Ex EastEnders star Carol Harrison accuses soap of 'sexism and misogyny'

Former EastEnders star Carol Harrison has accused the soap of ‘sexism and misogyny’.

The actress, who played Tiffany Mitchell’s (Martine McCutcheon) mum Louise on the show in the 90s, claims there was a ‘toxic’ atmosphere behind the scenes that caused her to have a breakdown.

Carol, who left EastEnders in 1999, has hit out at the scripts at the time which she felt were ‘demeaning’ to older women, such as when Louise’s lover Gianni called her ‘an old granny’ in a vicious row.

During her time on EastEnders she had seven urgent talks with bosses about the issues she says she was facing.

She recalled one meeting with producers in which she was told ‘We don’t about women over 40’ and that she should ‘be grateful’ she was a part of the soap.

Ultimately the stress of the situation led to her blacking out on set, putting on weight and having suicidal thoughts.

‘I was working 7am to 7pm and had my little boy Alfie and husband Jamie. I’d go home and cry,’ the actress said.

She went to therapy and was put on antidepressants.

‘It left me shocked at how ageist and misogynistic they were. They told me to just get on with it and be grateful,’ she told The Mirror.

‘For years after EastEnders I believed I was a has-been. It’s only now I’ve felt able to get back to performing.’

Some of Louise’s storylines involved sleeping with daughter Tiffany’s husband Grant (Ross Kemp).

The actress also addressed June Brown’s recent suggestion that she has left EastEnders, claiming her character Dot Cotton was ‘diminished’.

However it is Metro.co.uk’s understanding that June is on an ad hoc rolling contract with the soap and returns as and when the storylines require.

EastEnders declined to comment when contacted by Metro.co.uk.

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