This is DMF’s witty and irreverent take on 2011. Written by us this is our take on the going on’s from January to December and everything in between.
April became the month that would see Aaron trying his very best to show Jackson that his life was worth living.
The first sign of this was a meal out together on April 6th. Aaron and Jackson behaving like any normal couple and it was lovely to see. If not at all romantic. Jackson was keen to front out any staring that was going on as they scoffed their curries, telling the people on the next table to have a good look and letting them know that this is what happens when you play on train tracks. The usual Jackson, cheeky sense of humour was still there, underneath everything and he was trying. Trying to have a good time and let Aaron do the things that he wanted to do for him. Marc had tweeted the previous month about the filming of this episode, saying that a day spent eating curry was one of his most enjoyable at work. All day, for two scenes, we were impressed by that. The fun did seem a bit forced though for Jackson as he presented his smile and fake laugh and told Aaron he was ‘loving it’.
The next day saw a football match outing for all the family as Aaron, Jackson, Hazel, Jerry, Rhona, Paddy and Chas all went to see some players chase after a ball. The scenes were filmed at Bradford City’s football ground at the beginning of March and again, they were another way of showing that Jackson could still participate in the activities that able-bodied people could. So, with everyone all scarfed up in their colours and Aaron looking very much like Danny in the boots with jeans combo, they took their places in the stands. Aaron and Jackson being with Steve and his wife. Jackson did look like he was having fun and a laugh as he called out the ref and called various players ‘turnips’. And this managed to convince Aaron and Hazel that they were making progress that their plan was working.
Hazel celebrated her birthday on April 14th with a present of Russell Watson tickets from the boys and a round of drinks in the pub, with Jackson again going to great lengths to paint his smile on and tell her that he was enjoying himself and everything was fine.
His façade hit the buffers however; the next day when during a trip to a comedy club, of all places with Aaron, he had breathing problems and had to be taken to hospital. He had a chest infection that was hard to clear and so he was put on antibiotics and had to stay in hospital for a few weeks. Hazel and Aaron were disappointed that this had happened as it would obviously knock Jackson right back to where he was, not being able to cope with his situation and wanting to die again. They were also keen that Jerry wasn’t to find out about Jackson’s depression and wanting to end his own life. These episodes were the start of many, many scenes of Aaron and Hazel together, showing off how well Danny and Pauline had come to work together. It was also the beginning of Aaron’s stubble, which we liked a lot. Hazel was concerned that Jackson would start talking about ending it all over again when he realized that this trouble with his breathing would just keep happening again and again but Aaron was adamant, he wouldn’t be talking like that again and he would personally make sure that he wouldn’t. All it was, was a little set-back and Jackson would be fine. After hearing that the complications that he was suffering were pretty ‘par for the course’ Jackson was at his lowest again.
“You define serious. I go out and try and have a bit of fun and live a normal life and I end up back here, again and again and again. It can’t get more serious as far as I’m concerned!”
Jackson was upset that Hazel and Aaron were treating him like a kid and not including him in decisions. Standing there and talking to the doctor like he was invisible. He ordered them out of his hospital room.
“You know what, I did what you asked. I went out, I tried to have some fun in my life and look where it got me?!”
As Hazel shouted him down and told him he had a chest infection but it was always going to be treatable. Aaron sat there texting – or was he on Twitter? Who knows?!
“Why are you taking this out on us?!” Aaron asked as he and Hazel prepared to leave. “What have we ever done to you except try and help you?!”
“You don’t listen. You don’t see what’s going on because you don’t want to!” To which Hazel tried to explain that she would do anything, anything in her power to make everything alright for Jackson again. Tears welling up in her eyes as she spoke and she told him that he had just been unlucky. Jackson said he was tired of fighting it now. He didn’t want to be in and out of hospital for the rest of his life. Hazel said it was fine and they could do this together, with Aaron looking forlornly on but Jackson said he didn’t want to, not anymore. He was asking to die once again.
“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I just want out now!”
And so it was back to miserable, depressed, grumpy Jackson. But we all knew why. It was easy to empathise with him because his mind was the only thing he had some control over and to be able to make his own decisions. It was heart-breaking and painful to watch at times. Jerry picked up on Jackson’s depression and told Aaron and Hazel, it was like Jackson was ‘losing his spirit’ Aaron and Hazel decided that it was for the best that Jerry wasn’t to find out about how Jackson was really feeling. Hazel said if he did they would ‘have doctors and councillors all over the place’ and this would be a problem because? We wondered. Because if it was a choice between that and saving her son’s life. Why wouldn’t Hazel get doctors and councillors involved? Why wouldn’t she go down every possible avenue to try and help her son through his depression? It had only been a relatively short space of time since the accident and him coming home from hospital. It was true and we could see that she wanted to keep Jackson’s confidence and not get other parties involved but still…
Jackson did tell Jerry that he didn’t want to be in hospital anymore. He couldn’t clear his lungs and so they had to do it for him and he said he didn’t want to be doing it for the next god knows how many years. Jerry put it down to Jackson just having a bad day, with Jackson even telling him that the antibiotics were messing with his head and bringing him down. He later said he thought about telling Jerry how he was feeling but decided that it wasn’t fair on him. It was bad enough that Hazel and Aaron knew what he was planning to do.
As the month drew to a close, Aaron called on Steve to try and cheer Jackson up but Jackson was having none of it, ripping into him and laying the truth of their situations at his door.
“You must know… coz I’m stuck in this useless body just like you are!”
Steve tried every approach to get through to Jackson. Telling him that his life wasn’t pointless. That it got better and if he gave it a year and learnt to adapt, everything would be fine for him but his words cut through Jackson, who wouldn’t even listen to what he was telling him.
Finally to humour Steve, Jackson just agreed, as a way of shutting him up and getting rid of him.
Later as Aaron and Hazel sat with Jackson, Hazel joked about Jackson getting Aaron to stump up for another meal out, to which Jackson replied that wasn’t what he wanted.
“So, what do you want then?!” Aaron shouted, close to losing his temper.
“To be able to make my own decisions and be in control of my own life!”
Aaron said that they could sort that, that they’d do it different this time as he was hauled out of the hospital room by Hazel to explain himself.
“That’s right; you two go and have a barny, take it outside!” Jackson remarked.
Aaron simply told Hazel. “We’ll sort it, now stop panicking!” Whatever that meant and then went back into Jackson’s hospital room.
In other news, we kicked April off with our very own April fool’s joke that had Cain and Jackson getting it on behind Aaron’s back. Had a few people believing it as well, for a few minutes and let’s face it, Cain’s had nearly everyone in the village, so it wasn’t that much of a stretch.
