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Lola Pearce-Brown (née Pearce, also Mitchell) was the daughter of Dan Pearce and Emma Harding, mother of Lexi Pearce and wife of Jay Brown. She was portrayed by Danielle Harold.

Backstory

Lola Pearce was born on the 3rd July 1996, to Dan Pearce and Emma Harding. When she was born, Dan was twenty one years old and Emma was presumably around the same age, making them young parents. Dan was a troubled person and would often physically abuse Emma, although it was implied he never abused Lola. He became an alcoholic and on Lola's third birthday, he attacked Emma and poured boiling water over her. Emma was rushed to hospital and while she was receiving treatment, Dan left and took Lola with him - somewhat abducting her. When Emma was released from hospital, she discovered Lola was missing and searched everywhere for her. However, after several failed attempts at locating her, Emma eventually stopped and started a new life.

For many years, Dan raised Lola on his own and made her believe that Emma had abandoned them. However, due to his severe alcoholism and criminal record, Lola was taken from him and placed into care. It was implied that Dan made no effort at contacting Lola, therefore their relationship became estranged. While she was in care, she was given the nickname 'Dolly Daydream', as she was always reading celebrity magazines and fantasising about another life. She was also called 'princess' by a care worker, which made her think the world evolved around her.

Dan was eventually diagnosed with liver failure and died in April 2011, when Lola was fifteen years old. She was informed about his death, but was unbothered about the news - another implication that she no longer cared about her father. Lola stayed in care for several more months, before moving in with her paternal grandfather, Billy Mitchell.

Storylines

2011-2015: Arrival, pregnancy and custody battle

When Billy Mitchell and Julie Perkins decide to find their son, Dan Pearce, that Julie put up for adoption when he was a baby, they unfortunately discover he has died, however they also discover that Dan had a daughter, Lola, who is therefore their granddaughter. When realising Lola is in care, they visit the care home and witness a fight between Lola and another girl, they assume that Lola is the injured girl, but it later turns out that Lola is the perpetrator. Lola tells Billy and Julie that Dan hated them, which annoys Julie so she decides to leave. Billy hugs Lola before they both go and Lola uses this opportunity to steal his wallet.

The next day, Lola comes to Walford and returns Billy's wallet to him. Lola sees several locals and flirts with multiple of them, including Jay Brown and Fatboy. Fatboy allows her to clean cars for him, but Lola goes against this privilege and steals a car and crashes into it into Ian Beale's chip shop. Billy sees this incident occur and tells her to run away from the scene and Fatboy takes the blame for the incident. Lola visits Billy again and meets the other people in his family. Julie tells Heather Trott that she does not want Lola to live with them. In an accidental manner, Heather tells Lola what Julie had said. Julie feels that Lola is not their problem, Lola responds to this by telling Julie that if Billy is forced to choose between the two, Lola will win. Julie calls the police on Lola and she is then returned to her care home, while Billy calls her a "One Hundred Percent Mitchell". One week later, Julie finds Lola in the R&R nightclub and decides to take her home. After this, Julie apologises to Lola reporting the situation to the police and then puts in the effort to try and get to know Lola properly.

In a conversation between Anthony Moon and his brother Tyler Moon, Lola overhears. She hears the pair insulting Billy, and in retaliation Lola aggressively burns their father Eddie Moon's stock. Later, Lola gets a job at the café and admits to Liam Butcher that she was responsible for starting the fire. Lola begins to start stealing from the till at the café and short-changing the customers, so therefore Phil Mitchell fires her. She asks Phil for her job back at the café and offers to give Phil her mobile phone to cover the cost of the money she took, however Phil takes the phone and still refuses to give Lola her job back, even with an incentive. Lola is angered by this and takes revenge on Phil by smashing up his garage and destroying a car, whilst being completely oblivious that Jay is under the car, and has been badly injured by Lola's destructive behaviour. She gets Julie to assist her and when the ambulance arrives, Julie takes the blame for Lola. Luckily, she is released without charge, however Lola decides to return to the care home, but is persuaded to leave the care home and come back, causing Julie to leave Walford.

A few weeks later, Lola waits outside the chip shop, however Ian oversleeps and Lola points him out for this. Mandy Salter tells Ian to fire Lola, Ian accepts this and fires Lola shortly after but soon after, Lola luckily persuades Ian to give her job back, by promising not to tell anyone about Mandy staying. Lola begins to take a liking to one of Jay's friend, Duncan Willis, but then later vandalises Grace Olubunmi's flowers. Lola decides to take up some self-defence classes after Abi Branning is mugged. Additionally, Lola steals some towels from the Booty beauty salon and tries to sell them however Roxy Mitchell catches her doing this, who quickly threatens to call the police. However, Lola manages to convince Roxy that she has shown ingenuity, and later gains a job at the salon.

