Enders' star: I could have ended up like Lola

Updated: 18 February 2013 08:30

EastEnders star Danielle Harold has admitted that she could have ended up like her character, Lola Pearce.

EastEnders star Danielle Harold has admitted that she could have ended up like her character, Lola Pearce.

The 20-year-old actress explained that growing up in a tough neighbourhood in south-east London meant she saw many of her close friends going down the wrong road.

Speaking to the Sunday Mirror, Danielle said: "I didn't do well at school. I used to bunk off lessons a lot. I wouldn't cause trouble but I had a lot of Lola's attitude.

"A lot of the girls had babies at my school and that was one route I could have gone down but that wasn't for me.

"I didn't grow up in a great area - it was a tough place to live at times. A local boy who lived a few streets away from me was out one night and ran into the wrong crowd. He was stabbed and died.

"That was a massive eye-opener for me, I was only 16 but it made me realise that there are dangers out there. It made me grow up a lot and I learnt how to be street wise which helped me so much with Lola.

"Luckily I had great parents and they were able to guide me, which is something Lola has never had."

Speaking about her time on Jamie's Dream School, she added: "Jamie Oliver was a complete life-changer for me. I was so lucky to have got on that programme.

"It made me believe in myself and made me realise I could achieve whatever I wanted in life. You just need a little bit of encouragement sometimes and someone that believes in you.

"But some young people like Lola don't have that support or encouragement."