On April 3rd, we were the first ones to put up a story that appeared in the Boston Herald. An interview with Marc Silcock, that detailed aspects of the assisted suicide storyline that he was involved in. It was a really good article and it was so nice to hear things from Marc’s point of view, finally as it seemed ITV and Emmerdale were keeping him really quiet from the press. The article also gave a leaving date for Marc, saying he was contracted with Emmerdale until 14th May. Marc was quick to praise the plot, saying. “Why shouldn’t you have a choice, if you’ve had an accident? Why should you be kept in a prison cell for a crime you haven’t committed, you should have a choice. It shouldn’t be a taboo subject!” It was clear just by reading the article that Marc was very passionate about his work, the research he had done into his role as Jackson and the storyline and Emmerdale’s handling of it. So, when an actor is that passionate, it’s hard not to trust them with the subject matter. So, here was our confirmation, finally. From the US press, we had a leaving date for Marc Silcock and we had confirmation of the assisted suicide storyline. It was a very dark and busy Sunday. As it turned out, though, events went quicker than what we first thought.
On 24th April, Marc Silcock deleted his Twitter account, putting up a final tweet to say that he had had a good run at it but was coming off it now which was such a shame. He didn’t say much on Twitter but what he did say was usually good and informative and it was always good to see his tweets pop up in our timeline.
On 28th April, Marc filmed his final scenes as Jackson Walsh and was taken out for a meal by Danny, Adam Thomas and Kelvin Fletcher and the rest of the cast to say goodbye. Everyone wished him well on Twitter. And it became a reality for us now as we tried to figure out just when Jackson would be leaving, balancing spoilers up to try and come up with a roundabout date. It was tough to finally know that we would be saying goodbye to Jackson Walsh, there would be no reprieve and Marc had left now. Very soon, Aarson would be no more.
It was also announced on April 10th that Kirsty-Leigh Porter would be leaving Emmerdale. They seemed to be losing so many good actors. A lot of people, including us, wondered what the hell was going on?!
Big excitement span around DMF as the FA Cup semi-finals took place and Bolton got a good stuffing from Stoke City 5-0 and so the Potters were off to Wembley and were going to compete in the FA Cup final for the first time in their history. They were to play Manchester City who beat their Manc rivals 1-0. And we laughed.
The whole country came together for a massive celebration on 29th April as the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton took place. That’s what we’re led to believe as we did give it a quick look. Danny tweeted that he was working but found himself watching it anyway and it was a bit like that. You didn’t want to watch it but found yourself drawn in anyway. The only good thing was the extra bank holiday and day off work. I mean who really cares what Kate was wearing? She did look really good, although her sister Pippa stole most of the headlines and we had to wait hours for that balcony kiss. Give us a good old Emmerdale wedding any day of the week.
As the month drew to a close Britain sweltered in unseasonably warm weather and we got down to a bit of Jennifer Lopez doing ‘On the Floor’ even if it was a total rip off of the Lambada.
May began with Aaron arranging a holiday for himself, Hazel and Jackson in Whitby. He talked about it on the 2nd May and the next day they arrived. This was another way of Aaron proving and showing Jackson that life was worth living and trying to please his boyfriend which was always nice to see. That kind and caring side of Aaron that he always used to keep well hidden was starting to creep out more and more often now. Jackson, at first wasn’t that keen on the holiday, going to some place with his mum and boyfriend while last year they had gone off and done their own thing in Lanzarote, now he couldn’t do a single thing for himself. He felt like a child and that Aaron was trying to run his life. But Aaron told Paddy. “I just want to show him that he can still do stuff and enjoy them. It’s important!” Yes, it was, much more important than Paddy could even begin to comprehend at this point.
Whitby, however, did look beautiful on screen, it’s so good to actually get the actors on location once in a while and the sound of the seagulls added to the atmosphere. What did begin to get on our nerves though was Hazel being constantly there. In every scene. There was no such thing as an Aarson scene now because she was always sticking her beak in and going on and on. It was enough to make us lose the will to live, never mind Jackson. And we know, we’re very aware what a fantastic actress Pauline Quirke is and we used to love Hazel, but that love was starting to drain at this point with shouts of.
‘Just leave them alone for five minutes!’
Also, the screen time was in very short supply for some bizarre reason. The Aaron/Jackson/Whitby week was one of a few storylines running in Emmerdale that week, but they seemed to get a bit shafted. What we did get was nice to see though. Jackson was still depressed and down when they arrived but he soon perked up as they took a stroll along the front and looked at some old ruins. Jackson relayed the story that he always wanted to take off and fly with the seagulls. This was when Aaron had his ‘light bulb’ moment. If an ‘I’m thinking of how I can get Jackson flying with the seagulls’ speech bubble could appear above his head at this moment, trust me, it would have done. This was when Aaron had the idea to book a sky-dive for Jackson, although he didn’t tell Hazel that at first, just asked her for some money to pay for it but we knew what his game was. Well, to be honest, it had been spoilered to death by this point. Everyone knew. Another bone of contention was a cut scene from the Whitby episodes. A scene that was supposed to be included in the episode that aired on May 3rd but was cut due to lack of time. Which did seem really odd because this scene was included in every write-up for this episode, we had spoiler pics of Aaron down on one knee as Jackson was wheeled alongside the harbour. Aaron was pretending to propose to Jackson as a way of cheering him up. It became known as the fake proposal scene as it was detailed in Soaplife as Aaron falling to one knee and asking Jackson if he would do him the honour of becoming his Mr Right. We never saw it. Emmerdale said that this was due to the episode over-running and it may be put on-line in the future. Again, it wasn’t, so we remain gutted that it wasn’t shown and has never seen the light of day.
As Aaron talked weirdly about fish and Jackson admitted to getting drunk on holiday when he was fourteen, a boat trip was arranged so Aaron and Jackson could go fishing. These were the scenes that were filmed in March and that we had the ‘Danny looking like he was throwing up’ pictures of. By all accounts the only person who wasn’t sick when they filmed it was Pauline Quirke and she was playing Hazel who was sick over the edge of the boat. It was all good fun!
Jackson took his skydive on May 6th. Another episode written by Jane Pearson that was full of laughs, smiles, quality lines and banter. Jackson was keen to find out what his surprise was, telling Aaron that it better not be tickets to go and see Take That because when he said he liked them, he was kind of joking. When they got to the airfield and Jackson was told that he was going skydiving, he asked Aaron if he was doing it as well. To which a comical and freaked out Aaron replied. “N… yeah… of course I am!” It was a classic as Aaron tried to protect his hard man image by pretending that he wasn’t scared and was up for the skydive as much as Jackson was, who said he was in then, if Aaron was doing it. As the safety spiel was given out to them though and Aaron asked the question about what would happen if he was to knock Jackson out and who would pull the chord, Jackson realized that Aaron was scared and refused to let him get in the plane.
“I’ve seen you scared before. In court. In hospital and I can’t do that to you again!” Hazel assumed because Aaron wasn’t doing it, then Jackson couldn’t, but no, just coz Aaron had bottled it, Jackson was determined that he was going to jump out of that plane and happily made his way up there, ready to jump.
