EASTENDERS star Letitia Dean has admitted she lied her way to the role of Sharon.
The 52-year-old star, one of the few original 1985 cast members, also opened up about the “horrible” fat-shaming she had experienced.
Letitia explained that at the start of the show, producers only wanted to cast real Cockneys, who had been born within the sound of Bow bells.
However, having grown up in a cosy cottage in Hertfordshire, she would have been instantly ruled out if she told the truth.
Speaking on spin-off show Secrets From The Square, she admitted: “We had to be born within the sound of Bow bells and I told a porky.
“I said my parents had to go and work away, and I was staying with somebody in ‘the sound of Bow bells’, I do remember getting the job and getting the call. I remember that quite clearly. It was just so exciting.”
Sharon, seen here in 1999, is one of the soap’s longest-running characters[/caption]
Letitia Dean with Roly the poodle when EastEnders first aired in 1985[/caption]
The character has stayed at the forefront of storylines, recently snatching the Vic from under Phil’s nose[/caption]
Letitia Dean out and about filming EastEnders in Notting Hill[/caption]
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She added that she had been viciously fat-shamed during her younger years on the BBC soap.
Letitia said: “I think it’s probably harder for the youngsters today, it’s a very different time now with social media and all that business.
“I had quite a lot of horrible things said about me. ‘She’s too fat, the other actors complain they can’t fit on the same set with her’.”
Ian Beale star Adam Woodyatt, another EastEnders original, who appeared alongside her on Secrets from the Square, added: “It was just vile, and it wouldn’t be accepted now.”