More drama, and with any hope a slap (there's always a slap), could be in the near future as the official news comes in that Gillian Wright, who plays the character Jean Slater, plans on leaving the set of the show as early as this week. Her final episodes will air in October. The fifty three year old actress has played the character of mild-mannnered Jean for eight years, first starring in the stalwart soap in 2004 and was made a regular three years later in 2007.
Jean Slater, of the infamous Slater family, has always struck a cord with audiences due to her people-pleasing yet troubled nature, as she battles continually with bipolar disorder. It has been suggested the plotline for her departure will entails deliberation over whether or not to tell newcomer to Albert Square, her lover Ollie Walters. In true soap format, as one comes, one must leave.
Wright has one numerous accolades for her portrayal of Slater,including 'Best Actress' at the 2012 Inside Soap Awards. In a recent statement following her decision to leave the actress stated, 'It has been a huge privilege to play Jean Slater these last eight years. I treasure the viewers' care and love for the character not only through her hard times but through all the laughter too. I will miss EastEnders enormously, but it is time for me to step back and enjoy other acting challenges. I would love Jean to return to The Square one day, so let's hope this is not goodbye, but au revoir.'
Watch some of her best bits here... and why not have a second video with a classic slap moment for good measure?