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Tuesday 28th January 2020

EastEnders star says depression storyline has saved lives

There has been a lot of praise for the portrayal of Lee Carter's struggles

Soapland is a great place for bringing real issues to the masses.

With so many people watching the soaps, producers find it the ideal place to tackle the struggles that everyday folk are facing.

EastEnders has been tackling a serious depression storyline and actor, Danny-Boy Hatchard, has opened up about playing Lee Carter, as the character contemplated suicide.

It makes me emotional and I've actually welled up

The 25-year-old has revealed that Lee's battle with depression has helped a lot of people.

The character found it hard to cope as his personal problems mounted.

Danny's portrayal was so realistic, he said that people stopped him in the street to thank him.

Read more: Troubled EastEnders star Danny Dyer flees the country

Speaking to The Sunday People, Danny said: "People have ­approached me in the street and, very ­tentatively, whispered, 'I hope you understand how ­powerful that storyline was – it's helped me and family'.

"It makes me emotional and I've actually welled up and wept tears on three occasions.

"Because it's an amazing feeling knowing that you've saved someone's life.

"I've had a young woman, a young man and on older man.

"Those three times they got emotional and I kept myself together for them, but when they walked away I lost it.

"I felt proud that I was able to do something that helped others."

There was heartbreak on Friday when Lee left Albert Square.

He opened up to father Mick, played by Danny Dyer, before saying goodbye to Whitney, his wife.

Lee is off to Devon to start over, with Valentine's Day seeing him reach a nadir in his marriage to Whitney, when he slapped her during an argument.

Read more: George Michael's lover hits back over funeral ban

Danny signed off his EastEnders career with an emotional tweet.

He posted a video thanking everyone for his time in the BBC soap.

Danny also said that he was honoured to have been involved in the storyline.

He is also pleased that it has raised awareness of mental health.