Laurie Brett tried to make a "drunk" joke to cover for Jo Joyner's infamous 'EastEnders' howler.

Laurie Brett

Laurie Brett

The 51-year-old star - who played Jane Beale on and off from 2004 until her exit in 2017 - has opened up on the soap's 30th anniversary live episode five years ago, during which her co-star Jo (Tanya Branning) accidentally referred to Adam Woodyatt (Ian Beale) by his real name rather than his character.

Appearing on 'The One Show', Laurie said: "The whole country knew it was live then, and she's a fantastic actress. Everybody felt for her.

"The problem was I had no lines to say afterwards! I was thinking, 'What can I say?'

"I was about to say, 'Tanya, have you been drinking?' when a third AD [assistant director], Tish, took this really massive decision to throw Mimi [Keene], who played Cindy, on early.

"For a third AD to take that chance, and think, 'Is this the right thing to do?' was really brave, so everybody just pulled together."

Laurie joked her co-star Mimi "got thrown through the door" while she was still trying to come up with an improvised line to cover the mistake.

She added: "As I say, I was trying to think of something to say. Jo held it together. I held it together. Like I say, someone took the decision to throw Mimi on rather quickly. I think she got thrown through the door."

The classic episode - which was a huge part of the 'Who Killed Lucy Beale?' storyline - was shown again on BBC One this week.

Reflecting on the murder mystery and the big reveal that Jane's stepson Bobby Beale - then played by Eliot Carrington - was behind Lucy's (Hetti Bywater) death, Laurie insisted she was determined not to ruin the surprise.

She explained: "There were three cast members who knew the secret for about three or four months. How do you keep a secret? You tell no-one, but everyone and their dog was trying to get it from us."

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