On Air Now
Early Breakfast with Lindsey Russell 4am - 6:30am
1 June 2023, 08:16 | Updated: 1 June 2023, 08:19
Why did Lola leave EastEnders and what happened? Here's what we know about the heartbreaking episode...
Fans will know that Lola - played by Danielle Harold - was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour late last year, and her health has been deteriorating over the past few weeks.
As her body continued to weaken, a nurse told husband Jay Brown to say his goodbyes as the end was near.
In her final hours, Jay and Lola’s daughter Lexi were by her bedside in the hospital as they spoke about their time together.
But in a sad twist, Jay left the room for a few minutes while a storm was taking hold outside, leaving Lexi sleeping on her mum’s bed.
As he came back inside, he noticed "the sun had come out for" his wife before realising that she had sadly passed away.
In heartbreaking scenes, Jay sobbed into her hand as Lexi woke up and realised her mum had passed away.
While Jay was devastated he hadn’t been by her side when she died, Lexi told him that "Lola did it on purpose for them”.
The sun shines bright for Lola. Rest in peace. 💔— BBC EastEnders (@bbceastenders) May 31, 2023
Watch the whole episode now 👉 https://t.co/vJUy5jEUVy #EastEnders
Details of organisations offering information and support with Bereavement or Cancer are available at https://t.co/OzdVGAcgXz. pic.twitter.com/hqnFxgGXe2
The final moment of the episode saw Walford waking up to the sunshine and the birds singing, while Lexi and Jay hugged Lola's body.
A fox was also shown running across the Square, a poignant sign that Lola was still with her family.
EastEnders' famous Julia's Theme then played out, which is saved for the biggest episodes of the soap over the years.
Viewers were understandably heartbroken by the episode, with many calling it the ‘saddest episode ever’.
"Wasn’t ready for Lola’s death absolutely sobbing," said one person, while someone else wrote: "That was absolutely heart-wrenching."
Another fan said: "The sun rising and the fox at the end of the episode absolutely BROKE me. I cried the entire episode," as another tweeted: "The fox sent shivers down my spine."
A fourth wrote: “Coming home from work at 3am and watching #EastEnders is absolutely not my finest moment. I am SOBBING. Like absolutely wailing silently trying not to wake everyone up. Lola we knew it was coming but oh my god.”
While a fifth added: “Heartbroken, emotional episode. Well written and acted. RIP Lola.
To the cast and crew of Eastenders your amazing. Danielle i wish you all the best.”
In June last year, it was revealed that Danielle would be leaving EastEnders with her character.
At the time, a source claimed that Danielle had been left 'in pieces' at the news, telling 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.”
Danielle has since opened up about her exit, saying: “[It has been] 14 years nearly, she becomes a little part of you. I'll be so sad saying goodbye to her.”
She added: “It was really important to just keep yourself - this is what I heard from the girls [while doing research], it can be portrayed in a very grim way but it's not always that.”