Lola asks her third cousin-once-removed, Ben Mitchell how he knows that he is gay even if he is still a virgin. Subsequently, they kiss shortly after and Lola sleeps with Ben before confirming his actual sexuality; he is gay. Shortly after sleeping with Ben, Lola finds out that she is pregnant and tells Billy, who is angry with Lola for doing this. Lola refuses to name the father to Billy, however she does tell him that she plans to keep the baby and wants Billy to help her bring the baby up. She later lies to Ben by stating that he is not the father. Later, Billy takes Lola to see Pat Evans about some help and guidance, but Pat misunderstands the bigger picture and wrongly advises Lola to have an abortion, angering her. In December, Phil notices something has happened with a mystery file and he instantly confronts Lola, thinking that she's been stalking him. Phil aggressively questions Lola, to the point where the situation escalates causing Lola to step backwards and fall down the steps to her basement flat. She is quickly rushed to hospital and given some medical treatment, thankfully, Lola soon learns that she and the baby are fine and there are no issues. Lola receives a dreadful call to say Social Services want to visit, as there is a new social worker starting. Due to this, Lola randomly goes missing when the social worker, Harpreet arrives, so to prevent the Social Services from being concerned, Billy asks Abi to pretend to be Lola, which Abi agrees to and does. Billy assumes Harpreet is there about to discuss the pregnancy, so tells Harpreet, who is quite impressed with Abi's speech about upcoming motherhood. However, Lola arrives as Harpreet is about to leave and Lola reveals that she is actually Lola, so Harpreet unfortunately says the trust has been lost and she may not be able to keep the child after birth. After falling down the stairs,Lola realises how much the baby really means to her and then later finds out the baby is a girl.

Lola soon begins working for Janine Butcher as a cleaner, and continues working at the chip shop too, until Lucy Beale, choose to sacks her. This angers Lola, causing her to take revenge on Lucy by stealing some chip fat from the shop and angrily pouring it over cars at the car lot, making Lucy a prime suspect. When Lucy learns that Lola is the one responsible, she calls the police and Lola is arrested for her crime. The next day, on Lola's sixteenth birthday, she receives community service and a curfew, causing her to wear an electronic ankle tag. Lola and Jay soon break into The Queen Victoria public house but end up getting locked in after hiding in the back room. In there, Lola opens up to Jay about a concern that she will be a bad mother. Lola luckily gets home just in time for her curfew, but then quickly runs back out and shares an illicit kiss with Jay, who is actually still dating Abi at the time. She later angers Cora Cross, after vandalising her stock at the charity shop. It is also revealed that Billy will be carrying the Olympic Torch and Lola prepares for this, but then realises she is in labour whilst at McKlunky's, where Cora delivers Lola's baby daughter, who she decides to name 'Lexi Billie Pearce' after her friend, Alexa Smith. Billy witnesses the birth after successfully carrying the torch. When it gets revealed that Jay helped to cover up Heather's murder, Lola is at first wary of Jay, although she eventually forgives him for this, even though Billy is unhappy about them spending time together, especially when Jay is forced to hide whenever a social worker turns up. Lola appears heartbroken when Jay says they should stop seeing each other.

When Lola gets a new social worker, Trish Barnes, she becomes increasingly agitated and angered after Trish criticises the way she cares for Lexi. She later bumps into Alexa and pretends to live a party lifestyle with her. Alexa and her gang spend time with Lola, but when Alexa begins to pick on Abi, Lola defends Abi and rejects her old friend. Lola later reveals to Alexa that she has a baby, named Lexi after her old friend, shocking Alexa. Lola's tag gets removed and she chooses to celebrate this, however she is soon threatened by Alexa and her gang, who attack Abi and threaten Lexi, the threat towards Lexi angers Lola, causing her to punch Alexa. The police are informed of this and Lola is arrested once again, while Trish takes Lexi into care. Lola emotionally begs Trish not to and resists against Trish. Lola begs Phil for help, revealing to him that he is Lexi's grandfather. Lexi is taken regardless and Trish tells her that Lexi could be away and in care for up to eight weeks. Lola gets angry and struggles to control herself, casuing Trish to tell her that she could lose Lexi for good if she does not control her temper. Phil reassures Lola that he will get her back where she belongs, Lola is happy thinking that Phil is fighting her corner, until she later discovers that Phil wants custody, however Lola eventually agrees to Phil's plan. Phil comes up with a plan which would require Lola marrying Ben and he conspires with Billy about this, who is actually against the idea. Lola refuses to marry Ben and Phil threatens to tell Ben the truth about Lexi because of this, against Lola's wishes. Phil does not tell Ben but still agrees to help Lola, so he decides to asks Sharon Rickman to pretend to be his partner to help get Lexi. She initially refuses but later agrees until she finds out that Lola does not know about Phil's plan, once again angering Lola until Phil explains his reasons to her. Alexa luckily drops the assault charge but Lola is still devastated to learn that she will not get Lexi back, even with no assault charge. Lola then worries that Phil's plan will fail due to him telling Social Services that he and Sharon are no longer engaged, but Phil does become Lexi's kinship foster carer. Lola is yet again devastated to learn that she will only have three access visits a week to see Lexi, and Phil starts being controlling and takes advantage of his power, the starts calling Lexi "his" baby and not allowing Lola to provide for her anymore. Phil also tells Lola who she can be friends with, and he disapproves of her current friendship with Dexter Hartman. Phil decides to take Lexi on holiday, so Lola reaches a point where she seeks legal advice but eventually agrees that Lexi can go. Lola makes an appropriate request in court to increase her access visits with Lexi, and Trish states that Lola has made good progress however Phil's lawyer goes against this and tells the court that Lola is often late, brings age-inappropriate toys and is also unable to handle Lexi's tears. The judge rules that Lexi will stay with Phil as her kinship foster carer. Billy goes to speak to Phil, while Lola overhears the conversation, Phil rudely say that he will never give Lexi back voluntarily. In response, Lola snatches Lexi and quickly leaves. Phil, Billy and Sharon spend the rest of the day looking for her and Lexi, eventually finding the two at a playground. Lola goes home however Phil requests for her to meet him later at his house. Trish is also there and asks them if their relationship has broken down, but Phil admits to her that he is responsible for some of the recent events and thankfully agrees to work with Lola to make the transition for Lexi to return to living with Lola as easy as possible. When Trish leaves, Phil allows Lola to look after Lexi, and starts giving her increased access. Phil is impressed with Lola when Lexi becomes ill with suspected meningitis, and Lola acts calmly and maturely.