Great performance from Danny in this scene, great at the old comedy as Aaron had to admit to not wanting to do the skydive and being scared.
Marc Silcock did the skydive for real in one take and every reaction we saw on screen was his own excitable expressions as Jackson flew through the air and for the first time since the accident, felt like he was free. The joy and exuberance on his face was clear for everyone to see. He loved every minute of it. Actor and character and it was beautifully shot by Emmerdale and a pleasure to watch. As Jackson told Aaron he loved him for arranging it. He was on a massive high. But, by the end of the episode as Aaron slept beside him, in that grubby old white vest again, Jackson was lost in his own sad thoughts once more. It still wasn’t enough to make him want to stay.
On May 9th still in Whitby, Jackson gathered Hazel and Aaron together to talk to them both. The day had started brightly enough with Aaron telling Hazel that black pudding was ‘angin’ and he was surprised she hadn’t got ‘pie and mash,’ what with her being a ‘cockney’. Great impression there Danny, EastEnders should sign him up. But Jackson had other things on his mind and was to deliver heart-breaking news to both Hazel and Aaron once more.
“I don’t know what else to say except you’ve been brilliant. Not just here but all the time and I love you two so much and this has been great but it’s not reality, this is. And I hate this now as much as I ever have done. And I will always hate this. And I’m so sorry because I know how hard you’ve both tried, I am…”
This didn’t go down very well with Aaron who couldn’t stop the tears from falling down his stubbly cheeks again. Hazel said that all they needed to do was talk it through but Jackson was sure he had thought about it enough for all of them and he didn’t want to live anymore. The scene was so powerful as Jackson asked both of them what they saw when they looked at him.
“My gorgeous boy!” Was Hazel’s response, while Aaron said he thought Jackson was having fun on their holiday. Jackson in turn said that he felt fantastic jumping out of the plane but he thought on the way down that it would have saved all the bother if his parachute hadn’t opened. Hazel and Aaron were both in tears as Jackson said that it wasn’t natural to feel this way and he didn’t want to and Aaron begged him, to let him try some more to change his mind and show him that life was worth living.
“Please Jackson. I love you and you’re always gonna be the same to me!”
“This isn’t about you though!” Came Jackson’s response.
Later Aaron and Hazel made their way down to the harbour side as they escaped from the misery for some fresh air, Jackson saying that he wanted to be on his own for a bit. Hazel asked Aaron if he was going to give up on her boy and his response melted our hearts, just look how far he had come.
“He’s my boy too!”
It was definitely the right answer. We really loved Danny’s performance in that scene.
Jackson asked Hazel how many times she could change his mind if he had his heart set on something when he was a kid and of course the answer was never. Jackson being the stubborn sort that he was and this knowledge was the spark that freaked Aaron out. He couldn’t take Jackson wanting to die and just had to get out of there, leading to an intense confrontation as Aaron got up roughly in Jackson’s face, the tears and anger welling up inside of him as he grabbed his boyfriend by the shirt collar, lifting him out of his chair and threatening to throw him out of the window. Aaron couldn’t take or believe that Hazel could just accept that there might not be anything that they could do to save or change Jackson’s mind.
‘What happened to, don’t give up on my boy?’ He asked, exasperated. And as he lost control again yelling that he was helping Jackson and he had no feelings, the pressure became too much for him and Aaron asked for his ticket and fled to be alone.
Later, at the train station, came a brilliant scene between Marc Silcock and Pauline Quirke as Jackson broke down again, it was heart-breaking as he sobbed, telling his mum that he thought about it all the time, the practicalities, Marc was immense as he delivered the lines, as Hazel tried so very desperately not to hear, not to understand. As she tried so very hard not to accept Jackson’s wishes but the unconditional love she felt for her only son was clear for everyone to see. She couldn’t bear to see him in so much pain and torment anymore. Jackson said he just wanted it to be peaceful and Hazel could hardly speak through her sobs as she told Jackson that she loved him so much and asked him what he was asking her to do. Jackson broke down, as he sobbed telling Hazel that she knew what he was asking her to do and together they cried. How Marc never won a Best Dramatic Performance award is anyone’s guess. He was just amazing throughout.
As Aaron slept rough and ignored Jackson’s call in Whitby, Hazel agreed to Jackson’s wishes on May 10th. Telling how it was the worst feeling in the world, your kids going before you. She cried and Pauline stole the scene as Hazel struggled with her feelings about wanting to keep Jackson safe and honour his wishes but she knew her son and she knew deep down that there was no changing his mind.
“If it means I can be with you at the end like I was at the beginning…”
“So, you’ll do it, you’ll help me?!”
“Is that what you want?!” Hazel cried, to which Jackson stated. ‘Yes’. The battle was lost. Hazel agreed to help Jackson die.
Aaron returned on May 11th and learnt that Hazel had agreed to Jackson’s plan to die and agreed to help and assist him. Aaron couldn’t get his head around Hazel agreeing so quickly after she had been so dead set against it, calling her a monster and asking what sort of woman would agree to do that to her own son.
“You don’t get to do this. This is not happening. I don’t care what I have to do. I am not letting you die!” Was Aaron’s response and a pretty close-up of his gorgeous beardy face ended the episode.
The beard and stubble were becoming more prominent now which, it had to be said made for great close-ups as Aaron spent the next week wondering what to do with the knowledge that Jackson was planning to kill himself and Hazel had agreed to assist him. Looking at Ashley’s dog collar was particularly spooky and he also thought about telling social services of their plans but ultimately couldn’t betray their trust. Aaron just wanted Jackson to stay there with him. He couldn’t bear the thought of him not being around anymore, to talk to and be with. He didn’t want him to die.
It was on May 16th that Aaron finally agreed to Jackson’s wishes. An episode that began with Aaron sleeping next to Jackson and Jackson telling Hazel.
“He’s gorgeous when he’s asleep!”
Written again by Jane Pearson, there’s a pattern happening here, this episode ebbed and flowed perfectly as Aaron struggled to deal with what Jackson was asking of him and his own fragile emotions.
Aaron woke up panicking upon seeing the scene of Hazel feeding Jackson yogurt, she could have poisoned it or something and the thought was never far from Aaron’s mind, that’s why he was there, he didn’t want to let Jackson out of his sight now and for Hazel and Jackson to be alone. Jackson retorted by telling Aaron he was suffocating him and not in a way that he wanted, ordering Aaron to get out and leave him alone. It soon became clear that Aaron was fighting a battle he was never going to win as Hazel chased after him, telling him that he couldn’t keep forcing what he wanted onto Jackson, he needed to back off.
“I don’t wanna wake up tomorrow and find out that you’ve killed him.”
“I don’t believe you!”
