On Air Now
Heart Breakfast with Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden 6:30am - 10am
18 January 2021, 14:26
How old is Jean Slater in EastEnders and is she dying?
EastEnders fans were left in tears earlier this month when Jean Slater made the decision to die rather than having any treatment if her cancer returns.
The Walford favourite was called for tests by her doctor after finding a lump on her breast earlier this month.
But instead of having a biopsy done, Jean ran away after convincing herself that her cancer had returned.
So, is Jean leaving EastEnders? Here’s what we know about the storyline so far...
It is unknown what will happen to Jean, but she recently explained why she had decided to refuse cancer treatment.
After running away from her biopsy appointment, Jean recorded a video message, insisting she wanted to live her last months as well as she could.
Talking to her friends and family, she said: “The cancer’s back.
“I know, I don’t need tests and results to tell me, I can feel it. So I’m giving myself the best birthday present ever.
“I don’t want you to get cross but I’ve decided not to have treatment this time. Don’t get angry with me. I’ve thought about it and I can’t go through all that all again, I can’t.
“I don’t want to. I know treatment’s right for some people, but it’s not for me, not this time. So I’m taking a leaf out of Daniel’s book.
“I just want to knock back to the painkillers and take each day as it comes doing what I want to do my way. After all all we really have is today and I want all my todays to be beautiful. Even if that means having a mug of tea and watching the rain - again.”
She added: “I don’t know where I’ll be when you get this, or how I’ll be but now you know.
“It’s not up for discussion - I’m not off my meds, I’m not having an episode, I just want to spend my last few months the way I choose. I love you all so very very very much. I know you love me so just let me do this, OK?”
While BBC bosses are keeping the outcome of the storyline under wraps, viewers have been left devastated.
One wrote on Twitter: “OMG, please don’t kill Jean off,” while another added: "So sad that Jean is giving up on life if her cancer has returned."
Jean Slater is 62-years-old and first appeared on EastEnders back in December 2004.
She is the mother of Sean and Stacey Slater and grandmother of Lily, Arthur and Hope.
Jean Slater is played by actress Gillian Wright who is 60-years-old in real life.
Before joining the cast, she was a teacher and theatre director, as well as starring in ITV’s Coronation Street.
In 2012, she won the 'Best Actress' award at the Inside Soap Awards for her portrayal of Jean, and also collected a Mental Health Media Award back in 2006.