Lola begins to notice that Sharon is acting strangely for some abrupt reason and then finds her passed out when she should be taking care of Lexi. When Sharon regains consciousness, she doubtfully admits that she has a painkiller addiction and warns Lola that if she tells Phil, Lexi will have to go back into care. Later on, Phil also catches Sharon unconscious and when she comes around, he confronts her and throws her out due to her addiction. Just before the final hearing to determine whether Lexi should be returned to Lola, Phil quickly learns that Lola knew about Sharon's drug addiction and then spitefully calls her a bad mother before angrily leaving the court building, however Billy manages to convince him to do the right thing, and Lola is finally successful in getting Lexi back into her care.

All of a sudden, Lola develops feelings for Peter Beale, but the ongoing feud between the Beales and the Mitchells, their two families, make the pair anxious about being together. However, they eventually manage to force Phil and Peter's father, Ian Beale to accept their relationship. Soon after, Peter then moves in with Lola, Lexi and Billy. Peter later pressures Lola to start a new career in childcare after loosing her job at the local salon. Despite her agreeing to do the course at first, Lola gathers her own ideas and starts her own business doing the locals manicures and pedicures and loves it. She slowly becomes closer to Jay and honestly admits to him how Peter makes her feel and that she is not good enough for him. After an argument between Lola and Peter, Lola chooses to turn to Jay for some support and he tries to kiss her in return. Horrified by this, she goes to run off from the scene, but as she steps out into the road, she is suddenly run over by Ronnie Mitchell on accident. Lola is immediately rushed to hospital to receive urgent attention, where she is layer told that she has a concussion, however is luckily discharged the following day.

Following the murder of Peter's twin sister Lucy (see Who Killed Lucy Beale?), Lola attempt sot support him but struggles I’m doing so due to him struggling to support Ian and the rest of his family. When Lucy's memory is tarnished in a Walford Gazette article, Lola approaches the family and gives them an article of content regarding her opinion on what will paint Lucy in a much better light. However, her words are unfortunately twisted and Peter then beings to believe that Lola did it just for the money rather than to help. Peter then ends his relationship with her and moves home to Ian. After Lucy's funeral, Peter moves back in with Lola and Lexi and starts again. Peter then later begins to develop feelings for his ex-girlfriend, Lauren Branning, despite her relationship with Dean Wicks and also despite being in a relationship himself. After some thought, Peter decides to ends his relationship with Lola after admitting he kissed Lauren. Although Lola wants to make the relationship work and tries her hardest, Peter still rejects her and ends things, beginning a relationship with Lauren soon after she dumped Dean. In September 2014, Ben Mitchell returns to the square for Phil and Sharon’s wedding. Billy and Jay desperately hide Lola away after Phil decides that he wants Ben to meet Lexi however the two lie by saying that Lola is unavailable as she is that she is visiting an ill friend. A few weeks later, Lola returns to see Phil, however she comes face to face with Ben.

While Lola is in the pub spending time with Jay, Ben and Abi walk in too and Lola is confused as to why Abi is being so rude. Ben walks over to Lola insisting that she is a really good mother and reassures her that he doesn't want to take Lexi away. When helping Johnny Carter at The Albert, Lola states that she has nothing to do with Abi and Jay's break up and decides to make friends with her. Abi then tells her that she already is in a relationship with Ben, causing Lola to be confused and worried, so Abi then becomes defensive and wrongfully thinks that Lola is stealing Ben away. Jay once again invites Lola to The Queen Vic where Abi tells Lola that Jay only invited her to get back at her. After Jay reveals that Ben tried to kiss him, Lola is angered and walks out of The Queen Vic although Ben denies the accusations made against him. Lola immediately questions if Jay was using her to try and make Abi jealous, but Jay then reveals to Lola that he still has feelings for her. Jay tries to kiss Lola to prove this, Lola, however, rejects him by telling him that she does not feel the same way about him. Lola is later excited when her boss, Dean, asks her out to discuss her future at Blades hair salon. Lola then dresses nicely for the occasion, but Dean's concerned mother, Shirley Carter, worries about Dean’s reputation and sends Lola away, ruining the moment.