“Aaron, I give you my word, I won’t do anything behind your back, I promise. You need the chance to say goodbye and I won’t deprive you of that. Trust me please.”
Aaron faltered as he told Hazel that he didn’t have any choice but to trust her. Tears in his eyes once more as we could clearly see the pain etched on his face.
But Aaron wasn’t ready to give up that easily as Jackson visited him at the garage later that day, telling him that he wouldn’t do anything until Aaron was ready.
“Yeah, well, I’m never gonna be, so that’s sorted then? End of?!”
Aaron reckoned that this was some sort of punishment for him from Jackson, because after all, it was him that put him in that chair, it was him that lost it on their night out, him that caused the argument by the road side, him that couldn’t say ‘I love you’ back and him that called Jackson when he took his eyes off the road for that split second and his van ploughed into the train. It was all about the guilt Aaron felt. That thing that they never really spoke about but was always there. Aaron knew what the truth was and just like Jackson’s paralysis, it was eating him alive.
“I’ve thought about life without you and I just can’t deal with it. My head’s wrecked. So, please stop doing this to me. I just can’t take it!” Aaron was bordering on the defeated as the words left his mouth.
Paddy tried to talk to Aaron later on and how we still loved their relationship so much, assuming that Aaron and Jackson had just had a row, he told him that.
‘Sometimes when you’re in a relationship you have to do things that you might not always want to do!” His words might have struck a chord with Aaron as he continued to tell Aaron that he should do anything for the people he loved. “If you do want to be with Jackson, you just have to let him win sometimes…” That sounded ominous, nice one Paddy!
Later Aaron visited Jackson after being summoned, what we loved about this, was how it was basically a two-hander between the two boys as finally they talked, alone together without interference. A beautifully shot scene, full of close ups as Jackson laid it on the line for Aaron. If he couldn’t help him, then he and Hazel would have to do it alone.
“Yeah, well, I wanted you here when I died but it’s not fair, can’t put you through it so… I don’t want you to come round here anymore…”
Jackson was doing what he always did when he had a problem with Aaron’s behaviour, he was ending it and this time he was ending it for good. Giving Aaron the chance to say one final goodbye and it completely tugged at our heartstrings. We knew that Aaron couldn’t handle Jackson dying but we also knew that Aaron couldn’t just not go round there anymore. He loved and needed Jackson. He was being backed into a very dark corner.
“Aaron, we’re over. And this isn’t one of those on/off things we have. I’m letting you go before I do. So you can go and start to grieve for me coz I’ll already be dead to you!”
We knew why Jackson was doing this and the sentiment was in the right place but it was never going to be possible for Aaron to let go that easily. Aaron had to be there with Jackson to the bitter end. A visibly distressed Aaron tried to protest, telling Jackson he couldn’t do this, that he needed to come around and see him but Jackson was adamant, they had to cut all ties. It was for the best. As tears fell down Jackson’s cheeks, he told Aaron, it was the way it had to be now, he’d blank Aaron in the street and he couldn’t come near him, to which Aaron sobbed a heart-breaking.
Danny and Marc just completely nailed this scene; no plaudits could be high enough.
Jackson tried to get Aaron to come over to him, so they could share a last kiss goodbye, but Aaron wouldn’t. He couldn’t. Not yet, it was too soon.
“I’m telling you now, this isn’t happening!” Aaron sobbed as he tried fighting once more for something we all knew by now, he was never going to be able to win.
Jackson told Aaron that he didn’t want all of this to destroy him, he wanted to give him the chance to walk away, maybe meet someone else and have a good life, without him, even though he was suffering so much and it was costing him to say it and we knew that this was never going to be possible for Aaron as he said.
“We’ve been here before and I hated it. I don’t want anyone else. All I wanted was you and I still do!” Danny was so beautiful in this scene when he cried.
“Well you can’t have me!” Jackson replied, his voice cracking with emotion. “So, will you just come here please and kiss me and let me go…”
The pain etched on both Aaron and Jackson’s faces now was too much to bear, how could anyone not be moved by this scene? Aaron left with the impossible task of agreeing to what the man he loves so desperately was asking him to do. Something, he doesn’t want to do or agree with, but what choice does he have? Jackson had made up his mind and Aaron couldn’t bear to let him go. Not yet, he needed more time with him, he had to be able to still see him.
“I love you!” Jackson whispered as again Aaron begged him not to do this.
“I love you too!” Aaron replied without hesitation, he’d come so far in such a short space of time. Able to vocalize his feelings, even though his heart was in the process of being ripped out.
Aaron asked if he’d know when it was happening and Jackson responded telling him that he wouldn’t. That it would be better for him not to know.
“So, I’ll be out there, thinking of you all the time, wondering if you’re dead or alive or if you’re dying. Dying and I’m not here!” Aaron added to which Jackson told him that he had made his choice.
“This is not a choice!” Aaron exclaimed and he was right, it wasn’t. It was the worst thing that had ever happened to him. But he had to be strong, he knew he couldn’t fight Jackson any longer and he knew his boyfriend was never going to change his mind. This was it now.
“I can’t lose you. Not again. Not yet anyway. If this is the only way I’m gonna get to spend a bit more time with you. If you’re really gonna go through with this then you’ve got me. Coz the only thing worse than being with you when you die is not being here!”
And our hearts broke along with Aaron’s as this beautifully shot scene came to an end and Aaron had made a life-changing decision.
The remainder of May was spent with Jackson being all chipper, now he had got both Hazel and Aaron on his side. Bantering with Aaron about having kids when he found out Steve’s wife was expecting and telling Jerry that he used to fancy Eric Cantona. All the while, Aaron and Hazel were in their own personal hells as they tried to come to terms with what Jackson was asking them to do and carry out. The practicalities needed to be sorted out and neither of them could take it or talk about it without crying. Jackson made his final video diaries, as he sorted out the evidence that was going to make sure, in his eyes, that neither Aaron nor Hazel would get sent down for helping him end his life. Jackson seemed to get off on talking about it, gathering Hazel and Aaron around him and talking bluntly about what was going to happen like some sort of Messiah, maybe a bit harsh, that, and it was in a relatively short space of time and episodes but god, he started to go on… his favourite saying being.
‘I want you to go and get the drugs.’
From where from and what drugs, we still don’t know. Aaron said he still knew a few people that he could ‘get the gear off’. But, it was Hazel who went and got them anyway and bought them back in her handbag and put them safely into a drawer, ready for the event.
On May 30th and 31st as Hazel bought the drugs and Aaron struggled to cope with his feelings and emotions, he was like a coiled spring ready to explode, so going for a session (drinking) with Adam in the Woolpack, probably wasn’t the smartest idea. With Adam well on the way to getting drunk and talking about people straying as he tried to cope with seeing both Mia and Ella at the same time (a long and tedious story) Aaron couldn’t take anyone accusing him of having another lad or a bit on the side, pushing Adam away from him as he teased him about it, as Adam tried to figure out what was bugging and worrying Aaron so much. He pushed Adam straight into a heavily pregnant Rhona, causing her to fall over… and the baby was on the way. Somehow, this was all Aaron’s fault with Marlon being particularly harsh.
