|Portrayed by||Gillian Wright|
|Introduced by|| Louise Berridge (2004) |
Diederick Santer (2007)
Dominic Treadwell-Collins (2014, 2015, 2016)
|First Appearance||16th December 2004|
|Duration||2004-2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018-|
|Other names||Jean Slater|
|Occupation|| Market trader |
Wright, however, returned to portray Jean for two more guest stints in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
In December 2017, it was confirmed she would return in 2018 as a regular character.
She's had her fair share of setbacks - her ongoing battle with bipolar disorder, her difficult relationship with son Sean and, of course, adjusting to life without Stacey and granddaughter Lily. But don't be fooled into thinking that Jean's a pushover. She can be tough - she's had to be to get where she is today.
- Likes: Flowers
- Dislikes: Confined spaces (she has claustrophobia), quizzes and big pants
- Weaknesses: Can't swim
- Hobbies: Knitting and cooking
- Food: Doesn't like touching kidney meat
In fact, Jean has stood up to her fair share of bullies on the Square and has a hard side - it's part of the Slater genetic inheritance. So when Ian tries to take advantage of her kindness and overwork her as soup-chef at Scarlett’s, she’s prepared to stand her ground. However, it all went a little too far when she, Shirley and Jean accidentally set the restaurant on fire, leaving it with £3,000 worth of water damage. Luckily, Ian decided not to dob her in to the police when he found out.
Jean's kind-hearted - a romantic and an optimist. Though her efforts to find love have been cruelly thwarted time and time again, Jean reckons that men are like cardigans - you have to try a lot on before you find the right one. Having met a new dashing chap at the allotments, it looked like Ollie could have been her cardigan for life, until Jean confessed to him that she had Bipolar. Visibly distraught when Ollie walked away, Jean looked set to return to her single life, until Ollie returned having researched the condition. However, after a stern talking to from Kat about commitment, it seemed that Ollie wasn't up for the job, and Jean was broken hearted.
After Kat realised she had selfishly stood in the way of Jean's happiness, she tried to track Ollie down after he left Walford for Brighton... little did she know, Ollie had had seconds thoughts, and decided he didnt want to go to Brighton unless Jean was there with him. Realising she had well and truly fallen in love, Jean finally threw caution to the wind and departed Walford with Ollie. Her and and her sausage surprise will be sorely missed!
When Stacey returns to Walford, she confesses to killing Archie, which leads to her being imprisoned with a five-year sentence, and Lily is left in Jean and Ollie's care. A few months later, Jean arrives at Kat and Alfie's home with Lily. She visits Stacey in prison, urging her to appeal her sentence, but Stacey refuses.
Jean struggles to cope with looking after Lily, and when she overhears Alfie and Kat talking about her, she attempts suicide. Stacey is allowed to visit Jean in hospital, where Stacey realises how much her family need her, especially as Jean wants to stay in a psychiatric hospital. Jean eventually convinces Stacey to appeal her sentence and then returns to a psychiatric hospital in Brighton.
On the 20th December, 2017, it was announced that Jean, portrayed by Gillian Wright (Calendar Girls, Sir Gadabout, the Worst Knight in the Land) would be returning to EastEnders, along with fellow Slater ladies Kat and Mo, after moving to Brighton and making multiple visits to Walford over the past few years. No details have been released on upcoming storylines. Gillian said of her return: "‘I am delighted the Slater women are to be reunited once more. I have always adored working alongside Lacey, Jessie and Laila and I am looking forward to being reacquainted with everyone at EastEnders again!", whilst EastEnders executive consultant said "The Slaters are one of the all-time great families in EastEnders and Albert Square has never quite felt the same since they scattered to different ends of the country, and in some cases beyond."