EastEnders fans thought they’d been robbed of a proper goodbye to Adrian Edmondson’s character Daniel Cook after Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) was informed of his death via a phone call from his neighbour earlier this week, but a surprise twist on Friday 11th October revealed he had faked his demise and is still alive!
Jean, accompanied by Kush Kazemi (Davood Ghadami), attended the memorial of her close friend and fellow cancer patient at the community centre where she mourned for the man she had fallen for as they battled the illness.
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EastEnders fans were then stunned to see Daniel, very much still in the land of the living, meet with his friend Mike, who hosted the service, hiding on the Prince Albert balcony watching ‘mourners’ – including oblivious Jean – file out.
Explaining how he told Mike to lie to everyone he’d died in order to prevent Jean from enduring the pain of watching him fade away from his terminal diagnosis, Daniel insisted he’d done the right thing as Mrs Slater wouldn’t have to see him suffer any more.
Meanwhile, Jean sobbed in the Square gardens alone as she grieved, listening to ‘Daniel’ by Elton John on her phone – which Mr Cook reckoned was written about him as his mum had enjoyed a close relationship with songwriter Bernie Taupin in the 1960s…
Doctors had told Daniel there was nothing more that could be done as his condition had progressed too far, so sadly the character does not have long left – but could there still be a chance that Jean discovers the truth and gets a final farewell to the man she had grown so fond of before he passes away for real? Or will she never know the sacrifice he made to protect her feelings?
Edmondson’s guest stint on EastEnders has been a triumph, creating a believable and compelling rapport with the ever-brilliant Wright, despite the characters being chalk and cheese, and lending a sardonic gallows’ humour to his alter ego’s tragic predicament.
And we’d really love to see him one last time to find out once and for all whether that song really was written about him…
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