“It’s never your fault, nobody has ever ended up in any way hurt because of you, have they?!”
The tears sprang up behind Aaron’s blue eyes once more as those words seeped into him. Playing once more on his guilt over Jackson. It was always him. Anyone who got close to Aaron ended up getting hurt. It was the truth and Aaron couldn’t take it.
Later, as Adam found Aaron sat alone at the cricket pavilion, he told him about his affair with Ella but Aaron couldn’t find the words to tell his best friend about his own situation and what was troubling him so much. This was a great scene and one we loved. Danny Miller and Adam Thomas work so well together, they should get more screen time, they have a natural chemistry and Aaron laughed a lot in this scene which we adored as Adam’s love life took his mind off his own life and what was falling apart, if only for a brief moment. That’s what friends are for, right? And Adam was always the one to put a smile on Aaron’s face.
“If I came onto one of them, if I was straight, who would you be more upset about?!”
“So, I wouldn’t have to deal with Declan then? Unlike you!”
We loved this scene. Aaron told Adam he was so much more interesting to be around now and we had to agree, it was great stuff and so good to see Aaron smile. Aaron reiterated to Adam that he loved Jackson and would never cheat on him. And then it was back to Dale Head for Aaron as he asked Hazel where she had stored the pills they were going to use to kill Jackson. The light and shade in this episode was great and it was also the episode that we got introduced to baby Leo, thanks to Aaron, giving him a little helping hand coming out.
The big other news this month was of course the British Soap Awards that took place in Manchester on May 14th. Danny attended, wearing a lovely pink, shirt and just the right amount of stubble. The BSAs are always annoying because they take place on the Saturday and aren’t on telly until the following Wednesday but anyway, compared to the year before, they were a walk in the park. Danny Miller won the award that we all wanted him to, for Best Actor. He dedicated his award to his friend and the late series producer of Emmerdale, Gavin Blyth. Later he presented an award to Gavin’s widow, Suzy Blyth, which was a special achievement in soap and with tears filling up behind Danny’s eyes; we knew what it meant to him to be able to do that.
That weekend was a mental one for DMF as we sourced pictures and prayed to God, Danny wouldn’t be robbed again, he was of Dramatic Performance and Sexiest Male but we’ll let that one slide. Half of DMF was in London for the FA Cup final to see Stoke City take on Manchester City. In what was a tense final, the blue half of Manchester prevailed, 1-0.
Spoilers for Jackson’s last week in Emmerdale came out in the last week of May but they were very hush-hush and hardly revealed anything, leaving us to go a bit insane as we tried to piece together what was going to happen and when. Even the spoiler pics were misleading, showing; Aaron, Hazel and Jackson in some field in deep thought. Even we knew he wasn’t going to get bumped off in a field and they looked like publicity stills and not taken from any episode. All information and publicity about the assisted suicide storyline had been kept to an absolute minimum; there had been no interviews from any of the actors at all in any soap magazines or websites. All we had was a very brief question and answer text from the series producer, Stuart Blackburn which got syndicated around every soap magazine and website going. It hardly told us anything. And so, it was a waiting game…
Emmerdale’s new opening titles sequence debuted on 30th May. We didn’t like them at first, they seemed weird and bizarre, especially the music, they took a lot of getting used to. But now… it’s like they have always been there and fit Emmerdale like a hand fits a glove.
As Radio One’s big weekend hit Carlisle, Lady GaGa stole the show and ‘Born This Way’ was everywhere. That and Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song. ‘Today I don’t feel like doing anything…’
As personal upheaval hit DMF this month, those words would begin to take on a whole new meaning…
June began with Aaron and Jackson visiting baby Leo in hospital. Aaron with a baby alert again, it didn’t get any cuter than that. There seemed something prophetic about it, a new life being bought into the world, just as Jackson was about to ask for his plan to be put into action and for him to die. Something that wasn’t lost on any of the main players. A new life and Leo had Down’s Syndrome, how we wished that Jackson would give himself some more time or that there could be a way for somebody to change his mind.
Jackson recorded a video message for Aaron, telling him that everything that had happened to him, this last year, it had meant that he had got to spend the last year of his life with someone that he loved and he wouldn’t have changed that for the world. He told Aaron that he should be so proud of himself, because he had given him the greatest present that he could have asked for, through tears and pain, Jackson spoke.
“You are so special to me. And If I get the chance, I’ll watch over you. Please turn this off and forget it. Just remember me how I was!” Oh, Jackson, how was that ever going to be possible for Aaron?!
By June 3rd, Aaron and Jackson went to Bar West, where else? To help celebrate; Jackson’s mate, Dan’s engagement. We had got wind, through the ever reliable soap mags that a proposal was on the way from Aaron. This had split opinion completely amongst fans, with some people thinking it was such an un-Aaron thing to do and some wanting some cuteness and a bit of affection. My god, this might even mean a kiss was on the way. There was even that rumour that Aaron and Jackson did get married before Jackson died, there were sightings of Marc Silcock suited and booted and looking at rings in his wheelchair as Jackson, with Tony Audenshaw, who plays Bob Hope with him (what were they all about?) And people were even suggesting a civil partnership ceremony had been filmed. Yes, we had heard all the rumours, didn’t believe them though, but they were nice to hear. We did; however wonder how this proposal would come about and what Jackson’s response would be?! Aaron made an effort for the occasion, changing his t-shirt but still dressing in his tatty tracky bottoms and talked about how he didn’t see the point in engagement parties, why couldn’t people just get on with it anyway? Bar West was looking pretty dark as they talked about the first time Aaron had gone there and how he was ready to deck anyone that smiled at him. Aaron asked Jackson if he ever wondered what his life would have been like if he hadn’t have talked to him that first time.
“I sometimes think it doesn’t matter what you do, you always end up in the place you’re meant to be, it is a shame though, coz I could have done so much better than you…” Was Jackson’s response as he nodded his head in time to the music. They left Bar West for the last time together a little later, with desperation etched all over Aaron’s face once more as Jackson told him, he had seen everyone he wanted to see, he’d rather just leave it at that. Aaron knew Jackson was saying goodbye to his friends, although they didn’t know it and he was about to give it one final role of the dice to make Jackson change his mind about wanting to die. It was still bright sunshine as they got back to the village, Aaron began to talk about other parties, times that they could go out together again.
“We could get married if you want?!”
“You’re serious, you want to get married?!! Jackson asked with amusement flickering across his face. Aaron went on to say that he’d do that for Jackson, if that’s what he wanted.
“I don’t need a piece of paper to prove how much you care about me!” Jackson went on.
