EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders has begun Lola Pearce’s final storyline, with her recently learning that she has a brain tumour and her diagnosis is terminal. Next week, she’s going to make the heartbreaking decision to tell Lexi about it, after her first radiotherapy appointment.
Speaking about the response from viewers, Jay Brown actor Jamie Borthwick has explained that the storyline has already been resonating with fans, even though it’s still quite early on.
“It’s nice that it’s being well-received and touching people,” Borthwick said.
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“In the street, people are saying, ‘Oh, Lola can’t die! It’s so sad! I don’t know how I’m going to cope when she actually dies!’ I’m thinking, ‘I know! Me neither!’
“We hope we can make a lot of noise with it and raise awareness about a family going through such a thing. If it’s hitting any of those notes, I’m certainly happy about that.”
Going into detail specifically on his character’s mindset, the actor explained that Jay will try to put on a brave face, but will still struggle immensely.
“He’s actually in pieces. I think he’s trying not to think about the inevitable day and trying to make the most of the time they’ve got left,” he continued.
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“He knows that inevitably he’s completely powerless. He wants to come up with this miracle cure, which means it will be okay, but he can’t.
“What an awful feeling that must be that the one you love is going through hell, and she’s scared and knows she’s going to die, and the one person who’s meant to be there and save her from all the trouble can’t do anything, can’t help her.
“I’ve never been through that, so I’m just trying to go on instinct. I like to keep things as real and natural as possible, so hopefully, I’m doing that.”
Danielle Harold, who plays Lola, recently spoke about her character’s storyline, calling it a “massively humbling experience” and adding that it has given her a “different outlook on life”.
EastEnders airs on Mondays-Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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Organisations including Brain Tumour Research, Macmillan Cancer Support and Stand Up to Cancer can provide help and support to those living with brain cancer and their loved ones.