The BBC EastEnders website reveals this morning that mother and daughter duo Jean and Stacey Slater – played by Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner respectively – are to depart the soap opera.
“I’ve had the most fantastic time at EastEnders… …Stacey has been such a brilliant role for me to play as has being part of the feisty Slater family. I’m so lucky to have had such challenging storylines, from the affair with Max and being diagnosed with bipolar to the complete shock of being revealed as Archie’s killer during the live 25th Anniversary episode. I’ll miss Stacey and everyone in Albert Square very much but the time has come to try something different.” – Lacey Turner
Turner has been with the BBC One London-based soap for five years, featuring in numerous dramatic storylines in that time. These include Stacey’s turbulent relationship with Bradley Branning (Charlie Clements), a torrid affair with Bradley’s father Max (Jake Wood) and being diagnosed with bi polar.
Stacey was also a big part of EastEnders 25th anniversary live episode back in February during which it emerged that she was the one who killed Archie Mitchell (Larry Lamb).
Wright, whose storylines have focused on Jean’s bi polar, also told the BBC how much she’d enjoyed being part of the show.
“It’s been an honour to play Jean especially as the public response to her has always been so supportive. It’s been a real privilege to be able to heighten awareness of bipolar disorder. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with my on screen Slater family, in particular working with Lacey and developing such a great rapport over the years.” – Gillian Wright
As yet no plans have been made on how the pair will leave Albert Square behind, but new producer – former Hollyoaks boss – Bryan Kirkwood promised it would be a typically dramatic Slater family exit.
Kirkwood recently axed a number of Walford regulars – including the shows first ‘long term’ (which didn’t prove to be very long term at all) disabled actor David Proud who plays Adam Best. Gillian Wright and Lacey Turner were recently praised by Mind when they were honoured with gongs at the Mind Mental Health Media Awards back in November 2009.