EastEnders: Heather Peace discusses Eve Unwin’s story
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Heather Peace, 47, broke her silence on whether she would be returning to her old role as Nikki Boston on popular BBC show Waterloo Road. Heather, who is best known for playing Eve Unwin on EastEnders, spoke exclusively to Express.co.uk shortly after she won Best Newcomer at the 2022 Inside Soap Awards last month.
On EastEnders, Heather’s character Eve has become romantically involved with Panesar family matriarch Suki, who is played by Balvinder Sopal.
However, Eve was left heartbroken on Monday night when Suki told her she would be giving her marriage another chance for the sake of her children.
“You love me, I know you do,” Eve told Suki, but the conflicted mother responded by callously calling their relationship “a fantasy”.
“I don’t really like you and that’s the truth. I used you to explore something and it left me cold,” Suki insisted, leaving Eve devastated.
Following Eve’s heartbreak, Heather gave some insight for the future of her character, and whether she would be revisiting an old character in the returning school-based drama Waterloo Road.
Heather played the teacher Nikki Boston on Waterloo Road between 2012 and 2014, and expressed her excitement that the popular series is returning in early 2023.
Asked if she would ever return to the show, Heather paused, before saying: “The show is amazing and I think Waterloo Road now would be a very different Waterloo Road from then.
“Because the children are facing so many different issues from what we had back then with social media and so forth. It was there but it wasn’t as prevalent as it is now.
“It’s a brilliant show and I wish them well – and there are so many discussions to be had amongst families when watching that show,” she continued.
“But I love it, where I am right now. Then again, my contract’s up in January so they might just say, ‘We’ve had enough of you!’
“So I don’t know, but I’m really, really happy where I am right now,” she added firmly.
“And I wish Waterloo Road all the best, because they are an inspiration!”
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While many teachers and students met a tragic end on Waterloo Road, Nikki’s was a happy one.
Her final episode on the show saw her quit her job at the school to move to Berlin with love interest Vix Spark (Kristin Atherton).
Heather admitted that this ending was on her terms, as she had some say over Nikki’s departure on the show due to her being part of the LGBT+ community.
While the up and down nature of dramas and soap operas means that many actors never know when their character’s time will be up, Heather made sure that this would not be the case for Nikki.
This was due to the unfortunate trope prevalent in TV shows, books and films that often sees lesbian characters meet a tragic end. Examples of said trope can be found in many popular shows, such as The 100, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Supernatural and Orange is the New Black.
“They listened to me on that, because it was a positive love story ending for my character,” Heather said of Waterloo Road.
The actress revealed she also had the same deal in place with EastEnders bosses for her character Eve, explaining: “Lesbians quite often meet a bad end, like, proportionately way more so than any other. And the one thing I did say to the producers was, ‘You want rid of me?’ And they’re very open to talking…
“I said, ‘At any point you can get rid of me, but I’m asking you now: Don’t kill her off. Don’t kill the lesbian. Let’s break that trope. If it no longer suits you that I’m here and there’s no more stories or whatever, let’s not leave it like that’.
“And they’ve agreed and that was literally my only condition,” she concluded happily.
EastEnders continues at 7.30pm tonight on BBC One.
The Inside Soap Awards 2022 celebrated 30 years of Inside Soap magazine.
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