Created 22nd May 2004
Updated 28th May 2004
You! The Following has been Written & provided by Eithne
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.
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?
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.”
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...
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?
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.
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?
The Sun's Weekly Guide To The Soaps 8th February 2004
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?"
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.