Lola is soon frustrated when a newcomer, Paul Coker, accidentally knocks her over in the street, but then she realises that they are colleagues of one another. Due to absence, Lola is sacked by Dean but Phil helps her by giving Shirley a large amount of money to secure Lola's job. Following Ben's arrest on the suspicion of murdering Lucy, Jay is worried that he will be also arrested, after revealing that Ben had mugged Lucy on the night of her death. Lola comforts and reassures him that it’ll be ok and then they kiss , leading to sex shortly after. They then start a relationship. Jay honestly tells Lola that he wants to leave because Phil has decided to give the police Lucy's incriminating purse and phone with fingerprints on it. She is upset by this however Jay suggests an idea regarding to go with him, which she does and they go ahead with this, taking Lexi with them. Jay then calls Billy and reveals that he, Lola, Lexi and Dexter are moving to Newcastle. Lola then returns briefly with Jay to collect more belongings, but Billy is there to try and convince her to stay in Walford and leave Jay to go to Newcastle alone, but Lola refuses and doesn’t listen. Billy also tells Lola that he is going to collect his daughter, Janet Mitchell, so that they can all share their goodbyes, but Billy goes against what he said and reports Jay to the police instead. He is then arrested for robbery. Lola eventually realises that Billy reported Jay not many moments after Jay's arrest, angered by this, Lola leaves for the train station with Lexi. Billy attempts once more to convince Lola to stay in Walford, but she states that she could have a better life somewhere else, which she’d prefer, and that she also wants Billy to be proud of her. Billy and Lola share an emotional farewell with each other and Lola leaves for Newcastle with Lexi. Although Jay has plans on joining the two eventually, Lola later ends the relationship with Jay because she is now dating Dexter instead.

2015-2019: Time away

On 2 May 2023, Lola recalls her favourite bank holiday memory was a few years ago in Newcastle. It was in May, it was really hot. Lola took Lexi down to the beach. Lola and Lexi made sand castles and ate ice cream.

2019-2023: Return, reuniting with Jay and cancer and death

Lola returns along with Lexi and Ben. When the Mitchells have a celebratory drink in The Queen Vic, Jay and Lola have conversation in which Lola reveals she and Dexter are no longer together and agreed to a mutual break-up. It is revealed that Lola and Ben are only back to con Phil and Ben promises to give both Lola and Lexi some of the money.

Lola reunites with Jay and they almost start dating again however, it is revealed that Lola is engaged to Ewan. Jay rejects Lola and she decides to move back to Newcastle with Ewan but Ben manipulates the situation and Ewan leaves Walford. Lola tries to get Billy back with Honey Mitchell and schemes various times to break up Honey and her boyfriend Adam Bateman, although she is unsuccessful.

She starts working as an Events Manager with Jay's girlfriend Ruby Allen and the two eventually bump heads with each other. Lola becomes aware of Ben's schemes and warns him to end them, otherwise she will leave with Lexi. After Ben's plans to swindle Phil are exposed, Lola decides to remain in Walford and starts working as a hairdresser for Denise Fox. During The Queen Vic siege where Hunter Owen takes the residents hostage, Lola and Jay are locked in the bathroom together where they admit their feelings. They kiss and resume their relationship.

Lola is shocked when she finds out that she is pregnant with Jay's baby in March 2020. Jay is stunned when she insists for an abortion; proclaiming that it is too soon for them to have a child after Lexi. Their relationship hits the rocks when Jay proposes to Lola and she assumes he is only doing this to get her to keep the baby, and after a bitter row, she secretly ends up in a drunken embrace with Peter, recently returned from New Zealand. She goes to her abortion appointment alone the next day and is surprised afterwards by Jay, who tells her that he does not care about the abortion and only wants her to be happy; this prompts them to reconcile.

However Jay notices tension between a flirtatious Peter and anxious Lola at Stuart and Rainie Highway's wedding in September 2020 where Lola is serving as bridesmaid. After confronting her Lola confesses to her one-night stand with Peter the night before her abortion which results in the couple breaking up.

Lola is later furious to learn that Jay and Honey are in a relationship and forces them to tell Billy; he, however, refuses to speak to Lola after learning that she already knew about the romance.

In February 2021, Lola is set up on a date with Isaac Baptiste by Kim Fox, which is met with opposition from his mother, Sheree Trueman. Initially thinking it is because Sheree doesn't think she is good enough for her son she is later stunned when Isaac reveals the real reason is because he has schizophrenia. Lola sticks by Isaac when he suffers a schizophrenic episode and is sectioned. Isaac is later released from the hospital after he makes a full recovery. Sheree leaves the Square in September, and flees to Trinidad as she is unable to cope with Isaac and Lola dating. Lola and Isaac start looking for a flat together, however in March 2022, Isaac decides he needs to visit Sheree to clear the air. He never returns to the Square and is later revealed to be dating someone else, leaving Lola heartbroken.

On 1 August 2022, Lola is left to her cheer Lexi on by herself at a dance performance when Ben doesn't show up. Ben shows up moments before she goes in though. Lexi passes her audition, with Lola saying they need to celebrate, before waiting outside for the two. Lexi then asks Ben why he was late, and Ben replied by telling her it was the tube being late, and that he knew Lexi would pass as she's amazing at Ballet. Lexi reminds him it was Tap dancing, and Lexi tells him he misses him being around, saying he never sees her anymore. Ben then shouts at Lexi, bringing her to tears. Later at Kathy's, Lola assures Lexi that Ben will be there for the celebration, with Bobby Beale and Tom Cotton trying to entertain Lexi. Lexi then dismisses herself from the table. When Lola returns from checking on Lexi, she tells Kathy she's still upset over Ben and that Ben should be there Tom says he'll be there eventually, and then Jay and Callum knock on the door to let Ben know that Jay is moving in with Callum. When Lexi sees them, Callum asks how Lexi did at her exam, and she tells him he passed. Lexi checks her phone, and finds a message from Ben, with him sounding drunk, alarming them all. Lola then takes Lexi to watch TV.

