EastEnders fans have been left sobbing after a main character was killed off in tonight's double bill of the soap.
The news that Jags Panesar had been attacked and beaten to death in prison came as a huge shock and viewers have taken to social media to share their upset.
The tragic storyline twist came as Ben Mitchell called off the protection he had been organising for Jags in prison on behalf of his older brother, Kheerat.
Ben had been happily helping the Panesar family by getting his contacts inside the prison to protect Jags, however, he called off the favour when he discovered Kheerat had been lying to him about dating Sharon Watts.
The betrayal was one too many for Ben and he cancelled the protection, leading to Jags being attacked and killed. But to make the news all the more heartbreaking, Jags had just become a father for the first time, after girlfriend Habiba gave birth earlier in the week.
The news has hit the Panesar family hard, and viewers are also upset about the off-screen death...
Jags??????? I did not see that coming! 😢 #EastEndersJune 21, 2021
Jags is dead 😭😭 #EastEndersJune 22, 2021
Why Jag? WHY #EastendersJune 23, 2021
Fans of EastEnders will know that Jags, played by Amar Adatia, left the soap in October 2020, almost exactly a year after joining the show. But he shouldn't have been in prison at all, having taken the blame for a crime that was actually committed by his brother, Vinny.
With so many people feeling guilty about Jags' demise, there are some tough scenes still to come in the soap over the coming days.
Balvinder Sopal, who plays grieving mum Suki, admits that filming these episodes was emotionally draining: "The team were extraordinary and gave us all the time that we needed.
"You get the scripts a little while in advance, so you’re reading them and you’re trying to find the emotion to connect with the story and you’re putting yourself in that position for a long time.
"I felt really heartbroken. I didn’t eat that day because I wanted to feel the emptiness of grief. We gave it our all."
EastEnders continues tomorrow (Friday 25th June) at 7.30 on BBC1.
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Claire is Assistant Managing Editor at What To Watch and has been a journalist for over 15 years, writing about everything from soaps and TV to beauty, entertainment, and even the Royal Family. After starting her career at a soap magazine, she ended up staying for 13 years, and over that time she’s pulled pints in the Rovers Return, sung karaoke in the Emmerdale village hall, taken a stroll around Albert Square, and visited Summer Bay Surf Club in sunny Australia.
After learning some tricks of the trade at websites Digital Spy, Entertainment Daily, and Woman & Home, Claire landed a role at What’s On TV and whattowatch.com writing about all things TV and film, with a particular love for Aussie soaps, Strictly Come Dancing and Bake Off.
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As well as all things soap-related, Claire also loves running, spa breaks, days out with her kids, and getting lost in a good book.
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