EastEnders star Diane Parish reveals all on ‘excruciating’ role


(Picture: BBC)

EastEnders star Diane Parish has opened up about the first role she played on the BBC One soap.

In scenes which viewers can see for themselves in Monday night’s episode of Secrets From The Square, the actress — who portrays Denise Fox on the serial drama — reminisced about her previous character.

Long-time viewers will know that — prior to being cast as Denise — Diane portrayed a character named Lola Christie back in 1998.

The actress told Stacey Dooley: ‘I was a singer, so it was the most excruciating role.’

‘I don’t sing. I’m not a singer and it was horrible!’

‘Oh it was awful and I remember Patsy Palmer came up to me at one point and she goes. “Oh don’t worry, it sounds really good, don’t worry about it”. I thought “It don’t, Patsy!” 

‘She goes, “No, it’s really good, it is!” She’d just be so positive.

‘The role wasn’t for me.’

‘Kate Harwood took over as executive producer and she wanted to create an interracial family. We did a workshop.

‘I was asked to come up, I came up and did that, I did that and nothing else.

‘Our lovely casting lady phoned me up and said, “We’re not using that actor that you workshopped with, but we’ve asked Phil Daniels”.

‘I screamed! I was like, “Phil Daniels, Quadrophenia, he’s amazing”. Phil and I just clicked.’

EastEnders was forced to shut down production amid the pandemic, and remaining pre-lockdown episodes were rationed out in order to keep it on the air for as long as possible.

The final episode aired on June 16, and therefore the soap was forced to go off the air.

However, Secrets From The Square has been filling the Monday slot nicely, and it won’t be long until the serial drama is back on screens now that filming has resumed.

One to watch: Monday 20 July at 8pm on BBC One

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