On 16 August 2022, Lola is visited by Mr Lister at the salon, asking for some "facial tidying". He then says grooming, and Lola presumes he means waxing so says they do eyebrows, Nose, Ears, but lister asks for a skin boost. Lola says they don't do Botox in the salon, But lister asks for fake tan, saying he doesn't mean the colour of Lola's, but whatever's fitting for the season. Lola takes Mr Lister to a chair, and he sees Honey being pampered and tries to hide himself. Lola asks Mr Lister if he's aiming to please anyone, but he says he's a private person. Later in the cafe, Lola asks Ben if he's ok, he says he's fine and then asks if he can take Lexi to the park, but Lola says he can't use Lexi to make himself feel better. Lola then says that Ben should stop partying and taking drugs if he wants to be trusted around Lexi more.

On 7 September 2022, Lola invites Frankie Lewis clubbing with her, Whitney Dean, Felix Baker, Finlay Baker, Vinny Panesar and Dotty Cotton. Frankie accepts and they all later head out. Later, Frankie finds Lola and tells her she's going to leave as she's feeling uncomfortable. She tells Lola to stay, and Lola makes her promise to answer her on her find me app and text her when she's home before Frankie leaves.

On 12 September 2022, Lola visits the Slater family and does their hair and make up for Kat and Phil’s wedding. She later speaks with Ben in the Vic, telling him not to mess up with Lexi later. Lola then says she’s going to go for a coffee with Frankie to cheer her up after being stalked. Frankie overhears this and is angry at Lola, but Lola and Ben both convince her to go to the police. Lola later makes a bet with Mo Harris that Kat won’t show up to the wedding. Lola later demands her money from Mo, but Mo refuses to give it to her as Kat could still show up. After the wedding is postponed, Lola demands her money again, but Mo says there’s no time limit and if Kat isn’t around by the end of the day she’ll pay. Lola then sees Frankie in the corner and asks Mick if she reported it, and Mick tells her that she did but it didn’t go well. Lola then asks if he wants her to get Frankie out of the Vic and he says yes. Lola takes Frankie to Walford East and tells her about the wedding, when a man starts harassing them about joining them for a drink. Ravi Gulati then defuses the situation and stands up for the girls, saying he’s at the bar if they need him. Frankie tries to leave, saying nowhere is safe from men wanting something from them. Lola tells her she’s not alone, saying she knows Lexi will have the same experiences they do, saying it won’t change. Frankie says she’s right and leaves.

Jay is present on Kat and Phil‘s wedding day when Kim Fox, Lola and Lexi discuss whether the wedding will happen. Jay later helps Vi Highway alongside Lola and Ben when she struggles to pack up and move out by herself. However, he does not realise that Vi and Lola are trying to get Ben and Callum back together.

Later on the same day, Jay complains that Lanky is getting promoted, and tells Ben and Callum that he does not want to celebrate his birthday. Lola organises a surprise party for Jay, but due to Jay‘s reluctance to leave his home, Ben and Callum are forced to tell him the truth about the party. Eventually, he agrees to go, and acts like the party was a secret. Lola realises that Jay knew, and this starts an argument between them, with Jay saying that birthdays remind him of his 21st - when Lola dumped him for Dexter. In doing so, he calls Lola the love of his life. She runs away to the office, but is attacked by Jonah Tyler's thugs. She manages to escape them, and runs into the bar, asking for help. Phil, Billy, Kat and Alfie manage to knock out Jonah and his thugs. Later, an ambulance is called and it turns out that Lola has broken her arm. Billy and Jay both want to go with Lola in the ambulance, but as there is only space for one person, Jay lets Billy go, yet follows behind. At the hospital, Jay gets annoyed at the receptionist due to the lack of information he and Billy are being given. Jay and Lola both apologise to each other for their argument, and Tom video calls him angside Linda, Honey, Kim and other punters in the Vic singing him 'Happy Birthday'. Billy tells Lola in secret that Jay still loves Lola, and that they should both get back together. When they later return home, Lola kisses Jay. He asks her if this means anything and after slight reluctance, they both admit to loving each other and start dating.

The next morning, Lola and Jay have slept together. Lola tells Jay that she doesn't want to tell Lexi about them yet, causing Jay to get annoyed. Jay later jokes with Alfie about a funeral for a married gigolo who died mid-sex with his mistress. Alfie tries to borrow some flowers from the funeral to give to Kat, but Jay stops him, claiming that it's creepy. Jay visits Lola on her lunch break and gifts her a necklace. Jay and Lola later attend Joan and Cecil's fake wedding.

