Created 30th January 2004

About John Middleton who plays Rev. Ashley Thomas in Emmerdale

John Middleton

John Middletton made a fleeting appearance in Coronation Street in 1993 as "John Hargreaves" a salesman.

A Huge Big Thank you to Paul Berridge who has made various profiles and photos availabe to me. They were previously on his Beckindale site (that is no more). The following is one of those profiles - although the coloured boxes have been added.

"Samantha and I have the same instincs about how to approach a scene, we're both singing from the same hymn sheet."

John Middleton on why colleague Samantha Giles is so easy to work with.

John's first appearence in Emmerdale was as a policeman called John Jarvis in 1993. He has appeared in Emmerdale on and off for the last three years, but only became a permanent cast member in April 1999. His other acting credits include dramas such as In Suspicious Circumstances and The Things We Do For Love, as well as small roles in Coronation Street (as the man who knocked down and killed Lisa Duckworth) and Brookside (as a member of the jury in the Jordache trial).
John also played the part of "Thompsett" in a episode of Heartbeat called "Mid Day Sun" first broadcast on 18/9/1994
The actor, who lives in Whitley Bay with his wife Christine and their two sons, Jack and George, is thrilled to now be able to get his teeth into a meatier role. "I adore it here and the cast and crew are great to work with," he says, "I've just started playing cricket with the Emmerdale team but I'm not very good at it."
His skills on the Emmerdale cricket pitch might not be bowling anyone over, but John is finding his performance as a man of the cloth is all too convincing. "The strange thing is that people expect me to behave like a vicar," he laughs. "People often ask me if I really am one, but I always tell them that I've got far too many vices for that!"

Interview with John Middleton 15/07/00

What time do you get up?

I always have a lie-in as I don't work on weekends much. And I stay in bed even longer if I've been to the pub the night before. My younger son George, 11, doesn't mind me staying in bed as he's too busy playing on his computer.

Ideal weekend companions?

My wife Christine and my kids. She's a teacher and we've been married for 21 years. She's great I miss her when I have to stay in Leeds for filming. I've got two sons George, and Jack, 19. I particularly miss Jack at the moment as he's working in Cornwall with children with special needs.

Ideal way to spend a weekend?

My wife Christine and I are keen walkers and there's some lovely scenery to see in Northumberland. Or sometimes we play golf with our son George on the local links and we take our wire-haired fox terrier Bob with us. I get recognised a lot but people do not believe I live in Whitley Bay!

Ideal weekend meal?

I love Italian and French food and sometimes you can can find me in the kitchen making my speciality bread and butter pudding. I cook a lot of meat-free dishes as I was a vegetarian for three years. I became a lost cause when I got a whiff of the bacon butties that the location caterers always cook.

What would ruin your weekend?

I don't like rain. I play for the Emmerdale cricket team. In the last game I was man of the match after I caught and bowled Frazer Hines who used to play Joe Sugden. I really enjoy it as I've played against big names such as Wayne Larkins and Alvin Kallicharran. We're playing The Bill in August.

Ideal Saturday night out?

Going for a meal or to the cinema. I went to see Gladiator recently and it is a fantastic movie.

Favourite weekend TV programmes?

I don't watch TV very much as I prefer to be out walking or playing cricket. But I did like Secrets Of The Lost Empires on Channel 4.

Teletext 15/07/00

John Middleton's Favourite Things

 

Electronic Organiser and Leatherman.

Everyone at Emmerdale takes the mickey out of my electronic organiser, but it's saved my bacon many times. I'm very disorganised and forgetful, but you do have to be organised enough to enter all the information in it! The Leatherman is an American version of a Swiss army penknife and it's the best tool you can have. It has everything, including a saw, pliers, screwdrivers ans scissors. I carry it with me all the time.

Books.

"Patrick O'Brian is my favourite author and I've read every book he wrote. He was an historical novelist and wrote about Nelsons Navy. I've recently moved into a new flat and am not getting a TV so I can catch up on all the books I've been meaning to read."

Fender Telecaster Guitar.

