Patsy Kensit is about to make an emotional return to EastEnders to say goodbye to her on-screen daughter Lola Pearce.
Lola, played by Danielle Harold, died of terminal cancer last month as part of a heartbreaking storyline in the BBC soap opera.
And in emotional scenes airing next week, the residents of Albert Square will gather to say a final goodbye to Lexi’s beloved mother and Jay Brown’s wife.
Patsy made her debut in the BBC One soap opera as Emma Harding, Lola’s estranged mother, but eventually left in March when her daughter’s terminal prognosis became too much for her to bear.
The EastEnders character was banished by both Lola and partner Jay, played by Jamie Borthwick, but is encouraged in new scenes to return to pay her last respects.
Sad: Patsy Kensit is set for an emotional return to EastEnders to say goodbye to her late daughter Lola Pearce
Images released by EastEnders show Patsy’s character nervous as she arrives at the church.
She carries a huge bunch of flowers and looks around nervously before seeing Honey, played by Emma Barton, in the crowd.
Honey then encourages her to join the crematorium service for her estranged daughter, but the grieving mother’s emotions get the better of her and she panics.
It remains to be seen if she can muster her feelings to say her final goodbyes.
Last month, viewers said goodbye to Lola Pearce as the beloved character tragically passed away after a battle with terminal brain cancer.
In June 2022, it was revealed that Danielle would be leaving EastEnders as her character in the tragic storyline would be written out.
At the time, a source claimed that Danielle had been left “in pieces” with the news, leaving her with no option to return due to the tragic ending.
A TV show insider told The Sun at the time, “She didn’t expect the blow because her character is a huge viewer favorite. She will be deregistered with no possibility of return.’
Tragic: Lola, played by Danielle Harold, died of terminal cancer last month as part of a heartbreaking storyline in the BBC soap
Devastating: Images released by EastEnders show Patsy’s character nervous as she arrives at the church
Drama: Patsy debuted in the BBC One soap opera as Emma Harding, Lola’s estranged mother, but eventually left in March when her daughter’s terminal prognosis became too much for her to bear
Since then, Danielle has openly shared her anger at leaving her character behind after nearly 14 years.
Upon exiting the role, Danielle said, “(It’s) 14 years almost, she’s becoming a little part of you. I will be so sad to say goodbye to her.”
She added, “It was really important to just keep to yourself – this is what I heard from the girls (while doing research), it can be portrayed in a very stark way, but it’s not always.”
EastEnders executive producer Chris Clenshaw also recently revealed why they chose Lola for the soap’s tragic terminal cancer storyline.
According to Chris, the character had to be “loved” in order to achieve the show bosses’ goal of raising awareness for the disease.
At a press screening for Lola’s latest episode, he said discussed the enormous thought that went into their decision.
He revealed, “The end of one of our biggest storylines of the last year, and almost everyone on the show is extremely proud of the story. It is also an extremely sad time for us as we say goodbye to the incredible Danielle Harold.”
He continued, “When we first came up with the idea of telling the story, we debated for a long time, and it certainly wasn’t a decision we took lightly.
“The story was so powerful and we know from previous stories like this that when EastEnders tackles or raises awareness about an issue the impact can be huge and we all felt this was one of those stories that needed to be told.
“With the support of Brain Tumor Research and Macmillan Cancer Support, whose help and support has been invaluable to us as well as all families and especially those actually going through what Lola is, our understanding of the issue grew and we knew exactly how important was that we told this story.
Sad: In June 2022, it was revealed that Danielle would be leaving EastEnders as her character was to be written out in the tragic storyline
“And I can tell you, from the beginning Danielle poured her heart and soul, not only into the execution but also into the detailed research.”
He added, “I find it incredibly difficult. None of us want to say goodbye to the character and none of us want to say goodbye to Danielle, but I think that’s the character that Danielle created.
“She is so loved, and you can only really tell a story like this with a character who is so loved. We all know how talented Danielle is. But from the beginning of this storyline, she blew everyone away.”