Martin and Zack meet Amber and Jenny who they set up a double date with, however Zack later bails. As Martin doesn't want to be alone, he asks Jay to be the other girl's date, and as Jay and Lola are still a secret, they agree, Lola argues with Jay when he tell her about this, protesting that he should‘ve made up an excuse, Lola grows increasingly jealous as the date progresses. Jay leaves the date, claiming he's got a headache and tells Lola that he wants to go public and they can raise Lexi together. The next day, Jay and Lola tell Martin but ask him to keep it a secret as Lexi doesn't know yet. Lexi later gets suspicious when she sees a message with hearts from Jay on Lola's phone. Martin tells Lily about Jay and Lola and she congratulates them in front of Lexi and Ben, causing Lexi to storm off. Lexi forgives them when they apologise at McKlunky's, so long as they never lie to her, sneak off around her and promise to keep her informed. She writes them list of gifts to buy her to make up for lying, which include a pony. Lola fulfills half of Lexi's requests, including accessories for her pageant. Jay, Honey, Billy, Ben, Callum and Will attend the pageant. Lola goes to the bathroom with Jay's assistance as she feels tire, dizzy and her head starts to hurt, She ends up shaking and collapses alone in the bathroom. Jay finds her on the floor and Ben calls an ambulance, despite Lola's protests. Jay agrees to video call Lexi from the hospital. At the hospital, they befriend Jim and Eileen who tell Jay not to let Lola get away this time. Dr Burgess tells Lola that they have found a tumour in Lola's brain during her CT scan, which is most likely cancerous.

The next morning, Lola video calls Lexi and Ben and lies that she only has one more scan left and it's all looking good. It's implied that Lexi has won the pageant. Dr Burgess tells Lola and Jay that her MRI results confirm that she has a glioblastoma multiforme, a fast-growing type of cancer. Jay is distraught, whilst Lola immediately asks about treatment. When Dr Burgess tells her that surgery may not be a 'cure', Lola is in denial, saying that she has important things in life, including Lexi and her job. She is booked into surgery for the following week and asked to stay in hospital until then. Lola wants to leave as she promised Lexi to be home by the end of the day, but Jay tells her it would be best to stay. Lola is told that her medication has hopefully reduced the brain swelling, so she can be discharged until her surgery if she takes a longer course of medication - Dr Burgess advises against this. When the doctor warns Lola that surgery may not remove all the cancer, Lola and Jay wonder what happens then. They are told that in this scenario, Lola would then have to go on radiotherapy and chemotherapy, making Lola upset as she thinks that nobody would want her to be their hairdresser if she has no hair.

Jay and Lola argue when they are leaving - Jay says that she hasn‘t fully heard out the doctor but Lola believes that with a bit of surgery this will all be gone. When they return home, Lola lies to Billy and Honey saying that she is fine but needs to go back the following week for some tests. Jay thinks she should tell the truth but Lola doesn't want to as she doesn't want Billy to worry about her or treat her differently. Lola collapses on exiting the cafe, and becomes worried of having to tell everyone about her cancer. Later that night, Lola tells Billy, Honey and Ben the truth. Billy is in denial and upset whilst Honey and Lola try to be positive. Lola asks them to keep it a secret form everyone, including, Lexi, however they do not realise she is listening from the stairs.

The next day, Billy and Ben are both visibly struggling with this news. Lexi, Callum (who now knows about the cancer), Ben and Jay visit Lola in hospital. Ben tells Lola that Lexi knows about the cancer, but none of the details. Lola regrets not telling her. Ben recalls to when he was Lexi's age and Ian told him about Kathy's cancer, saying that it's no age to deal with death but Lola cuts him off, saying that she's ill but not dead yet. Ben tells Lola that Lexi is going to struggle when Lola gets more ill and she becomes upset, saying that she can‘t protect Lexi like a good mum should.

At the hospital, Lola explains to Lexi about what the cancer is. She tells her the tumour is a lump inside of her head where her brain should be. Lexi asks if it is her fault for overworking Lola at the pageant but Lola and Ben reassure her that it is nobody's fault. She promises to be around for a long time and Jay leaves the room in tears. Ben comforts Jay by telling her that hospitals often react, and Jay says that he can't leave her after just getting her back.

On the day of the surgery, Lexi becomes upset at Halloween when Lola can't take her trick-or-treating, so Ben and Callum offer to take her place but Lexi says that she doesn't want to go without Lola. At the hospital, Lola is briefed for her surgery by Mr Reeves who tells her that they will remove the tumour in order to get a diagnosis, but he doubts that they will get more than that out. Lexi, Ben and Callum visit Lola at the hospital in Halloween costumes. Jay gets annoyed at Ben, saying that Lola is tired. Lexi fantasizes about the next Halloween, making Lola and Jay upset. Later at the Vic, Jay tells Tom about the tumour and asks him not to tell anyone, including Kathy.

Justin tells Lola not to worry about hair loss, as Mr Reeves is good at keeping hair loss to a minimum. He also tells her that there is a wide range of realistic wigs, before offering her a drink to highlight the tumour during surgery. Jay, Billy and Honey are unable to visit the hospital during Lola's surgery as Jay has two funerals and Billy and Lola are going to his plea hearing. Mitch and Tom help Jay with a funeral after he is let down at the last minute, allowing him to visit Lola at the hospital. Honey and Billy later escort Lola to the operating theater alongside Jay. Lola and Jay say "I love you" to each other.

