EASTENDERS actress Gillian Wright has spoken out about playing Jean Slater’s cancer storyline and revealed it’s made her better at “living in the moment”.
Gillian’s character Jean was diagnosed with ovarian cancer earlier this year, and viewers have watched the cleaner undergo gruelling surgery and chemotherapy.
What is Jean Slater’s cancer storyline in EastEnders?
Jean Slater thought she’d started the menopause early in EastEnders after recently suffering from health problems.
But a visit to the GP revealed things could be more serious than she realised.
When the doctor told her she wanted to do some extra tests after finding a lump in her abdomen, the cleaner hid the news from her daughter Stacey Fowler.
In March she was told that she had stage three ovarian cancer and would need to start chemotherapy immediately.
After her first operation, Jean was gutted to discover that her cancer had spread.
Viewers have since watched the character suffer through mental as well as physical health issues.
Is Jean Slater going to die in EastEnders?
It’s not known how Jean’s battle with cancer will end in EastEnders.
EastEnders producer Kate Oates said: "I know an actor of Gillian’s (Wright) calibre will approach the story with great truth and depth.
"The Slaters are an amazing ensemble family and this story is a completely fresh subject for them to tackle.
"I know they will do it justice and raise awareness of such an important issue that affects so many people."
What has EastEnders’ actress Gillian Wright said about Jean’s cancer storyline?
Speaking to What’s On TV, the star, 59, said: “Jean has grown enormously, and learnt to be brave on many occasions and for many reasons – particularly at this time, when her son and daughter aren’t around and she’s going through what she’s going through.
“The side effects of the treatment are the most debilitating, and she has found a strength of character because she has got through it, so far.”
Asked about whether her character’s plot has impacted on her personally, Gillian added: “Yes it has, actually. I’m definitely trying to be present.
"I always thought I was very good at living in the moment but I can’t tell you the number of times when I’ve thought ‘Where’s your head at, girl?” as I’m walking the dog and thinking about an argument I should’ve had!"
She added: “So I’m learning to be better at living in the moment, and teaching myself to not get so stressed about stuff, like DIY situations; to try and just work things through so that you achieve the end result you want.”
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