‘It was excruciating!’ says EastEnders’ Diane Parish as she recalls ‘horrible’ role on BBC soap years before Denise Fox

She also opened up on the co-star who helped to support her through it

EASTENDERS star Diane Parish has recalled how she had an “excruciating” time on EastEnders during her ‘forgotten’ stint on the show in the late 90s.

The acclaimed actress is one of the soap’s leading ladies thanks to her time as Denise Fox on the programme, a role which she has held since 2006.

Diane Parish has revealed all on her first "horrible" soap role
Diane Parish has revealed all on her first “horrible” soap roleCredit: BBC
Diane appeared in the show as Lola in 1998
Diane appeared in the show as Lola in 1998Credit: BBC

However, things did not always look as though they were going to work out for the star in Walford.

You’d be forgiven for forgetting that one of Diane’s earliest TV roles was a little-remembered character called Lola Christie.

Lola was a singer and Diane played the role for a total of 27 episodes across a period of six months in 1998.

The character arrived in Albert Square auditioning for a role in Mick McFarlane’s band.

However, Diane revealed that she was not a fan of the role and struggled with the amount of singing she was forced to do.

Speaking about the role on the BBC programme, Secrets From The Square, Diane recalled: “It was the most excruciating role. I don’t sing, I’m not a singer and it was horrible!”

Recalling how co-star Patsy Palmer attempted to offer up some moral support, Diane said: “Oh, it was awful. 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!’”

Realising she was out of her depth, Diane had no qualms in admitting the role “wasn’t for her,” despite her soap star pals cheering her one.

She added: “She [Patsy] goes: ‘No, it’s really good, it is!’ She’d just be so positive. The role wasn’t for me.”

Since her time on the show as Lola, Diane has become synonymous with Denise and has become one of the show’s biggest stars.

She has been front and centre during the show’s epic Christmas The Six storyline where she hit Nish Panesar around the head.

Although he recovered, she was instrumental in the moving and covering up of Keanu Taylor’s body after his brutal stabbing at the hands of Linda Carter.

Diane is now front and centre of the show as Denise
Diane is now front and centre of the show as DeniseCredit: BBC

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