EastEnders star Danielle Harold opens up over filming Lola's goodbyes
EastEnders spoilers follow.
EastEnders actor Danielle Harold has spoken out about her character Lola Pearce-Brown and leaving the long-running soap this month.
Danielle's character Lola was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year, and despite a courageous battle with a terminal illness, her last episode will air on May 31.
Having joined the BBC soap in 2011, the star has revealed how it felt covering such an important storyline and how difficult it was to film her last few scenes.
She said: "It's been really difficult filming these last few scenes over because it does get really tough, especially towards the end.
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"It's such a heartbreaking diagnosis and it's not nice to watch or to play, so working with the charities has been so important for us because we want to portray Lola's diagnosis both accurately and sensitively while also raising awareness to hopefully make a change."
Fans have supported the star and praised how she has portrayed Lola since the diagnosis.
"The response from everybody has been really overwhelming but really lovely as they're really supportive of Lola. It's been so lovely to see that," she added.
In true EastEnders fashion, things are not going to plan in Albert Square, and as Lola's final chapter starts to close, her nearest and dearest attempt to gather to show their love and support.
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In scenes yet to air, Lola's friends and family say farewell in their own way, whether by visiting her like Jay (Jamie Borthwick), Billy (Perry Fenwick), and Lexi (Isabella Brown) or attending a lock-in with Linda (Kellie Bright).
She commented on how the cast is like a family on- and off-screen and how she enjoyed working with Jamie, Perry and Isabella for so long: "We're all just so close, we're like a real family unit – both on and off screen!
"It's been so special doing this with them, and I really couldn't have done this with anyone else because we just all work in such a great way together, and taking on this story was such a team effort from all of us."
Although we know Billy visits Lola, it is hit-or-miss for a while after he has a problematic run-in with Nish and local policeman Jack Branning, which jeopardises his opportunity to say goodbye to his granddaughter Lola.
Ben Mitchell is also missing after he heads to the US in a last-minute effort to find an alternative treatment for Lola.
Will he make it back in time to see her?
EastEnders airs on Mondays - Thursdays at 7.30pm on BBC One. The show also streams on BBC iPlayer.
Read more EastEnders spoilers on our dedicated homepage
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