Why is Eastenders axing Lola Pearce from the soap and how has actress Danielle Harold reacted to the decision?

The actress has portrayed the role of Lola Pearce on and off since 2011

Amid rumours of a major ‘shake up’ to the cast of Eastenders, one of the more popular cast members, Danielle Harold’s character, Lola Pearce, is to be axed.

It is believed that any chance of a return to the soap for Danielle, who has portrayed Lola since 2011 will be quelled as she is set to be killed off.

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Despite not being one of the most prolific cast members in the show, she has played her part in the past.

In 2012, she was at the heart of a teenage pregnancy storyline which saw her become the first EastEnders actress to act out giving birth live on air.

Why is Eastenders axing Lola Pearce?

The news that Danielle, who has been a stalwart of the Walford show for the better part of a decade, is to be axed is said to be part of new top producer Chris Clenshaw’s scheme to shake things up with bombshell twists over the coming months.

Why would there be a shake up?

In the UK, there are three soaps regarded as the ‘big three’, that consists of Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Eastenders.

After a new schedule to the soaps was announced in March 2022, Coronation Street has had the most views, whilst Emmerdale trails leaving Eastenders last.

It was reported from the Guardian that Eastenders was ‘struggling with views’ in April 2022, and it may be that Danielle’s character is the first of a big shake up.

The set has recently had a major £87 million upgrade, which has allowed for a better viewing experience. The set was four years overdue, and around £27 million over-budget, with the new set  originally due to be finished by 2018, at a cost of £59.7m.

How did Danielle Harold react?

Whilst the actress has not yet taken to Twitter or Instagram in light of the news, an insider at the TV show told The Sun: “She was not expecting the chop because her character has been a firm favourite with viewers. She’ll be written out with no option to return.”

It is also believed that it is a bitter blow that there will never be a chance to reprise her role, with her character set to come to an end for good.

Who is Danielle Harold?

Danielle Harold is a 30-year-old actor, who was born in Lewisham, London.

She is most known for her portrayal of Lola Pearce on the popular BBC soap, Eastenders.

Her character, Lola, was first introduced to viewers in 2011, with her character being the granddaughter of long-term favourite, Billy Mitchell.

She was a regular on the soap for around four years, before it was announced she was being written out of the show, and she left in 2015.

Around three years later, it was then announced that Danielle would reprise her role as Lola, and on 1 April 2019, she returned to the soap with her on-screen daughter, Lexi.

She is the first EastEnders actress to portray giving birth live on air, and the second British soap actress to do so, after Coronation Street actress Jennie McAlpine.