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Home » EastEnders’ Perry Fenwick Says Lola’s Exit Is The Saddest

EastEnders’ Perry Fenwick Says Lola’s Exit Is The Saddest

EastEnders star Perry Fenwick has said Lola Pearce-Brown’s death is “without a shadow of a doubt” the saddest exit in the history of his time on the show.

The 60-year-old actor joined EastEnders in 1998 to play the hapless resident of Albert Square Billy Mitchell who found out more than a decade ago that he was Lola’s grandfather.

Danielle Harold plays hairdresser and mother Lola who has a brain tumour and has recently learned that she has months to live.

When asked if this had been his saddest storyline, Fenwick said: “Without a shadow of a doubt, I’ve been on the show for 25 years this year, we’ve seen a lot of people come and go … it’s just devastating.”

Everyone needs friends like this. #EastEnders

— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) May 25, 2023 He added that he was in “real life” also losing 30-year-old Harold – who joined the soap in 2011 and has been at the centre of other hard-hitting storylines, including a teenage pregnancy – from the workplace.

Speaking about the work that has gone into the storyline, Fenwick also said: “(We’ve) come up with this euphemism of this whole storyline being like our little Sistine Chapel and we have to get every single bit of it right … at the end of a hard day we’d say that’s that bit painted, that’s that bit done, are we all happy with it?”

He said he put himself in a “dark and really horrible” place to get to the emotional stage where he could show Billy grappling with Lola’s glioblastoma multiforme diagnosis.

Fenwick added: “It’s been hard, but it’s kind of I think the message that it’s put out for the show, (executive producer) Chris (Clenshaw), for the actors, there’s a few of us in this storyline who have kind of been on the backbench for a while in terms of EastEnders and it’s a fantastic opportunity.”

Harold said the episode was the “most difficult thing” she has ever filmed and added that the vibe on set was “completely different” as her illness got worse in next week’s episodes.

She said: “I think because everyone in some way has been affected by cancer, so it just meant so much to everybody that we got it so correct.

“And yeah, I really struggled. It was really difficult and obviously having to listen to these guys’ goodbyes to me and not cry was really hard.

Perry Fenwick described Danielle Harold’s departure as the saddest exit he’s seen since being on the show (Image: BBC/Jack Barnes/Kieron McCarron)

“I actually had to ask the medical advisor: ‘Can you cry when you’re at that stage?’ And she said: ‘Yeah, you can hear so your emotions are still there’. So that definitely helped me be able to play (the) last scenes for sure.”

She also thanked Clenshaw for “the best exit” and said she originally told him that she did not think she was the right person for the storyline.

Harold added: “So for me, it’s been so overwhelming, because I never felt like that character (was well liked as) Chris thought I was.”

After leaving, she said she will be taking Lola’s wedding dress, which she wore to marry Jay Brown (Jamie Borthwick), and the picture of the day from the set.

Borthwick, 28, said he and Harold had a pact that if “we’re not married” by the age of around 40 then they would tie the knot.

Clenshaw also teased that Jay will “find friendship with an unlikely person” after Lola dies.

The characters will need to work out how Lola’s daughter Lexi Pearce, played by Isabella Brown, will be raised in the future.

EastEnders will air next week on BBC One.