EASTENDERS actress Gillian Wright opened up about her Jean Slater cancer storyline today.
The EastEnders cast member was on ITV’s Lorraine today to talk about the emotional ovarian cancer storyline.
Actress Gillian Wright, who plays Jean Slater, told Lorraine Kelly the processes she had to go through for the role.
She also revealed the heartbreaking reason why she didn’t actually shave her head.
Gillian, 59, told the Scottish presenter that it took up to five hours in the hair and makeup department some days to prepare her wig for the cancer storyline – admitting she got “fidgety”.
“I’ve had friends and family go through cancer, and it didn’t sit right with me to play a game of pretend”
Lorraine probed: “You did want to shave your head instead?”
Gillian replied: “There were two main reasons I didn’t.
“Firstly, the logistics – we had to fit things around Robert Kazinsky’s (Sean Slater) schedule and we had to film some scenes early on.
“So this would have meant I’d have to wear a wig to look like my own hair.”
She added: “And also I’ve had friends and family go through cancer, and it didn’t sit right with me to play a game of pretend.”
Gillian also confessed to Lorraine that she felt like she’d been “punched in the stomach” when she first heard about Jean’s cancer storyline.
She admitted she was worried about the responsibility, adding: “I knew it was a big one.”
However, she said she is pleased the storyline is bringing more awareness to ovarian cancer, as some confuse it with other cancers.
Ovarian cancer is when abnormal cells in the ovary begin to grow and divide in an uncontrolled way, and eventually form a growth (tumour).
Lorraine airs weekdays on ITV at 8:30am and EastEnders returns to BBC One tonight, airing at 7:30pm.