“Maybe I do, I love ya and I wanna show everyone how much!”
“What you’re doing for me is the greatest thing I could ever imagine anyone ever doing and if you didn’t love me completely I know you’d never do it!”
“Well, that’s a no then!” Aaron added before telling Jackson that he’d always be tied to him, marriage or no marriage. Jackson said he might change his mind if Aaron went down on one knee. Well, he should have looked at those fake proposal scene pictures that got cut then, shouldn’t he? It did make a cute scene.
As we led up to ‘the event’ Aaron was walking around with a big cloud hanging over his head, lost in misery and despair, the torment of not being able to help or save Jackson was getting him down. Jackson on the other hand was back to his cheeky, sarcastic self.
On June 6th, Jackson gathered his nearest and dearest, including his dad, Jerry in the Woolpack and this was him saying goodbye. Only, Hazel, Aaron and Jackson knew this of course as everyone ate and drunk and toasted Jackson’s recovery. Jackson was still busy making his diaries and putting the final touches to his plans. Telling Hazel that Aaron thought he was the star of his story, “Butch Cassidy and the tetraplegic kid.’
Adam tried once more to get out of Aaron what was bothering him as he took a break, nursing his pint outside, but Aaron clammed up and couldn’t and wouldn’t confide in anyone about what was going on. As Jackson said goodbye to Jerry for the last time, his dad told him he was proud of him and there for him every step of the way which was touching as the two men were able to forget their difficult past and tell one another that they loved each other.
As Aaron asked Jackson if he was alright, Jackson simply nodded his head, his red chequered shirt attached to him once more like a symbol as he replied. “Yeah…I think I’m ready to go!”
As the night drew to a close and Jackson found himself in Dale Head once more, listening to Hazel drone on about zoos, the look on Aaron’s face told its own story. He knew it was time, he knew what Jackson was about to say and ask both of them. It was time. Time to say goodbye. Jackson told Hazel that days out at the zoo with Josh weren’t going to happen, his face tense and resigned now, all fight leaving him as his mum began to panic and cry at his side.
“You know the deal, mum!”
Hazel cried and sobbed as she tried once again to get Jackson to change his mind. Not, now, not so soon and not in flaming June for Christ sake, it was only the start of summer, why would anyone want to die then? We jested to break the mood. Pauline Quirke was amazing in this scene as her world began to fall apart and she realized that she was running out of time with her only child, she was losing him and there wasn’t a damn thing she could do about it. It was crushing and heart-breaking to watch.
“I’m begging you Jackson, please don’t do this!”
“Don’t back out on me. I’ve never needed you more than I do now. Aaron, I just want one more night, will you stay?!” To which a visibly upset and defeated Aaron nodded his head.
“Thank you both of you, for loving me this much!” Were Jackson’s last words of the episode as his head fell back against the pillow once more and he breathed a sigh of relief? It was out there now. There was no more time, planning or deliberating. Tomorrow was going to be the day that he died.
By this point, we were all pretty numb watching it. Sad and resigned to it, we’d had plenty of time to get used to Jackson dying and the assisted suicide storyline but now it was here. It was in touching distance and it was distressing to even think about. We had come to love Jackson Walsh and his relationship with Aaron, dubbed them Aarson and watched intensely their every move since Jackson had been introduced into Emmerdale in March 2010. Now, we were also saying goodbye to a much loved character. We had to let him go. And it was hard. We wished it could have been so different. If they had known from the start how popular Jackson was going to become, would they have still done this to him? Paralysed him by a train, killed him in this way? Was this the story Emmerdale was going to tell regardless? Maybe, probably, if we’re honest and fair play to them for sticking to their vision and executing it in the sensitive way that it was handled. Because whatever else you may think of the telling of an assisted suicide in a daily soap opera, the rights and the wrongs of it and the message it may send out to those who are paralysed or tetraplegic. One thing you could never fault, was the acting, from Marc, Danny and Pauline, that was always superb. So very touching and spot-on in all their performances. And the writing and directing of the scenes was always good as well. Nothing was being sensationalized like the baby swap from EastEnders might have been; they weren’t doing this for ratings. This was the story they always wanted to tell. This was about Jackson Walsh and the affect his choice would have on Aaron and his mum Hazel.
As June 7th kicked off, the Aarson Twitter community changed their display pictures to an Aarson pic as we got ready to say goodbye. And the episode didn’t disappoint. It was a very fitting ending, it was exactly like Marc and Danny had said it would be. An episode that would go down in Emmerdale history.
Written by Paul Roundall, it was only fitting, as he had put Jackson in that wheelchair to begin with, that he was the one to finish him off. What was striking about the opening of this episode was the silence. The villagers going about their, daily, ordinary, normal lives on the day that would change Hazel’s and Aaron’s lives so irreversibly. Paddy driving his car, Adam on his quad, Bob setting up the café as Hazel walked through the village and back to Dale Head. Her eyes fixed totally ahead of her. Her mind in turmoil and wonderful acting from Dame Pauline Quirke, in waiting, whose personal weight loss was already starting to show on screen by this point. Aaron had stayed the night of course and was sleeping as Jackson was awake and coughed to wake him up and they both smiled at one another at the dawn of a new day, Jackson’s last one. How, just for that brief moment when Aaron awoke, he was able to forget what today meant.
As Jackson made his very last video entries, we wondered for a moment if he was going to break into a Sam Tyler, Life On Mars, speech.
“My name is Jackson Walsh, I’m a tetraplegic after an accident last year and I’m of total, sound, body and mind!” We’re sure. “I had an accident and woke up in 1973.” Sounds just that tiny bit better…
Hazel and Aaron were still agonizing over their decision and what they had to do for Jackson, with Hazel saying she wished that she could just go back in there and find him dead and that would stop her having to look him in the eye just before he died. Aaron, whose whole demeanour was now beginning to change, insisted that Jackson needed them.
“He’s scared, you know, I could feel it coming off him in the night!” Which is a whole different thing to his clothes coming off him in the night, we could only dream about that from Aaron and Jackson from now on.
Hazel wanted to know from Aaron if the both of them had done enough. Tried enough to change Jackson’s mind. The answer to this of course was no. Where were the doctors and counsellors? It had only been six months since Jackson had come home from hospital; there wasn’t enough time to adjust to his life in a wheelchair and as a tetraplegic. There was much more that could have been done for Jackson and to save him. Much more time was needed but Aaron didn’t want to hear it. Hazel was the one that had caved in first and agreed to Jackson’s wishes. How dare she start changing her mind now and casting doubt in Aaron’s own mind. His head was already done in. When all was said and done, Aaron was only nineteen, this was too much for him to cope with, too much for him to take on board and be able to live with afterwards.
“Of course he’s scared of dying!” Aaron snapped back at Hazel. “But he’s more scared of living!”
