Soaps

Ex-EastEnder Carol Harrison accuses soap of axing her because of her age

She played Tiffany's mum...

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Ex-EastEnders star Carol Harrison has accused the BBC soap of terminating her contract because of her age.

Actress Carol, who played Tiffany’s mum, claims she was axed for being “past it” at the age of 42.

Ouch.

Celebs attend Jody Bell: Speak from the Heart - launch party Featuring: Carol Harrison Where: London, United Kingdom When: 24 Jan 2018 Credit: Phil Lewis/WENN.com
Carol Harrison at the Jody Bell: Speak from the Heart launch party in 2018 (Credit: Phil Lewis/WENN.com)

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In an interview with The Mirror on Tuesday (April 23), the former soap star says she felt like she wasn’t relevant after passing a certain age.

Carol, now 64, who was previously married to fellow former co-star Jamie Foreman (aka Derek Branning), said: “The attitude was you’re in your 40s, you’re mutton.

“I think that’s why EastEnders got rid of me. I was considered past it.”

Carol Harrison EastEnders BBC
Carol starred as Tiffany’s mum Louise Raymond (Credit: BBC)

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Speaking to the newspaper after winning a role in new stage show The Thunder Girls opposite Beverley Callard, she continued: “I was at the top of my game, I should’ve got offered fabulous roles, sadly that didn’t happen.

“The driving force was ageism and classism. There were jibes in the ­script about why would anyone want to go with Louise when she was so old.

“The irony was the age Grant was supposed to be was closer to Louise.”

Carol played man-eater Louise Raymond in the late 90s.

She was Tiffany Mitchell’s mum, played by Martine McCutcheon, and shared many scenes with Grant Mitchell, portrayed by Ross Kemp.

In fact, in one of the soap’s most shocking storylines, Tiffany ­discovered her mum’s affair with her husband Grant over a baby monitor.

Carol told the newspaper that the perceived rejection after her role wasn’t renewed left her feeling depressed.

Carol Harrison
Carol played Tiffany’s mum (Credit: BBC)

She described how she stuck to her guns, turning down any roles where the older attractive lady was cast as a “slag”.

The actress has previously admitted she needed therapy after her time on the soap.

In an historic interview with The Sun, published in March 2016, she said: “I had a brilliant career before I went in. But once I left, the variety wasn’t there. I was worked to death by the BBC.

“They used me up and threw me away. You end up needing counselling.”

An EastEnders spokesperson declined to comment on Carol’s claims.

Nowadays, the BBC soap has a strong cast of older women with central storylines, including Jessie Wallace, 47, Gillian Wright, 58, Letitia Dean, 51, and Tamzin Outhwaite, 48.

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