Billy and Jay stay with Lola post-operation, where Jay says that he's stayed with her all night. Billy tries to persuade Jay to go home to sleep and take a shower, but Jay says that he will not leave until Lola wakes up. Honey later arrives at hospital and waits with Billy and Jay for Lola to wake up. Jay overhears Mr Reeves and Dr Smith talking about a patient who's surgery went well, and can thusly be released in a few days. Jay tells Honey and Billy, but Billy is sceptical as a name was not said during the overheard conversation. Lola wakes up and Jay tells her that they got all of the tumour. Billy later shouts at Jay for this, as he is giving Lola 'false hope'.

Mr Reeves tells Jay, Billy and Lola that he was able to take out some of the tumour, but he was unable to remove it all. He tells them that this is a fast-growing tumour, so they can administer medication to slow the growth, but it is not curable. Lola and Jay start sobbing after she says "he [Mr Reeves] thinks I'm going to die". Jay starts to argue with Mr Reeves, saying that he must have got his records wrong until Lola asks Jay and Billy to leave. Billy starts to shout at Jay whilst Jay sobs and tells Ben and Honey what Mr Reeves said.

Jay later returns to Lola and apologises for getting her hopes up. She tells him she asked Mr Reeves to leave as she wasn't ready to hear it, and that she's terrified. Billy talks to Honey in the waiting room, saying that Lola is too young for this. He says he always hoped that Jay and her would get married and have more kids and have their own family. He gets upset thinking about what will happen to Lexi and says that if he could swap places with Lola, he would. Honey tells him that they need to be strong for Lola.

Lola, surrounded by Ben, Honey, Billy and Jay, video calls Lexi from the hospital. She tells Lexi that the operation worked and that she would be home soon. After the call, Lola gets upset, saying that she promised Lexi to not lie to her again. Billy and Honey says she did the right thing to protect Lexi.

Mr Reeves informs Lola about different forms of treatment including radiotherapy, which would involve Lola coming in daily for six weeks. She says she wants to continue work to keep things as normal for Lexi as possible before she dies. Lola and her visitors are introduced to Alex, a specialist brain tumour nurse. Jay, Ben, Billy and Honey promise to be with Lola every step of the way.

The next day, all of Lola's relatives are in a sombre mood. Ben, Callum and Lexi visit Jay and Lola at the hospital after school, where Callum says that Lexi can stay with them if she needs time alone.

Lola returns home the next day, and Jay reassures her that he hasn't told anyone. Linda and Sharon comment that Lola is wobbly, but it's nice that she has Jay. He makes her a brownie and buys her an illegal USB that allows her to watch any show. Lola says she wants to eat out, but Jay and her agree to get fish and chips so that she gets fresh air but doesn't overwork herself. Shortly after, Jay and Lola speak to Denise who says that she can return to salon whenever she wants.

When Lola's first radiotherapy session arrives, Billy gives Lola some flowers for good luck. Lola later states that she'd be fine going to the radiotherapy on her own, however Billy doesn't allow this and goes with Lola. Before the treatment, the two speak to Ethan, a radiographer who reassures Lola about her concerns, particularly hair loss concerns. Ethan says that Lola will only have some slight thinning or lose a few strands of hair, and only on the parts they treat too. After this, Lola seems lost in her own world and visibly shocked, although Billy reassures her and the radiotherapy goes ahead. The next day, Ben confronts Lola about her falling asleep with the door wide open whilst taking care of Lexi, Ben tells Lola that she needs to tell Lexi that the tumour hasn't disappeared and that things will only get worse from here, Billy and Jay agree with this but Lola disagrees and angrily storms out. Later on, Lexi goes missing but is shortly found in the park. Lexi finds a letter addressed to Lola regarding her brain tumour and gets angry with Lola, the pair eventually have a heartfelt conversation and Lola truthfully educates Lexi on the tumour and what'll happen in the future.

In November 2022, Lola and her family go into the pub. Lexi is caught by Linda for drinking wine, Lola soon hears Janine gossiping about Lexi and hears her call Lexi feral. Lola stands up to Janine and angrily calls her out, they get into an argument when Lola suddenly collapses, Janine instantly prejudges that Lola is drunk, which causes Lexi to furiously shout "She's not drunk! She's got cancer!" leaving the whole pub in shock, Billy tells everyone that Lexi is just confused but Lola denies this and confirms that she really does have cancer, Jay supports Lola and speaks out about the tumour too.

On Christmas Day, Jay proposes to Lola in a snowy setting, however to Jay's surprise, Lola rejects him and says no because she believes that Jay wouldn't be able to take care of her properly due to the tumour. Some time later, Lola eventually says yes to Jay and the wedding goes ahead. Lola decides that she wants to reunite with her mum before she dies, although she dismisses this thought later on. Billy doesn't dismiss this thought though and he tracks down Emma Harding, Lola's mum, in an attempt to persuade her to come to the wedding as Lola wished for, Emma states that she thinks Lola would be better off without reuniting with her and then she disappears, and doesn't attend the wedding. On the bright side, Lola and Jay finally get married after Lola arrives late because of a minor health scare.