Hazel agreed with Aaron and he still couldn’t believe what he was hearing off her. It was her that had been saying that all along. Not him. Her and Jackson. He had only gone along with it because he had no other choice. It was too hard and too painful and not a place that Aaron wanted to be in, so he got off to Paddy’s leaving Hazel with Jackson.
Aaron held baby Leo, a brand new life in his arms as Hazel prepared to end Jackson’s back at Dale Head. The cutting between the two scenes worked perfectly. The quiet, the silence once more made for such powerful television and the sort of thing that really only Emmerdale is capable of doing in the world of soaps. Hazel dressed Jackson as Aaron held Leo close to him, un-zipping his tiny jacket and listening to his breathing. As Rhona banged on about babysitting duties and had a go at Paddy for changing Leo on the kitchen table, it was clear that Aaron was upset and couldn’t cope. And yet he still couldn’t bring himself to talk to Paddy who asked him what was going on, shaking as he drank some water.
“He’s not coming back is he?!” Jackson asked Hazel as they waited for Aaron to return, to which she replied that of course he was. Jackson said that it didn’t change anything for him, if Aaron was there, he was there but if he wasn’t he was, ‘in here’ and that would have been the point he pointed to his heart if he had fully functional limbs. And so it was just what Aaron needed, as Hazel rang him, to pile just another bit of pressure on Aaron’s already stacked shoulders. She wanted him there. She couldn’t do what Jackson wanted her to do alone and she needed Aaron with her, it didn’t matter what he wanted or what he could cope with, not really. If Aaron didn’t come back, he was letting Jackson down. No words were spoken but we knew. We knew that Aaron would be back there and it broke our hearts to see him heading for the door.
What followed was some beautifully crafted, scripted, directed and acted television and we can’t praise Danny Miller, Marc Silcock and Pauline Quirke, highly enough for the drama and emotion that they were able to encapsulate in their performances. They truly had us on a knife edge. Tears streaming down our faces as Jackson was granted his right to die by the two people who loved him the most and as Jackson had said, given him his greatest gift. There was nothing glorifying about this. It was horrific to watch at times and painful. But it was also quiet, dignified and it had a beauty to it and the acting was top drawer, worthy of a film, something that melted even the hardest of hearts.
“Sometimes I wish I’d never met you, you know!” Aaron said as he was crouched on a chair in Dale Head, his knees up to his chest. “None of this would have happened!” The tears were falling down his face as he spoke the words, telling Jackson that those thoughts didn’t last long anyway, he pushed them out of his head because he just didn’t want to think of a world without Jackson in it. Another great use of close-ups followed as Aaron asked Jackson if he was scared and he faltered slightly before replying.
“Not so much!”
“Liar!” Aaron shot back in a flash.
“Well, I’ve got you here, haven’t I?!” Jackson mouthed back.
“You’re easily pleased!” Aaron sobbed as more tears fell down his cheeks.
“That’s the basis of our relationship!” Jackson batted back. And there you had it. The banter going back and forth, even at their lowest, even when it was goodbye for a final time. Danny and Marc are such incredible young actors who always remained true to the characters that they were playing and the relationship that they had built up on screen over the past eighteen months. It was never going to be full of kissing and intimacy, holding hands and touching all the time because that just wasn’t who Aaron and Jackson were. But, they cared and they loved each other. Even now, it was hard for them to be all mushy.
“You’re supposed to say I’m brilliant!” Aaron whispered.
“Better than nothing?!”
“Some days. Aaron, you’re brilliant!” Jackson was finding it hard to fight back those tears and so were we watching it.
“So are you!”
When Jackson then asked Aaron to help him to bed and call his mum, we knew there was no more time left and with one single look Danny Miller broke our hearts again as his anguished face looked back at Jackson, silently begging for more time. ‘Not yet. Please not yet’. He is outstanding in every dramatic scene that he plays.
As normal life played outside of Dale Head’s windows once more, everyone obvious to the horrific scene that was being played inside. Hazel made up Jackson’s drink and bought it to him. Jackson made sure that Aaron and Hazel knew exactly what they were going to do straight after it once more. Running through with them what they had to do. Call the police, not panic and call an ambulance and look after the lap-top. Jackson, in his own head had everything sorted out and as Aaron tried to stop himself from shaking and crying, Hazel too couldn’t stop the tears from falling down her face as Jackson told them to ‘come here’ and climb onto his bed to be closer to him.
“I wish I had something a bit more original than this but it’s all I’ve got. I love you. I love you both so much!”
And Danny was just immense in this scene. Showing once again, if there was any doubt anywhere, why he is the Best Actor in any soap, through strangled emotion as he sat on Jackson’s bed, his lips trembling as his body shook, he nailed it, as he always does and so did Marc and Pauline.
“I love you too!” Aaron said the words carefully through his sobs.
“And thank you, for this. You’ll never know how grateful I am!” Jackson continued, his head turning slightly to look at his mum, who it had been decided would give him the drink, hold the glass to his lips and assist him in this way. But we knew. Deep down we knew that Hazel wouldn’t be able to bring herself to do it. It was too hard to watch her only son die, too painful and it was killing her and eating her up inside. She couldn’t do it. She tried to hold the cup but her hands were shaking, she tried to look at Jackson as he asked her to and he began to beg her, tears falling down his face like massive water drops , but she couldn’t. Ultimately, Hazel couldn’t end her son’s life. As Hazel cried and Jackson begged once more, it was left to Aaron to take the glass from Hazel’s hands. Composing himself, as he took the glass, looping one hand around Jackson’s neck as he tried to keep his hands from shaking.
“You have changed my life!” Aaron spoke through his tears and then a final kiss goodbye. A sweet and tender kiss of love.
“Please don’t forget me!” Were Jackson’s final words as Aaron at first put the straw to Jackson’s lips but as he gagged and Hazel cried loudly, sobbing uncontrollably, the straw was discarded and Aaron put the glass to Jackson’s lips, holding his head as he drank. He couldn’t watch him, he had to look away as he ended the life of the man that he loved. The next time we saw Aaron, he was running from Dale Head as fast as he could, ignoring his mum shouting to him as well as Paddy and Adam. Hazel was holding Jackson singing ‘Dream a Little Dream.’
“Stars shining bright above you. Night breezes seem to whisper, I love you!”
Paddy and Chas, wanting to know what the story was with Aaron running off like that, knocked on Hazel’s door and were greeted with a distressed Hazel asking them to look out for Aaron, she said she would have run off herself but she couldn’t leave Jackson and that was when she told them.
“He’s not sleeping!”
Adam was chasing after Aaron, catching up with him when he was sick and could no longer run anymore and desperately wanting to know what had happened and what was up with Aaron.
“It’s Jackson’s, he’s dead!” Aaron said through his breaths and tears. “He’s dead. I killed him!” And then he completely broke down. Amazing performance from Danny, amazing episode.
