laurel he loves her and he lets her go.
At the last minute the vicar decides he's going to follow the love of his life to Finland and tell her how he feels, but at the same time as Ashley boards the plane, Laurel gets off it because she can't bear to leave him.
Although Ashley ends up in Finland while Laurel is in Yorkshire, all is not lost for the lovelorn pair and they are finally reunited at the airport upon Ashley's return.

ITV.COM Lobster Potts

Tuesday | 02.03.04

Emmerdaleís Laurel Potts is already finding her new romance painful.

The ditzy cleaner was overwhelmed when vicar Ashley finally confessed his love for her, but is now facing an embarrassing health crisis.

Having been so swept away with the romance of the last week, silly Laurel went to dinner at Ashleyís and ate shellfish - despite being allergic to them.

The ailing local was forced to make a sharp exit from the vicarage when the fish took itís effect - and she became covered in unsightly blotches.

And now Laurel - who desperately wants to be the glamorous girlfriend she thinks her new man wants - is in hiding at home.

Luckily for the hapless new couple, Laurelís friend Nicola refuses to allow another silly incident destroy their burgeoning relationship.

So she sends the timid vicar round to Laurelís armed with some camomile lotion.

Can the well-matched duo finally overcome their blushes?

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