Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick are preparing to run the London Marathon, while also filming for Monday’s episode of EastEnders.

The two soap stars play Honey Mitchell and Jay Brown on the BBC soap, who are running the marathon in memory of Lola Mitchell (Danielle Harold).

The tragic character, who was married to Jay, passed away in 2023 after a battle with brain cancer.

A current storyline sees Jay and Honey –  who is married to Lola’s grandfather and Jay’s former foster father Billy Mitchell – training to run the race as they continue to navigate their grief.

But in real life, Jamie, 29, and Emma, 46, will actually be participating in the race on behalf of separate charities close to their hearts, while filming the soap.

Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick are preparing to run the London Marathon, while also filming for Monday's episode of EastEnders

Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick are preparing to run the London Marathon, while also filming for Monday's episode of EastEnders

Emma Barton and Jamie Borthwick are preparing to run the London Marathon, while also filming for Monday’s episode of EastEnders 

The two soap stars play Honey Mitchell and Jay Brown on the BBC soap, who are running the marathon in memory of Lola Mitchell (pictured on soap)

The two soap stars play Honey Mitchell and Jay Brown on the BBC soap, who are running the marathon in memory of Lola Mitchell (pictured on soap)

The two soap stars play Honey Mitchell and Jay Brown on the BBC soap, who are running the marathon in memory of Lola Mitchell (pictured on soap)

The tragic character, played by Danielle Harold, who was married to Jay, passed away in 2023 after a battle with brain cancer  (pictured)

The tragic character, played by Danielle Harold, who was married to Jay, passed away in 2023 after a battle with brain cancer  (pictured)

The tragic character, played by Danielle Harold, who was married to Jay, passed away in 2023 after a battle with brain cancer  (pictured)

Emma will be running on behalf of BBC Children in Need, and Jamie will be running on behalf of Prostate Cancer UK. 

They will both run parts of the event in character to film scenes live from the route on the day which will feature on the show tomorrow night.

Jamie and Emma spoke to presenter Gabby Logan about the complicated process of filming while also taking on the challenging race at the same time.

Speaking about how the plan came to be, Jamie explained: ‘We’re doing this onscreen in memory of Lola, my wife who sadly passed away from a brain tumour in the storyline. Herself and Honey, before she passed, put Jay up to do the marathon. 

‘So our exec Chris Clenshaw said we’re going to do it for real. Sprung the idea on us, “how would you feel actually doing the marathon?” We stupidly accepted and here we are!

‘But we’re working today so we’ve got our camera crew set up at four points. Here, Cutty Sark, London Bridge and the finish line were we need to be at marks and film a little bit of footage.’

Detailing the difficulty of the shoot, Emma added: ‘Yeah we had a sort of meeting yesterday, like “can you be on the left side of this area, the right side of this” and we’re like oh my goodness! 

‘It is bonkers because we’re going from enjoying this and running for our charities, but it’s a work day.’

A current storyline sees Jay and Honey - who is married to Lola's grandfather and Jay's former foster father Billy Mitchell - training to run the race as they continue to navigate their grief

A current storyline sees Jay and Honey - who is married to Lola's grandfather and Jay's former foster father Billy Mitchell - training to run the race as they continue to navigate their grief

A current storyline sees Jay and Honey – who is married to Lola’s grandfather and Jay’s former foster father Billy Mitchell – training to run the race as they continue to navigate their grief

But in real life, Jamie, 29, and Emma, 46, will actually be participating in the race on behalf of separate charities close to their hearts, while filming the soap

But in real life, Jamie, 29, and Emma, 46, will actually be participating in the race on behalf of separate charities close to their hearts, while filming the soap

But in real life, Jamie, 29, and Emma, 46, will actually be participating in the race on behalf of separate charities close to their hearts, while filming the soap

Jamie and Emma spoke to presenter Gabby Logan about the complicated process of filming while also taking on the challenging race at the same time

Jamie and Emma spoke to presenter Gabby Logan about the complicated process of filming while also taking on the challenging race at the same time

Jamie and Emma spoke to presenter Gabby Logan about the complicated process of filming while also taking on the challenging race at the same time

They pointed out where the cameras and their fellow castmates would be along the route, with mapped out locations to tell them were they needed to go.

Gabby asked if the pair had to ensure that they were running alongside each other for the cameras.

Jamie admitted: ‘They would like us to. If we separate, we’re hoping that it’s not going to be too far. But we don’t know, we’ll just have to see on the day!’

Emma added that the pair had not managed to do much training alongside each other in Albert Square, saying: ‘Not really, we’ve done our own separate training. We’ve done a few bits when we can do at work.’

She continued to say that she would be listening to 90s dance music throughout the marathon to spur her on. 

To lend authenticity to the show, both of the actors are running under their characters names, with Emma turning to show Honey written on the back of her shirt.

But even when the marathon is finished, the hard work will not yet be over, as the footage will then need to be edited in time to be aired on Monday night.

Emma explained that the quick turnaround is very rare for the soap, saying: ‘Normally we’re about eight weeks in advance. So they’ll film this today, then back to Elstree, edit this to get into tomorrow’s show.’

To lend authenticity to the show, both of the actors are running under their characters names, with Emma turning to show Honey written on the back of her shirt

To lend authenticity to the show, both of the actors are running under their characters names, with Emma turning to show Honey written on the back of her shirt

To lend authenticity to the show, both of the actors are running under their characters names, with Emma turning to show Honey written on the back of her shirt

Jamie recalled previously running the London Marathon with his castmates in 2019, for Barbara Windsor, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's

Jamie recalled previously running the London Marathon with his castmates in 2019, for Barbara Windsor, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's

Jamie recalled previously running the London Marathon with his castmates in 2019, for Barbara Windsor, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s

Jamie recalled previously running the London Marathon with his castmates in 2019, for Barbara Windsor, who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

The EastEnders legend passed away in December 2020 at the age of 83 in a London care home.

He said: ‘[I ran] in 2019 for the lovely Dame Barbara Windsor with Scott Mitchell, who we all know. 

‘That was all great, we loved the day and it feels like five months ago and it was five years and here we are. Mad how it’s all come around again.’

Speaking about the storyline, executive producer Chris Clenshaw said: ‘The London marathon is a landmark occasion in the capital, and therefore we’re thrilled to celebrate our city and offer our viewers a never-before-seen glimpse of the momentous day through the characters of Jay and Honey as they take part in the event.

‘Lola’s death had a profound effect on the residents of Walford and this storyline will follow her loved ones as they continue to come to terms with her death and honour her legacy.’

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