EastEnders – why was Lola Pearce-Brown written out?

·4-min read

EastEnders spoilers follow.

EastEnders star Danielle Harold is taking centre stage in award-worthy scenes this fortnight, as her popular character Lola Pearce-Brown nears the end of her life.

Show bosses have confirmed that Lola's final scenes will air during next Wednesday's episode (May 31) as she says some final goodbyes to her loved ones before tragically passing away.

The tear-jerking plot has understandably left many fans with mixed feelings. The story has allowed Danielle to show just how brilliant she is, but this amazing work also displays just what EastEnders is sadly losing with her departure from the cast.

So, why did the show take this route with Lola? As her final scenes get closer, here's a quick reminder.

lola pearce, eastenders

Lola's final scenes have been a year in the making, as word leaked out in early June 2022 that Danielle was being written out of the show.

Tabloid reports at the time revealed that Danielle had been called to a meeting with the show's bosses, who shared their plans to kill off Lola in a tragic storyline.

Danielle broke her silence days later on the red carpet at the British Soap Awards 2022, where she told the Daily Star: "EastEnders has been such a big part of my life, but I can't wait to start something new.

"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.

"I want to do something completely different to soaps. I'd love to get back to doing some films as well."

lola pearce in eastenders

By the end of June last year, further leaks from the set revealed details of the brain tumour storyline. However, it was only officially confirmed with an announcement from EastEnders at the beginning of October 2022.

Show chiefs revealed that they had teamed up with Brain Tumour Research and Macmillan Cancer Support in their research.

Danielle said at the time: "It means so much to be trusted with a storyline like this – one that's close to many people's hearts. Sadly many of our viewers will be able to relate to Lola's story and it's been heartbreaking to speak to the families affected by brain tumours and hear their stories.

"They've been so amazing in sharing their experiences with me, and I'm so lucky to have them. I wouldn't be able to do this storyline without their support."

lola pearce in eastenders
Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes - BBC

Lola's illness was later confirmed on screen as terminal, so in November last year, EastEnders' executive producer Chris Clenshaw was asked directly about the choice to write her out. He insisted that it wasn't a decision that the show had taken lightly.

Quizzed on whether it's difficult to see a fan favourite character go, Clenshaw told Inside Soap: "Of course, that is the nature of soap, it's always tough and we don't like to say goodbye.

"But when you play big stories it has to be with characters you love. Lola is a much-loved character – she has grown up in Walford and is very close to the audience's heart, which is why her story matters so much.

"We wouldn't do this story with anyone, but it is an important story that needs to be told."

kathy beale, phil mitchell, lola pearce, eastenders

In April this year, Danielle shared an emotional message with fans on Instagram after filming her final scenes.

She told fans: "Lola’s story has been a very hard one to tell and one that means so much to me and sadly affects so many people.

"Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically only 1% of research is allocated to this devastating disease.

"I would like to take a moment for everybody that has reached out to me and shared their experiences with me. I have read every message and hold all of your messages close to my heart whilst playing this story."

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

Organisations including Brain Tumour Research, Macmillan Cancer Support and Stand Up to Cancer can provide help and support to those living with brain cancer and their loved ones.

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