EastEnders stars run London Marathon in character for brain tumour storyline

EastEnders actors Jamie Borthwick and Emma Barton are running the London Marathon in character as part of a brain tumour storyline.

Last year the BBC One soap said goodbye to Lola Pearce-Brown, played by Danielle Harold, in heart-wrenching scenes as she died following her diagnosis with a glioblastoma multiforme.

On Sunday, in a clip played on BBC One, the actors; Borthwick, 29, who plays Lola’s husband Jay Brown; and Barton, 46, who portrays Honey Mitchell, said their characters will run the marathon in honour of Lola.

Borthwick said: “Over the last 18 months, we have seen a storyline where my wife Lola, had developed a brain tumour.

“We just really tried to make it as real as we could and our lovely boss dropped the idea to us that maybe our characters would run the marathon.”

Barton added: “I think it’s a really clever idea that EastEnders have done to show what a lot of the people all over the country are doing.

“And that’s raising money for their charities or in memory of a loved one.

“As Honey and Jay are going to be running the London Marathon, we are going to be filmed live on the London Marathon day, which will then go into Monday April 22’s show at 7.30pm. This has never been done before in soap history.”

The actress added that it is very “daunting” and said: “Really we’re relying on all the people that are gonna come to London and just cheer us on and that’s gonna just get us through and we’re gonna love it.”

Presenter JJ Chalmers spoke to the duo at the 12-mile point.

Borthwick said: “It’s fantastic. So far, we are struggling a bit. But are we getting through, the crowds are great.”

He added: “Everyone’s been great.

“It’s such a great day, and everyone’s screaming and shouting and it’s brilliant.”

Asked if they were ready for their EastEnders scene, Barton said: “We just have to treat it like any other scene of EastEnders, professionally, we’re gonna get it done and then we can relax for the last half.”

Last year the long-running BBC soap dominated the Inside Soap Awards, taking home six gongs out of a possible 15 and Harold took home best actress for her performance as Lola while Borthwick was awarded best actor and Max Bowden (Ben Mitchell) secured soap superstar of 2023.

The EastEnders London Marathon episode will air Monday 7.30pm on BBC One.