EastEnders‘ Cathy Murphy reveals to Soaplife why it’s goodbye Julie when Billy finds out he has a teenage granddaughter
One minute Billy and Julie are off to meet their son, the next they find out he’s dead and they have a granddaughter. Her name is Lola and she’s quite the little show girl – she immediately makes Julie feel second place in Billy’s affections. “Julie needs Billy to love but Lola threatens to push her out of his life,” Cathy tells Soaplife. And with the news Cathy is leaving Enders, that’s probably no idle threat…
Julie doesn’t even want to go with Billy to visit her long-lost son, does she?
“No. She’s frightened he’ll hate her for giving him up. But the man they find tells them their son Dan died three months earlier. Julie is heartbroken.”
Then they find out about Lola…
“They’re given Dan’s things to go through and find out his daughter Lola is in a children’s home. Billy’s delighted but Julie is so devastated by her son’s death she can’t get her head around anything new.”
She’s horrified when Billy says they’re going to meet Lola, isn’t she?
“Yes because she hasn’t started the grieving process for her son. And it doesn’t help that the first thing Lola says is ‘My dad hated you!’.”
Soaplife knows Lola steals Billy’s wallet and shows up in Walford. How does Julie react?
“Julie’s freaked out. Lola reminds her of how she was as a youngster, all the aggression and anger and hatred to the world. Julie doesn’t want to revisit the way she was.”
Is that why Julie feels that she can’t love Lola?
“No. It’s because she’s so hurt by her son’s death. She doesn’t want Lola there. She tells Billy she wants it to be just the two of them.”
But Lola warns her, ‘If you make Billy choose between us, I’ll win’. Does Julie believe her?
“She knows Billy will choose Lola because Billy is a softie and he’ll do the right thing by her.”
Why does Julie report Lola for running away from the children’s home?
“She wants to teach Lola a lesson. No one gave Julie a firm hand when she was growing up. She wanted rules and she wanted somebody to parent her. Julie does it to be kind.”
But Billy doesn’t see it like that?
“Billy says he can’t bear to look at her. Julie’s devastated because she adores Billy.”
Could this put a wedge between Billy and Julie?
“Yes. A decision has to be made: Julie or Lola. Julie would normally take Lola on but she can’t cope right now. She decides to bow out gracefully and not put up a fight. She’s lost her mojo!”