Created 22nd May 2004
Updated 28th May 2004

Character: Laurel Potts

Laurel fan card

Thank You! The Following has been Written & provided by Eithne
© 2003

Age: Born 1974

Family: Has a sister, who Laurel was due to visit for Christmas 2002, but her sister went on holidays instead.

Played by: Charlotte Bellamy

Appeared: 3rd September 2002 –


Singing bumblebee Laurel turned up on September 3rd, the same episode as Steph Stokes made her debut. During the middle of her performance, for Marlon and Tricia’s engagement party, Laurel collapsed and had to be taken to hospital by Betty and Edna, who wasn’t too happy with the new arrival.

Betty decided to take in Laurel to help her after she got out of hospital and soon Laurel had a job cleaning in the pub, working with Betty. Betty was not too impressed with Laurel’s cleaning at first, because Laurel did a much better job than she did, removing a stain which had been on a table for ages.

During the campaign to make Gloria an MP, Laurel helped by distributing leaflets for Gloria. She also helped out by organizing choir practice for the church, with Ashley.

Laurel has always wanted to be a barmaid and was delighted when she got the chance over the Christmas period of 2002. Although her first night behind the bar didn’t go too well, with Laurel banging her head on the cash till among other disasters.

Laurel is type of girl who seems to get her heart broken by men only after one thing, or so she told Seth after getting her heart broken by a man she had met in a club (on a night when she was wearing her lucky pants!) who only wanted her for one thing.

Laurel works as a cleaner around the village. She cleans at the Woolpack, the church and other places around the village. In February 2003 Laurel decided to let Nicola Blackstock become her manager.

ITV.COM Blushing Laurel

Wednesday | 21.05.03

Laurel tries to impress Ashley

Emmerdale’s Laurel Potts is embarrassed after being rejected by Ashley.

Cleaning lady Laurel has been besotted with Vicar Ashley ever since she arrived in the village but her feelings are not reciprocated.

Laurel finally decided to make a move on Ashley after undergoing a makeover. Fresh with confidence, she decided it was time to reveal her love to the unsuspecting clergyman – with disastrous results.

Ashley gently told her that there was no chance of a love match because he still had deep feelings for his errant wife Bernice, leaving Laurel heartbroken.

However, now the heartbreak has turned to embarrassment, as Laurel has to face him. She has gone to great lengths to avoid running into him – a move Ashley has noticed.

So the kindly vicar decides to broach the subject with her. His offer of friendship only serves to leave Laurel more depressed than she was before.

Is there any hope for the unlucky-in-love twosome?

The Sun's Weekly Guide To The Soaps 28th May 2003


Weekdays ITV1

With landladies Diane and Louise both on holiday, Bob grabs his big chance to run The Woolpack with both hands. But it’s a disaster.

He promotes cleaner Laurel to barmaid but she can’t pull a pint to save her life - plus the toilets become blocked, the till jams and the lights go out. To cap it all, he explodes a barrel of beer.

“Everything that can go wrong does,” says Tony Audenshaw, who plays popular Bob.

“Sometimes I think poor old Bob is doomed, or at least seriously accident-prone.

“It’s a pity because he really wants to make his mark and show Diane and Louise that he can do the job well.”

Bob gives Laurel her chance as a barmaid, but even though she doesn’t need anyone’s help to be hopeless, spiteful Nicola still sets out to sabotage her every move.

She sneakily puts Laurel’s rubber gloves down a toilet - which quickly causes a crisis in the Gents’.

“Bob also has Viv’s new assistant, Mrs Rudge, making eyes at him - just as Viv arrives,” says Tony.

“And to make matters even worse, the till jams and some of the lights go out, so he’s really in trouble.

“He goes down to the cellar to put on the Special Ale but while he’s blundering in the darkness the barrel blows up.

“Bob is shattered. He staggers upstairs into the bar - and in walk Diane and Louise.

“They are definitely not impressed by what they see.”

ITV.COM Laurel's Bar Dreams

Monday | 26.05.03


Emmerdale cleaner Laurel Potts is looking for a new career.

The dreamy local has been hoping to expand her horizons for some time but has always found her dreams thwarted by reality.

Laurel has had a difficult time of it recently. Her love for local vicar Ashley Thomas was unrequited leaving her heartbroken and embarrassed. Also, her working relationship with business partner Nicola Blackstock has not been as enjoyable as she had hoped.

But tonight Laurel's luck starts to change. Despite Nicola's plan to make sure she is working too hard to do anything about her discontentment, Bob offers the dippy mopper a chance to fulfills her fantasy of being a Woolpack barmaid.

Bob has been run off his feet since landladies Diane Blackstock and Louise Appleton took a well-earned break. And in his desperation he turns for Laurel to help him bridge the gap in his dwindling staff.

But will the nervous Laurel be able to cope with the demands of a busy bar?


Hopeless Bob

Thursday | 29.05.03

Laurel and bob behind the bar

Emmerdale joker Bob Hope is having a hard time tonight.
Ever since landladies Diane Blackstock and Louise Appleton went on holiday, Bob has struggled to keep things running smoothly at the pub.

But his staffing problems have thrown the Woolpack into chaos and the appointment of cleaner Laurel Potts has caused even more trouble.

Unbeknownst the both Bob and Laurel, ex-boss Nicola Blackstock has decided to jeopardise Laurel's work at the pub in an effort to get her back to the cleaning business.

But after a string of failures such as flooded toilets, wrong change and spiked drinks, Laurel's confidence is shattered and she decides to ditch the job.

And Bob is having trouble with the till. He tries to repair the electrics but succeeds in plunging the pub into darkness.

Worse than that though, in the blackout, Bob tries to change a barrel but ends up covered in beer and thoroughly miserable.

Diane and Louise return to find the mess. Will they be recommending that Bob take his talents elsewhere?


Cruise Competition

Friday | 08.08.03

Emmerdale’s Laurel Potts is keeping her fingers tightly crossed tonight.

The ditzy cleaner has been dreaming of sun and sea after entering a competition for a dream cruise but she’s got competition.

Unbeknownst to Laurel, she has actually won the cruise. However, the winning envelope has been delivered to the Viv Hope’s post office instead of her house.

After a terrible morning, in which she discovers her replacement eternity ring is nothing like the lost original, Viv thinks that once again she will be in hubby Bob’s bad books.

So when she tears open the letter to say the cruise has been won, she is delighted and decides to take the prize for herself.

While poor Laurel daydreams about the once-in-a-lifetime holiday, Viv is already making her plans to depart – without giving her pal a second thought.

Will Viv really cheat Laurel out of her chance to travel?

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.


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.

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?

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.

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?

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"?

BBC Pure Soap 14th February 2004

Lovelorn Laurel set to leave Emmerdale

Lovelorn Laurel set to leave Emmerdale
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?"

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."


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 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?


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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