"I got this guitar in 1978 when I was 25 and used to play it in a band called The Hotpoints. Our music was like The Clash meet ABBA and, as well as playing guitar, I groaned along in the background. I was so proud of this guitar that when I first got it I'd prop it up in the corner of my room and just look at it."

 

Cricket gear.

"I really enjoy cricket and play with the Emmerdale team and a showbiz team called The Bunburys. Graham Roope an ex Surrey player, is also on the Bunburys team and is now a friend of mine. I find it extraordinary that I play with people I used to watch as a teenager."

Chart and Gloves

"I love sailing and do it as often a I can. Last summer Christine, George and I went sailing in the Lonian Sea for two weeks and it was the best holiday I've ever had. This is the chart and gloves I used. I keep meaning to mark our voyage on the chart with little winged cherubs blowing in the wind at the boat like they did in the olden days."

 

Boots, map and compass

"I've always liked maps and compasses, and walking is one of my favourite pastimes. I go with my wife Christine, our 11 year old son George and our dog Bob near where I live in Whitley Bay. George doesn't quite see the point because we walk round in a circle and then go home."

 

Interview from Radio Times 9-15 June 2001

What have you recently been enjoying on television?
Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights (Channel 4). This had me crying with laughter. It is set in Bolton. Having lived there for three years, I feel that I've met each of the characters. I am also a great fan of Horizon. The things I don't know constantly amaze me.
What is your first memory of TV or radio?
We didn't have a television for years but I can remember being invited into the house of my friend Bryce, who lived two doors down from us in Warrington, to watch Torchy the Battery Boy. It was a puppet show whose hero had a torch that shone out of his head, and he travelled in a rocket that seemed to be powered by sparklers.
Whose TV job would you like?
The TV historian Michael Wood. I'm fascinated by history. 'To travel to the places where great events took place would be fantastic.
Whom do you find sexy on TV?
Jo Whiley. Great voice, great legs, hairy feet.
Who would you most like to serve you breakfast in bed?
Gary Rhodes. I really like simple food cooked well, but then he would have to go away and do something sensible with his hair.
Which news story would you most like to have been involved with?
The downfall of Margaret Thatcher. I believe she is the most disastrous thing to have happened to this country since the war.
If you could live in a soap opera, which would it be?
Ernmerdale, in my vicarage, provided I never had to travel by public transport, walk near the edge of cliffs or investigate burning smells in barns.
Who would you vote for to be first President of Earth?
Nobody. I would be out on the streets protesting against such a position. That sort of power would have corrupted Mother Theresa.
What would be your first act as world leader?
Get the drinks in.
Can you remember your worst review?
I toured as Sherlock Holmes in a play called Sherlock Holmes and the tiger of San Pedro and the Hexham Courant said I grabbled my lines with total disdain for the audience. I have family and friends in Northumberland, and it was the only review they read.
What would you be doing now if you weren't an actor?
I think I would have gone into politics. I did stand as a local councillor a few years ago. I was soundlv defeated.
Who would play you in a film biopic?
Ardal O'Hanlon.
Where do you see yourself in ten years' time?
Sailing a Bristol Channel pilot cutter to the Caribbean. The closest I'll probably get to this will be appearing in panto at Westcliff on-Sea.
Describe yourself in three words.
Garrulous, optimistic, gullible.
What's the most ludicrous or hurtful piece of gossip you've read or heard about yourself!
A friend said of me when I was 19 that I was just another drop-out living in Jesmond (the hippy~ area of Newcastle at the time- it's now rather posh). Nothing could have motivated me more.
In a natural disaster, which one possession would you rescue from your home?
My Fender Telecaster guitar.
Would you have liked to have been a member of the clergy?
No! But, up until the age of 14, I thought I had a vocation to become a Benedictine priest. I would have been racked by temptations and guilt.
If you could have been any figure in history, who would you have been?
Thomas Cochrane, who sailed in Nelson's navy and was, like him, bold and daring-but, unlike him, a republican radical who fought in the independence wars of Chile, Peru and Brazil.


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