A few weeks after the wedding, Emma, using the alias of Nicole, arrives at the Fox & Hair Salon specifically asking for Lola, Lola and Emma (as Nicole) chat about their personal lives and Lola tells Emma a lot about her life, not knowing that Emma was in fact her mum. Lola later mentions that she is having money issues regarding her and Jay's honeymoon, not long after Emma's appointment, a large sum of money is anonymously posted through the letterbox for Lola and Jay. From what Emma had learnt, a young girl at Lexi's school had been picking on her for Lola's diagnosis, so Emma chooses to go to the school for a confrontation and warns the young girl to leave Lexi alone. After a few more appointments, Lola and Emma suddenly begin to argue and Lola accuses Emma of being a stalker, Billy and Jay arrive and based off of what Billy said, Lola realises that Emma is her mum, to which Emma confirms with a nod.

Soon after, Lola and Emma have a conversation about the past and the real reason as to why Emma abandoned Lola years ago. Lola decides to forgive Emma and start a fresh with her, the mother and daughter begin to bond more and occasionally go out together. When Mother's Day arrives, Emma joins Lola and Lexi in a special day which Lexi planned out for Lola, which upsets Lexi. Lola and Lexi go to McKlunky's to have a conversation about Emma and how she will become a part of both of their lives, Lexi then accepts having Emma in her life and they enjoy the rest of the day together.

In March 2023, Lola devastatingly finds out she only has six months left to live, Lola is distraught and struggles to process this but Jay supports her. Lola eventually tells her close family about this which quickly gets emotional, Emma is saddened by this because she's only just found Lola and she's already being taken away from her. Lexi reveals that she has been secretly saving for Lola, however Lola unfortunately says that there is nothing that can be done to fix this anymore and reassures Lexi that she tried her best and gave it all she had, but it just didn't go her way. Later, Emma struggles to cope with the grief and visits Lola at her home and announces that she'll be moving to America but won't say where specifically. Lola and Jay are angered by this and argue with Emma, Emma says she'll still call Lola and speak to her, but Lola doesn't care. Emma leaves and abandons Lola, once again. As the tumour expands, Lola's condition worsens, she makes the sad choice of quitting her job at the salon, causing Denise and Kim to throw a leaving party for her. Lola leaves the party and collapses shortly after this.

As Lola's health deteriorates once again, Lola goes into hospital and she discovers that the months she had left had now turned into weeks. Lola cannot cope anymore and makes the choice of asking Billy to help her die her own way, mainly because she doesn't want Lexi to see her die like that and because Lola is scared to die naturally. Billy refuses and says that he cannot do that, however he later changes his mind and accepts to help her die. Some days later, Lola has a dream of being in Margate once again, her childhood home. She begs jay to take her to Margate one last time before she dies, So Jay breaks Lola out of hospital and the two go to Margate for a day out.

Lola and Jay enjoy their day in Margate and reminisce about the past and some good times. Later on in Margate, Lola steals a necklace for Lexi intended for when she's older, but Jay takes the blame for this theft, however the shopkeeper chooses not to press charges due to Lola's tumour. Lola eventually tells Jay about wanting to die her own way rather than naturally, Jay takes this the wrong way and gets angry with Lola but after Lola explains her reasons, Jay accepts Lola's decision so long as he can help her to die. Lola later on changes her mind and states that she'll die naturally for Lexi's sake and the risk of setting a bad example.

Lola returns home days later, her condition worsens to a point where she repeatedly loses consciousness and the ability to talk. Ben is distraught to see Lola like this and immediately rushes on a flight to America to get Lola the help she needs. Back in Walford, Suzanne, a palliative care nurse, begins to support Lola and her family, Suzanne sadly announces that it's now the time for everyone to say their goodbyes to Lola. Billy reacts badly to this and gets into an argument with Nish Panesar, who teases him over Lola's health, Billy furiously smashes up the Minute Mart. Billy then gets arrested for this, however later on, Suki Panesar is persuaded to get Nish to drop the charges against Billy. Billy gets released just in time and says an emotional goodbye to Lola, to which he hears Lola's last words "I love you too". The next day, as the sun beams into her bedroom, Lola peacefully passes away at dawn with Jay and Lexi beside her on her bed.

Ben arrives back from America the day after Lola's death and emotionally breaks down. Lexi also watches the video which Lola had recorded for her before dying. Soon after, Lola's coffin is opened to the residents of Walford to write messages on for her. The day of the funeral arrives and Lola's family and friends attend to say their final goodbyes and pay their respects, Emma shows up with some flowers but quickly leaves. It is later revealed that Lola and Lexi had recorded a video about how amazing Jay was and how he needed to carry on living his life to the fullest even after her death.

Employment history

Occupation Years Active
Waitress at Shirley's Café 2011
Hairdresser at Beauty 2013
Hairstylist at Blades 2014-2015
Hairdresser at Fox & Hair 2020-2023

Residence

Address Years
45 Albert Square 2019-2020
55 Victoria Road 2020-2021
31 Albert Square 2021
18 Albert Square 2022-2023

Quotes

First line to a girl in the care home: "Where's my Twix, you little thieving skank?!"


To Lexi about her cancer: "I'm gonna be around for a long, long time."


Last line to Billy Mitchell: "I love you too."

Background information

  • At the 2023 British Soap Awards Danielle Harold won best leading performer for her role as Lola.

See also

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