Alzheimer’s sufferer Sylvie – played by Linda Marlowe – suffered a fatal electric shock after using a CD player in the bathroom.
In tonight’s (30 March) episode of the BBC One soap, a disorientated Sylvie woke up at the Queen Vic and – after finding the upstairs floor deserted – proceeded to run herself a bath.
However, Sylvie wasn’t safety-conscious due to her condition and decided to take a CD player into the bathroom with her so that she could listen to music as she bathed. Later, viewers saw Sylvie lean forward towards the CD player which was resting on the side of the bath, before the pub was plunged into darkness.
As Johnny tried to determine the cause of the electrical fault at the fuse box, Tina went upstairs to investigate and made a grim discovery.
“I had done some research before I got the role of Sylvie because there was a one woman show I had intended to do about somebody with dementia, and I visited this beautiful home down in Cornwall. I was there for three days spending time with the residents. It was a wonderful bit of research I’d done, not knowing that later I was going to be playing Sylvie. I also had a friend with vascular dementia and he died while I was actually filming EastEnders.
“The unbelievably extraordinary thing I’ve had is the huge amount of people that stop me in the street, and just how young they are, more so than adults. Girls and boys tell me they absolutely love the character and have rushed after me to say I’ve helped them because their nan is like Sylvie, and they love their nan so much and it makes them feel alright because it’s done so beautifully. They say Sylvie makes them understand because it reminds them of their own life.” – Linda Marlowe
Sylvie has been a resident of Walford and a more frequent presence in EastEnders since spring 2016, after appearing on an occasional basis from December 2014 before that. The character was brought in to expand on the Carter family’s backstory with Shirley coming face-to-face with her estranged mum after decades.
“It has been a wonderful role. It’s a gift for an actress to get a role like that, with so much depth of different behaviour at different times. Also to have done it for two and half years, I’ve never played the same character for so long. There were so many layers and that was a really great role to play.
“I think Tina will be devastated, she will feel completely guilty because she was trying to deal with her mum and look after her. She didn’t have any help and she was having to leave Sylvie alone, and that’s what she was avoiding. Tina finally knew she had to get her into a home but left it just that bit too late. I think it’ll have a tremendous impact on Tina.” – Linda Marlowe
Marlowe’s other credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, The House of Mirth, Love Hurts, She’s Out and Family.
Elsewhere in EastEnders tonight an unconscious Michelle (Jenna Russell) was rushed to hospital after crashing into her cousin Ian’s chip shop. By the end of the episode Michelle was about to undergo an ‘emergency procedure’ while Kush (Davood Ghadami) and Kathy (Gillian Taylforth) both appear to have escaped from the incident with minor injuries.