EastEnders' star says heartbreaking exit will never leave her

EastEnders' Danielle Harold has opened up on playing Lola Pearce-Brown's heart-wrenching exit storyline following her NTAs win.

The soap star earned the Serial Drama Performance Award for Lola's terminal brain tumour story at last night's (September 5) NTAs.

Speaking with press including Digital Spy, Harold admitted that such a hard-hitting plot and meeting people affected by brain tumours during her research for the role will always stay with her.

"Personally I don't think you really disconnect from something like this," the actress said.

danielle harold, national television awards 2023
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She continued: "When you work so closely with people that are suffering from brain tumours, family that have been affected by brain tumours [...] You just feel such a connection."

Harold went on to mention the importance of portraying such a delicate storyline accurately, thanking the patients and families "who have helped me massively with the story to make it as true as we can".

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Related: EastEnders airs another cameo from Lola Pearce-Brown

Earlier this year, Harold – who portrayed Lola for 12 years prior to her heartbreaking exit – described the atmosphere on set as she played her character's most difficult scenes, seeing her body deteriorate as the illness progressed.

"To put yourself in that mindset, it was really difficult to slow the body down – doing the breathing, everything," she said.

"The vibe on set was just so respectful. I can't tell you how respectful it felt, it really was a completely different vibe that I had never felt before.

"I think it was because everyone on set had been affected by cancer, so it just meant so much to everybody that we got it correct."

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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