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Grace Olubunmi made her first appearance in the spin-off E20 on 18 January 2010, and was later introduced in EastEnders on 4 June 2010. She is portrayed by Jay Byrd and Ellen Thomas.


Grace is the grandmother of Mercy and Faith Olubunmi. She appears in episode 8 of the first series of spin-off E20. She tells Mercy that her friend Fatboy is a bad influence on her.

When Grace arrives in June, she urges Mercy to tell Fatboy that they are moving to Lagos. She makes friends with Liz Turner and later tells Fatboy about their plans. She hosts a lunch at the community centre and tells Lucas Johnson that she has grown fond of London but is going to Lagos for Mercy's sake. Fatboy then realises that neither Grace nor Mercy want to go and makes them realise this after Mercy has returned the key to their former home. Fatboy then says he has a plan for somewhere for them to live, and they move into a property on Albert Square.

Grace attends a Bible class with Mercy, held by Lucas, although Lucas is late. She apologises for Mercy's behaviour when she continues to ask about false prophets and a passage that states that anyone who questions a priest should be put to death, causing Lucas to leave. Grace makes Mercy write Lucas a letter of apology, but Mercy bins it.

Upset with the amount of litter around the streets, she urges Mercy and Fatboy to volunteer to pick it up. She takes Mercy's friends Zsa Zsa Carter and Leon Small to get their GCSE results and says she used to be a teacher.

In September 2010, Leon breaks one of her commemorative plates and Fatboy tries to create a new one in the hope Grace will think it is real, but she does not fall for it. However, she praises Fatboy for his eventual honesty and displays the plate with her others.

Grace discovers that Mercy has been serving drinks in Alfie Moon's illegal den. She berates her granddaughter and says Fatboy has corrupted her.

Grace overhears Dot Branning planning to collect jumble for her church. Grace collects the jumble instead, leaving Dot upset. They quote Bible passages to each other to try to show who is in the right, but Grace later admits that she is lonely and just wanted to meet new people. The next day, Mercy tries to get Grace and Dot to make up, by suggesting that Grace work in the launderette. Grace puts some shirts in a broken washing machine, which annoys Dot, and after Grace gets it open Dot is still not happy. Grace later gives Dot her CV to give to her boss, and Dot tells her that there is not a job for her but Grace tells her that Jesus disagrees. The next day, Grace asks Dot if she has looked at her CV yet. Dot says Grace is overqualified as she used to be a teacher. Grace says she will not be teaching again as she was dismissed from her last job. Later, Dot finds a tin of cakes in the launderette with a note from Grace saying it was not about the job. Dot visits Grace and offers her a few weeks work while Dot is away. Grace feels honoured, and tells Dot that she was dismissed for slapping a pupil. Dot thanks her for her honesty. However, when Dot joins a local choir that Grace is a member of, the pair start quarrelling again, as Dot is unimpressed with the singing standard of the group.

In 2011, Grace later holidays in her native Nigeria but returns in time for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. She does not watch the wedding, however, as Mercy is leaving because she faces deportation. Grace and Mercy say goodbye to each other but as Mercy's taxi drives off, Fatboy stops it and asks Mercy to marry him. Grace is opposed to the idea at first, until she realises that Fatboy loves Mercy.

After Mercy and Fatboy's wedding, Grace attends Mercy's hearing and is annoyed that they will not get a decision over whether she can stay in the country straight away. Mercy is allowed to stay in the UK but decides to leave anyway over guilt at her deception. Grace waves Mercy off as she leaves in the back of a black cab. Two days later, Grace worries when Fatboy does not come home and finds he stayed with Dot. Fatboy later tells Grace that he will be living with Dot as Grace's house holds too many memories of Mercy.

Grace is surprised when Mercy's sister Faith arrives from Nigeria and moves in with her. Faith later holds a party at Grace's house and she has sex with Fatboy but they are caught by Grace. The next day, when Faith returns home drunk, Grace slaps her and kicks her out of the house.

Grace appears in the third series of E20, along with Faith, who Grace sent to Nigeria to get back on the straight and narrow. Faith returns to the UK and is worse than ever. Faith continues to ask her for a place to stay, but Grace refuses. Grace is also upset when Lola Pearce, Abi Branning and Ben Mitchell prank call her and then break her hanging basket.

When Faith returns home drunk, Grace slaps her telling her to leave. Although Grace is not seen on-screen after this, she still lives locally and is mentioned on occasion.

Grace's last appearance is in the final episode of the third series of E20, broadcast on 21 October 2011.

In April 2013, Max Branning informs his wife, Kirsty Branning, that Grace has left Walford to move back to Nigeria, and that her flat is for sale. Ava Hartman also likes the flat, and eventually buys it, before Max and Kirsty. Grace is not mentioned since.


  • New executive producer Bryan Kirkwood introduces the character to EastEnders in his first episode on 4 June 2010, with the character being recast and played by Ellen Thomas, taking over from Jay Byrd.
  • Mercy and Grace's introduction to EastEnders made them the first Nigerian family to appear in the series. Bunmi Mojekwu, who plays Mercy, was surprised at how long it took the programme to represent her community in the series, but congratulated them for doing so. On the announcement of Mojekwu's departure, it was revealed that Mercy's family would remain in the series.

List of appearances[]


E20: Series 1

  1. E20 Series 1, Episode 08
  1. 4 June 2010
  2. 7 June 2010
  3. 26 July 2010
  4. 24 August 2010
  5. 27 September 2010
  6. 28 September 2010
  7. 30 September 2010
  8. 4 October 2010
  9. 5 October 2010
  10. 7 October 2010
  11. 3 December 2010


  1. 28 April 2011
  2. 29 April 2011
  3. 2 May 2011
  4. 27 May 2011
  5. 30 May 2011
  6. 14 June 2011
  7. 12 July 2011
  8. 19 July 2011
  9. 13 September 2011
  10. 19 September 2011
  11. 20 September 2011

E20: Series 3

  1. E20 Series 3, Episode 01
  2. E20 Series 3, Episode 02
  3. E20 Series 3, Episode 04
  4. E20 Series 3, Episode 05
  5. E20 Series 3, Episode 06
  6. E20 Series 3, Episode 07
  7. E20 Series 3, Episode 09
  8. E20 Series 3, Episode 13
  9. E20 Series 3, Episode 15