BBC calls in nurse specialist to advise on EastEnders storyline

Nurse consulted over Peggy Mitchell's breast cancer treatment

A clinical nurse specialist in breast care was brought in to advise the BBC on the portrayal of EastEnders’ Peggy Mitchell’s experience of breast cancer.

Actress Barbara Windsor as Peggy Mitchell.  Picture credit: BBC

Barbara Windsor, who has played the show’s matriarch since 1994, is due to leave Albert Square this week.

Keen to ensure that the portrayal of the illness was accurate, the BBC turned to Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust nurse specialist Victoria Harmer.

Ms Harmer said she was impressed by the script writers’ and actors’ commitment to accuracy: 'It is entertainment, it is not a documentary so there is a bit of artistic licence, but they research [the storyline] meticulously.'

It is important that breast cancer storylines were dealt with 'sensitively' in dramas, she added.

'As Peggy Mitchell has advanced breast cancer it has to be dealt with sensitively, you don’t want to scaremonger or portray anything inappropriately.'