'EastEnders' fans brand hilarious Jean and Shirley duo as 'comedy gold'

Jean in EastEnders
(Image credit: BBC/Kieron McCarron/Jack Barnes)

There’s some new drug barons on the loose in EastEnders, and who would’ve thought that it would be the unlikely duo of Jean Slater (Gillian Wright) and Shirley Carter (Linda Henry)?

Ever since Jean returned from her trip away to see her son, Ruby Allen (Louisa Lytton) has been extremely cautious since Jean warned her that if she didn’t tell the truth about lying to get her daughter, Stacey (Lacey Turner) sent to prison to Martin (James Bye), then she would.

Ruby has not yet fulfilled the promise, so Jean has been keeping a watchful eye on whether she will tell Martin.

Earlier in the week, Jean had discovered how big the cannabis plants had become in her garage, ever since fan-favourite Mo Harris (Laila Morse) left Jean a garage full of them when she went off on a cruise.

Her plan to kill them by turning off the heat lamp failed, so she decided to recruit Shirley to help her deal with the cannabis jungle.

They seemed to have become quite the comedic drug dealer duo in last night’s episode (Thursday 9 September) with Jean in despair that she’s now become a common criminal, and Shirley telling her to calm down.

The episode opened with Shirley knocking on Jean’s door for the garage key. Jean opens the door hilariously covering her eyes, cautious as to who it could be.

“What’s with the eyes?” Shirley questions. “Yeah, well, I know I agreed to this, but it doesn’t mean to say I have to witness the wrong-doing,” Jean responded.

In another scene, Shirley returned to the garage, seemingly after doing a drug deal, with an envelope full of money. A guilt-ridden Jean is stood there once again with her hands over her eyes. Shirley tells her to uncover her eyes, and when she does, a pair of sunglasses are perched on her nose, which she takes off as well.

“I don’t know why you feel bad,” Shirley said, “It’s a small fortune there. That’s your family’s future. That’s me getting Tina home.”

Jean is startled by a knock on the garage door. “Who’s that? Is it the police?” Jean whispered petrifyingly, “Shh! No!” Shirley said.

But the silence didn’t last long as a panicked Jean stumbled on a stepladder resulting in a huge clatter, drawing the attention of Ruby outside who was looking for Jean.

Ruby looked very confused as she pulled on the door handle and sniffed the air. But they managed to divert her suspicions away as Shirley firmly held the door closed so she couldn’t get in, much to the relief of Jean who looked terrified.

As Shirley handled the money back in Jean’s living room, Jean wielded a toy gun and despaired, “I’m nothing but a common criminal.” 

Shirley attempted to comfort her in her usual aloof fashion, saying, “Oh, come on, Jean! Give yourself a break. All that suffering over Stacey, then the kids moving out, recovering from cancer — you deserve a little windfall.”

Suddenly, a door unlocked and it was Ruby once again returning to interrupt their criminal shenanigans. They both scramble to hide the money while Jean clutches the wads behind her back as Ruby is intent on having a chat with her about the "misunderstanding".

Ruby is suspicious when she spots some money left out on the table and Shirley dismisses it as a bingo win. 

“Right, so that’s got nothing to do with the funny smell coming from your garage, no?” Ruby questioned. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jean said as she accidentally dropped the cash behind her back all over the floor.

Fans laughed on Twitter about the pair and their drug blunder...

Grace Morris
Staff Writer

Grace is a freelancer writer with WhatToWatch.com, and she now writes for our sister site TechRadar. She graduated from Anglia Ruskin University in 2020 with a degree in Writing and Film Studies, which only made her love for creative writing, film and TV grow stronger.

You'll usually find her watching the drama unfold in the latest reality series or much-loved UK soaps (usually with chocolate by her side!). She's an expert in EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and everything reality-related from Selling Sunset and Married At First Sight UK to 90 Day Fiancé UK. Plus Netflix megahit Virgin River!

Grace also likes to explore new places with her friends and family and, of course, watch and read about the latest films and TV series.