EastEndersactress Gillian Wright has revealed that she has had a very positive response from viewers to her character Jean’s battle with bipolar disorder.
Gillian, who joined Albert Square in 2004, told Inside Soap magazine that her alter ego’s mental health struggles had touched a chord with many of the soap’s fans.
“It’s lovely because there are a wide range of people who write to me. There are children, who are passionate to tell me that Jean is their favourite character,” she said.
“Then people of my age who want to share their stories of dealing with bipolar within their families.
“Many tell me that just having a character with bipolar in the show is a great comfort and help to them. Then I get a lot of nice letters from the retired community. I’m really grateful for the good wishes.”
However she added there are disadvantages to being so widely recognised by viewers.
“Some of my friends don’t want to go out in public with me because it’ll be a whole evening being constantly interrupted!” Gillian admitted.
“We end up going round each other’s houses all the time instead! I can completely understand why they wouldn’t want to deal with it but I see it as lovely that people come up to give me a pat on the back. It’s hard to be irritated by that.”