Many have praised Gillian Wright for her moving performance as Jean and the BBC soap star has divulged why she didn’t commit to shaving her hair off in the hard-hitting storyline.
Viewers saw Jean’s son Sean (Robert Kazinsky) shave her hair off at her request before it fell out due to the chemotherapy treatment, leaving her bald.
Jean star Gillian appeared on Lorraine today where she spoke candidly about the cancer storyline.
The EastEnders actress has now revealed why she opted to wear a bald cap as opposed to actually shaving it off in real life.
She said: ”I did give that a lot of thought. But there were two main reasons I didn’t go down that path.
“I’ve got friends and family who are going through, or have gone through, treatment for cancer, and some of whom have lost their hair.
“And it just didn’t sit right with me to do this as a game of pretend.”
Gillian also said due to shooting schedules it would have been difficult as scenes were filmed out of sequence.
She added: “One was logistics in terms of Rob Kazinsky, who plays my son. His availability meant we had to shoot that week’s storyline well early in the year.
“So all the things I did with climbing the O2 and all of that was done afterwards, which would’ve meant I would’ve had to wear a wig to look like me.
“It was a bit risky at the top of the O2 – a bit windy.”
Gillian went on to say that Stacey Fowler actress Lacey Turner couldn’t keep her eyes off Gillian’s new appearance.
“In one of the scenes I was shooting with Lacey [Turner, Stacey Fowler], she arrived on set, we were in the back of the ambulance and every time I turned around she was just staring,” she explained.
There looks to be some excitement for Jean on the horizon as Adrian Edmondson is joining the cast as a love interest for her.
Adrian will play Daniel Cook, who has been described as “charming and with a wicked sense of humour” as well as “the perfect antidote for Jean as she continues her treatment for ovarian cancer”.
Meanwhile, Adrian said of his new role: “There were only 15 boys on my drama course at Manchester Uni, and I’ll be the third to appear in EastEnders – so I feel it’s a kind of tradition.
“The other two being Tom Watt (Lofty Holloway) and Paul Bradley (Nigel Bates).”
EastEnders’ executive producer Jon Sen added: “Adrian’s a phenomenal talent who will bring his unique blend of intelligence, warmth and humour to the role of Daniel.
“We’re all over the moon he’s coming to Walford, and can’t wait for this love story to hit screens later this year.”
EastEnders continues tonight at 7.30pm on BBC One.