Why did Jessica Plummer leave EastEnders and what happened to Chantelle Atkins?

15 November 2020, 19:30

Chantelle Atkins died in EastEnders
Chantelle Atkins died in EastEnders. Picture: BBC

How did Jessica Plummer's character Chantelle die in EastEnders?

EastEnders' Jessica Plummer is currently taking part in I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! alongside the likes of Shane Richie and Vernon Kay.

This means the actress has swapped her life on Albert Square for an abandoned castle in the North of Wales.

But why did Jessica leave EastEnders and what happened to her character Chantelle?

Why did Jessica Plummer leave EastEnders?

Jessica Plummer left EastEnders because her character Chantelle was killed.

Chantelle Atkins was killed by husband Gray in EastEnders
Chantelle Atkins was killed by husband Gray in EastEnders. Picture: BBC

Posting to Instagram, the actress explained that she was ‘in bits’ to be leaving the show, but added it had been a ‘dream come true’ to work on the soap.

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She said: "Now that the dust has slightly settled, I’d just like to say..

"On a personal note, I am in absolute bits to be leaving the show. I miss even this bits I thought I hated (that dodgy outside toilet near the police station with 20 million spiders)

"All of it has been a dream come true. Without getting speechy, I owe SO many people my thanks for believing in me on my journey.

View this post on Instagram

Now that the dust has slightly settled, I’d just like to say.. On a personal note, I am in absolute bits to be leaving the show. I miss even this bits I thought I hated (that dodgy outside toilet near the police station with 20 million spiders 😩) All of it has been a dream come true. Without getting speechy, I owe SO many people my thanks for believing in me on my journey. Julia Crampsie, my agent Jonathan, Liza Mellody, Carolyn Weinstein, Jon Sen, Kate Oates .. and SO many more, including our viewers💜 I came from a girl band, wanting nothing more than to prove myself as the actor I trained to be. I was trusted with such an important story, on one of the most iconic soaps in history❤️❤️❤️ Thank you!! It has been an unbelievable 20 months. Finally I can watch EastEnders again as a viewer, without cringing whenever I hear my voice 🤪❤️✌🏽

A post shared by Jess 💜 (@jessicakate_plummer) on

"Julia Crampsie, my agent Jonathan, Liza Mellody, Carolyn Weinstein, Jon Sen, Kate Oates .. and SO many more, including our viewers.

"I came from a girl band, wanting nothing more than to prove myself as the actor I trained to be.

"I was trusted with such an important story, on one of the most iconic soaps in history. Thank you!! It has been an unbelievable 20 months.

She added: "Finally I can watch EastEnders again as a viewer, without cringing whenever I hear my voice."

How did Chantelle Atkins die in EastEnders?

Chantelle was murdered as part of the soap's harrowing domestic abuse storyline.

She had experienced months of abuse at the hands of her evil husband Gray, before deciding to run away with their children.

But Gray suspected her plans and stopped Chantelle from taking the kids on a family holiday to Southend.

Gray then arrived on the holiday just in time to catch Chantelle calling her new love Kheerat.

After dragging his wife back to the Square, Chantelle tried to escape their house, but Gray then pushed her over onto an upturned knife in the dishwasher.

Instead of calling an ambulance, he made it look like Chantelle had slipped on one of the children’s toys.

Speaking about the importance of highlighting domestic abuse, actress Jessica told Metro.co.uk: “I feel like in real life, the domestic abuse stories that happen, we don’t really hear about.

“To be able to put it on a platform like EastEnders, where millions of people will watch it, tune in and talk about it. It’s the reality of it. Maybe it’s not what the viewers want because they like the character, but this is real life. It’s a reflection of real life, and sometimes it doesn’t end nicely.

“[I hope it raises] Awareness that this is happening, that it’s real life. Awareness that domestic violence doesn’t always look the same, because from the outside, Chantelle and Gray do look like the perfect couple. Awareness that sometimes people don’t get out.”

If you have been affected by this storyline and need information and support, please email Women's Aid helpline@womensaid.org.uk.

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