This was also the last time that DMF had what we called a ‘mental night’. It was always such fun and a privilege to share our thoughts on the episodes and tweet you all. From the very first time on ‘Coming Out’ day there had always been so much love for Danny and so many tweets to respond and banter to. We miss those days and the community that we created, but time moved on and we had to as well.
As the shock about Jackson’s death reverberated around the village, Aaron told Adam.
“I put the glass to his lips and he drank, how is that not my doing?!” And as Hazel explained to Chas and Paddy that this was what Jackson wanted, both of them reeled with the shock of what Aaron had been involved in and how they couldn’t see what was going on right under their noses. Hazel called the police, just like Jackson had requested and she was taken down the station for questioning. After talking and confiding in Cain, Aaron, too went down to the police station. They were both bailed after telling the police exactly what had happened, with Hazel going to great lengths to drop Aaron in it, yes, she was starting to get on our nerves big time by this point but Aaron was keen to protect her and look after her, just the way that Jackson had wanted him to. He freely admitted to being the one that held the glass while Jackson drank. Chas and Paddy were angry that Hazel had let and even dragged Aaron into all of this and their anger was easy to understand, when all was said and done, Aaron could have been facing a murder charge, he was nineteen and had his whole life ahead of him, they were scared and worried for him and both loved him. The normally placid Paddy ripped into Hazel at the police station.
“You know his story; you know what he’s been through!” He yelled as he tried to make Hazel see and think about the consequences. As Aaron held him back from going on further with his words.
“Look, we did it together. No one forced anyone into it. Hazel made a choice and so did I and I hope you never have to make one like it Paddy because it’s impossible, right, it’s impossible. Now Jackson has gone. We’ve lost him, we didn’t want to but we have, so whatever happens now, happens coz I don’t give a damn either way.”
As Paddy and Chas continued their onslaught, their opinion being that Hazel had made Aaron do that and cajoled him and emotionally blackmailed (yeah, we got that as well) Aaron still wouldn’t hear a bad word against her. Aaron insisted that Jackson begged him to end his living hell and he would do it again, when Chas told him that they could do him for life for it, Aaron responded with.
“Good, because without him, I don’t have one!”
Of course, Jerry, went mad and that was all par for the course. Having a go at both Hazel and Aaron and calling them murderers and every actor involved in the storyline put in sterling performances.
On June 23rd Aaron was charged with Jackson’s murder. To be honest, we had heard about this via the spoilers in advance and hated it. Hazel got off scot-free, even though she bought the drugs, mixed the drink and bought it to Jackson, for some reason, the good old soap police decided that it was going to be Aaron that was to stand trial for Jackson’s murder. It wasn’t even murder anyway and we’d have to write a massive long essay with tons of research to determine if that would happen in real life – but as we know, this isn’t real life, it’s soap and we just had to go with it, it meant as well that Aaron was up in court the next day, so he would miss Jackson’s funeral. Unbelievable, just how much angst and turmoil could one person go through?! From hearing about it, to the episodes showing on screen, we still couldn’t get our heads around Aaron not being at Jackson’s funeral, after everything they had been through and why Hazel went ahead with it anyway when Aaron couldn’t be there, he had been the one who organized everything. Stubborn to the last, he even told Paddy and Chas he didn’t want anyone in court with him and they were to go to the funeral. Aaron was so adamant that he was going to the funeral, no matter what, saying.
“My boyfriend is getting buried tomorrow, do you really think anything else matters?!” Again, you couldn’t fault the acting but it was making us want to scream at this point.
Jackson’s funeral was again written by Jane Pearson and opened with Aaron punching the walls of his cell, sort of, in our head anyway. He wanted to get out of there and go to the funeral but it was never going to happen. Joe turned up to say goodbye and act as a pall bearer which was nice and as Ashley had refused to take the service, something about assisting suicide he didn’t believe in, another vicar was drafted in, some guy that used to be in the Royal. The episode featured Marc Silcock as Jackson Walsh as a video was shown to the congregation that explained his wish to die and exonerated Aaron and Hazel.
“And that just leaves Aaron. I’m sorry I didn’t wanna embarrass you but I do really. I knew from the minute I saw you, you were the one. Those eyes. That smile. I bet they’re still there because; you were so much more to me than that. You were everything to me. I loved you, totally. And no one sit there and judge my mum and Aaron coz they’re suffering right now and I’m not…” So, as the sound of Florence And The Machine – Between Two Lungs played, Jackson’s coffin was carried out of the church and lowered to the ground.
Again, quite incredible acting from Marc and Pauline. You couldn’t help but be moved by the quality of episodes like this. Later, released on police bail, Aaron went to Jackson’s graveside to say goodbye with some cans of beer, pouring onto the ground and saying ‘goodbye mate’. Aaron was defeated by this point, tired and exhausted and it showed, he didn’t care about himself anymore. He didn’t want to be near Dale Head and he told Hazel that they couldn’t talk anymore, she was a witness and they weren’t allowed to talk to each other.
Other news this month included Marc Silcock doing another interview for the Boston Herald, we secretly wondered why it was that the American press were allowed to get their hands on him and he was being gagged by ITV? His leaving interviews were just your standard press releases. He was such a talent and they should have been proud to have an actor of his calibre working on their show. By June 14th, however, he did appear on This Morning, alongside, series producer, Stuart Blackburn, in which they talked about Jackson’s choice and the assisted suicide storyline, defending their decision to run with it. In truth though, although, looking good, Marc hardly got a word in edgeways.
On June 22nd, we became aware that Dewsbury Town Hall was being used to film court scenes involving the Emmerdale cast and we naturally assumed that this was going to include Aaron, it was looking like the murder trial was very close to being on screen.
Never say that DMF doesn’t notice the important things, as Danny started to sport a fully grown beard, the levels of hotness went off the scale, it also looked like he was growing his hair so it was definitely all good and by June 23rd, Danny’s personal life was looking up again as well. It was reported in the press that he and Kirsty-Leigh Porter were back together. Pictures showing them frolicking in the Lake District were printed and you can’t really argue with photos can you? They looked really posed though, it had to be said, kissing, cuddling, and on a boat, looking really good and happy. We just wondered where they managed to find the sunshine from. It seemed like it was constant rain in May and June.
We got down to some more voting as Danny was nominated for Best Actor in the TV Choice Awards and we suffered with dislocated shoulders and broken laptops while loving Ed Sheeran doing A Team. As U2 finally played a headlining set at Glastonbury in the rain, they smashed it, Andy Murray was again beaten at the semi-final stage of Wimbledon by Rafael Nadal, what is it with getting all our hopes up?!
The major excitement of the month, though came from Take That’s Progress tour. As we all welcomed Robbie Williams back into the fold. It had to be seen to be believed, that this was actually happening. Our hands in the air as we sang our hearts out.
“Someday, soon this will all be someone else’s dream!”