One thing my colleagues at Secret London can attest to is that I hate cheese I love EastEnders. It’s an enduring love that has faced Stacey and Max’s affair reveal, the loss of my favourite duo Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell, and the recent female comrade storyline of The Six (let’s not focus on what has brought them together though, eh?)
As reported by Digital Spy earlier this week (January 8), EastEnders announced they’d be doing a “show first” this April: Jamie Borthwick, who plays Jay Brown in the iconic soap, will run the London Marathon in character, as a BBC film crew follows him around some of London’s streets. Now, while there’s no guarantee, could this be us EastEnders fans’ chance to be in the iconic London soap, as we cheer on the runners from the sidelines?
As regular viewers will know, Jay lost his wife Lola (played by Danielle Harold) to a brain tumour in a storyline that aired last year; in Christmas Day’s episode, it was revealed that Lola had signed up Jay and Honey (played by Emma Barton) to run the London Marathon. The actors will be running the marathon in real life, with scenes filmed around the actual route as Jamie is followed on April 21 by a BBC camera crew. It is reported that they’ll be running for charities separate from their characters.
Now, we can’t confirm what shots will actually make it to the Monday’s episode, following the marathon, but perhaps you’ll be able to spot your arm, your jacket, or even your beaming face in sweeping shots of the crowd, as you cheer on Jay, and all the runners taking part.
Many stars of EastEnders have run the London Marathon before 2024, including Lacey Turner (Stacey Slater), Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale), and Natalie Cassidy (Sonia Fowler) – Jamie himself previously ran it in 2019. This also isn’t the first time EastEnders has melded reality with fiction: live footage of Perry Fenwick (who plays Billy Mitchell) carrying the Olympic Torch as an official torch bearer aired in 2012.
The London Marathon
This year marks the 44th London Marathon, which, last year, attracted over 45,000 participants, and a 70,000-strong crowd. The 26.2-mile route has remained largely unchanged since its conception, weaving through Greenwich, over Tower Bridge, past landmarks like the Cutty Sark and Big Ben, and finishing on The Mall.
Check back for updates to our London Marathon guide as we get closer to the iconic event.