EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders star Danielle Harold has spoken out about portraying Lola Pearce's harrowing brain tumour storyline on the BBC One soap.
As fans have seen, Lola recently found out she had a tumour after experiencing headaches as well as dizzy and fainting spells. She was later admitted to hospital for surgery, but Wednesday's (November 2) episode confirmed a tragic outcome. It was revealed that doctors were unable to remove all of the tumour and Lola received the news that it was sadly uncurable.
Speaking on The One Show before the episode aired, Harold spoke about the weight of being part of such a poignant storyline.
"It's been a massive responsibility to be given this storyline by the show just because it's affected so many people... I didn't realise just how little awareness there is and how little funding there actually is for brain tumour research as well. To touch on this story, it really means a lot to me and the show," she shared.
The actress also spoke about how important it is to highlight how brain tumors affect the patient's family too, saying: "With a diagnosis like this it doesn't just affect the person, it massively affects the whole person around that family as well so it's just so important for us to show the different dynamics in a disease like that."
She then touched on the significance of seeing the difficult diagnosis through the eyes of a child, as viewers have seen Lola and Ben's daughter Lexi deal with her mum's illness. "I've got a little one in [the show] as well. To show her side of things and how you deal with it as a child is just so important," Harold shared.
“It doesn’t just affect the person, it affects the whole family around that person.” - @DHaroldOfficial on Lola’s storyline in @BBCEastenders 💚#TheOneShow 👉 https://t.co/ovdgLu2Sqz pic.twitter.com/3g0TxLQpWx
— BBC The One Show (@BBCTheOneShow) November 2, 2022
The star previously spoke to Inside Soap about the distressing storyline, admitting she was "glad" the soap decided to shine a light on brain tumour patients "because it’s not previously had time dedicated to it in the soap".
She added: “It’s nice to highlight this when there is so little funding for brain tumour research in the UK. Other countries have developed more than we have; I hope it raises awareness and does some good.”
Harold's departure and Lola's sad death was officially confirmed back in the summer, with the soap star telling Daily Star she was looking forward to some new ventures following her EastEnders stint. “I want to work on other things and play other characters. I can't wait to get out there and see what's possible," she said at the time.
"I'd love to do a drama — something with a beginning, middle and an end to the story.”
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
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