EASTENDERS’ Lola Pearce will die from a brain tumour in tear-jerking scenes mirroring the real-life death of The Wanted’s Tom Parker.
Producers discussed the effect the tragedy of the boy band singer had on the nation, and will replicate the emotions in Albert Square.
Lola, gespeel deur Danielle Harold, will be seen settling down and falling in love with on-off boyfriend Jay Brown before her cancer takes hold.
And viewers will be “in pieces” as they watch the lovebirds torn apart by her terminal diagnosis.
Jay, gespeel deur Jamie Borthwick, will nurse Lola until her final, heart-breaking demise, to be screened later this year.
Soap bosses are determined the exit of the popular character will be handled with “grace and care”, and have worked alongside a brain tumour charity to create the emotional scripts.
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The Sun revealed earlier this month how actress Danielle was in tears after being axed from the BBC1 flagship show.
Script bosses wrestled over whether the single mum character will die from a brain tumour or a car crash. But now the scripts have been ‘locked in’ after an EastEnders team emphasized the impact of Tom Parker’s devastating passing.
An Albert Square insider said: “EastEnders are desperate to make headlines and drive viewing figures with explosive plotlines, and Lola’s exit will have diehard fans in bits. It will be a compulsive watch.
“But eyebrows will be raised at the internal discussions over Tom Parker’s untimely death. Some people were left uncomfortable that the inspiration for boosting viewing figures came from such a real-life tragedy.”
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The Sun told how Danielle, 29, met with bosses after her contract had just six months left to run. She was expecting to discuss an extension, but instead heard the shocking news she was being forced out.
The move is part of sweeping changes being made at EastEnders by new executive producer Chris Clenshaw in a bid to stop viewers leaving in droves.
Other characters getting the chop include Jada Lennox, played by Kelsey Calladine-Smith, Peter Beale, played by Dayle Hudson, Dana Monroe, played by Barbara Smith and Stuart Highway, played by Ricky Champ. Danny Dyer’s Mick Carter is also saying farewell to Walford – but expressly against the wishes of bosses.
Danielle’s character is a single mum to daughter Lexi, who she shares with Ben Mitchell.
Lola was recently in a relationship with Isaac – played by Stevie Basaula – who recently left Albert Square to go and care for his sick mother.
Pretty Danielle played Lola in EastEnders from 2011-2015, before making a dramatic return to the soap in 2019.
After getting the chop, Danielle said: “I want to work on other things and play other characters. I can’t wait to get out there and see what’s possible. I’d love to do a drama — something with a beginning, middle and an end to the story.” Tom Parker died of an incurable brain tumour in March aged 33 – less than two years after his diagnosis.
The Wanted band member was surrounded by family in his last moments, sy vrou, Kelsey, gesê. The heartthrob was one of the 2,000 people in the UK to be diagnosed with a glioblastoma each year. It is almost always fatal due to the complexity of treating it, and has an average life expectancy of between 12 en 18 maande.
The dad-of-two left behind two children who he shared with 30-year-old actress and blogger Kelsey – Aurelia, twee, and Bodhi, een.
Tom was best known for being a member of the award-winning British pop group The Wanted, which produced top hits All Time Low and Heart Vacancy.
Bolton-born Tom worked hard to raise awareness of the incurable disease that would end up taking his life, determined to leave a positive legacy.
He was shocked at the lack of treatment and funding for brain cancer patients in the UK, having had some of his own therapy in Spain.
Tom organised a star-studded charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, which raised money for Stand Up To Cancer and The National Brain Appeal.
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The gig, in 2021, was supported by McFly, Liam Payne and Ed Sheeran.
Last night EastEnders chose not to comment. But a source close to the BBC1 show said: “Chris has been working on this idea for the character of Lola for several months now, you can’t rush this type of storyline as it needs to be handled with care. Soos gewoonlik, EastEnders are working with a charity to ensure it’s shown in the most sensitive and accurate way possible. It’s going to be very emotional.”