EastEnders star Lorraine Stanley lands new role after Karen Taylor exit

EastEnders star Lorraine Stanley has announced her next project since leaving her role as Karen Taylor.

The soap star will appear in feature film Departures, alongside Hollyoaks' David Tag, Emmerdale star Liam Boyle, and Waterloo Road actor Olly Rhodes. She will appear as lead character Benji's mother, Janet, with filming for the project beginning in Manchester.

It is directed by Neil Ely and Lloyd Eyre-Morgan, who worked on Channel 4's short film S.A.M starring George Webster. A release date is yet to be announced.

lorraine stanley, departures movie
Courtesy of Departures Film

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Speaking about the film, Lorraine paid tribute to the cast and crew on Departure following her exit from the BBC soap in 2023.

"It was a pleasure to work in Manchester with Lloyd and Neil, and a really lovely cast and crew. This film is an LGBTQ project about grief and loss of letting go of a toxic relationship," she said in a statement.

"I was honoured to be offered the part of Janet - Benji's mum as I've worked with Lloyd Eyre-Morgan before and love his style of work. As you'll see in the film, Janet has had a hard past and is trying to support her son throughout his journey in the best way she can (although she has an old-school mentality and can be very brash).

david tag, lorraine stanley, departures movie behind the scenes
Courtesy of Departures Film

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"I was on my way to the station to go home but decided to have a quickie in Gay Village! We had such a great night and I met some of the loveliest people!! I love Manchester, everyone's friendlier up north."

Departures has been described as a "British northern gritty comedy-drama" that "invites you into Benji's (Eyre-Morgan) uproarious journey as he returns to Amsterdam, wrestling with the fallout of his affair with a married bisexual man he met there the year before."

The synopsis continues: "Amidst the chaos of toxic relationships and endless pints, Benji sets off on a deeply moving quest for redemption and self-discovery. With a perfect blend of northern wit and heartwarming moments, Departures explores bisexuality and relationships, leaving you laughing, crying, and ultimately, inspired."

Departures is yet to receive a release window. EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer, where most episodes drop early at 6am ahead of their TV broadcast.

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