Thursday, March 29, 2012

'Get outta my pub!': EastEnders bosses REFUSE to pay for star's leaving do... because she is two months shy of five years

By Lucy Buckland

Cheryl Fergison was devastated when EastEnders bosses broke the news her character Heather Trott was for the chop.

And in a final BBC farewell 'petty' producers told the 46-year-old they would not be coughing up for her leaving do, as she was eight weeks shy of completing the mandatory five years for a free knees-up.

Instead of a warm farewell down the local boozer bosses told the loveable actress to pay for her own leaving do or not have one at all.

Pay for your own: Cheryl Fergison was just two months shy of getting a traditional Walford send-off

Cast members have accused BBC producers of being petty for not digging into their own pockets, especially as the actress was devastated she was axed.

But Cheryl's ending turned out happy in the end as her colleagues clubbed together to give her a bash.

One insider told the Daily Mirror: 'Cheryl was weeks away from the five-year point and it just smacks of pettiness.

'People feel she was shoddily treated. She was well loved and upset at being killed off so many thought it was the last thing they could have done.'

Final moments: Cheryl as she was last seen in character as Heather before she ducked out of the show

Speaking of the party two months ago, Cheryl said: 'I did my final scene and the studio filled with people. It was incredible, the number who came to say goodbye.'

The news the actress was to be axed came just as she found out she would be reunited with

Moroccan husband Yassine El-Jamouni after he had been finally granted a visa to live in Britain.

She told Best magazine: 'It was a bittersweet day. What you get with one hand, you get taken away with another! When they told me Heather was for the chop, (the boss) had to get me a tissue.

'Sometimes a character is sacrificed to make other stories work. I get it. I knew it was going to come but it was still a shock.'

Drinks are off: In The Queen Vic of the soap bosses often show traditional knees-ups but actress Cheryl Fergison had to pay for her own drinks

Cheryl explained that she was able to hold it together during filming of her last scenes but she crumbled when it came to clearing out her dressing room.

She said: 'There were lots of tears and I was scared about the future. I’ve turned down a couple of things I didn’t think were quite right for me.

An EastEnders spokesperson told the MailOnline: 'There is absolutely no truth that Cheryl moaned to bosses about not having a leaving party paid for by the production.

'Although we always try to give a good send off for any actors that have been with the show for a significant amount of time, EastEnders and the cast would not ever expect this to be paid for by the licence fee.'

Cheryl added: 'At no point have I ever complained to the bosses.'



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