Celebrities

EastEnders star Cheryl Fergison reacts after death hoax mix-up sparks major panic

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Cheryl Fergison, 55, became a household name when she portrayed lovable Heather Trott on EastEnders from 2007 to 2012, before she was murdered by Ben Mitchell (Joshua Pascoe). But while her iconic character may be dead, Cheryl certainly is not but she found herself having to crush bizarre rumours that she had passed away following an online hoax.

Thank you for your concerns but I am alive and well despite confusion on some social media that I had passed away

Cheryl Fergison

The rumours began when an EastEnders viewer posted a photograph of Cheryl and late singer George Michael on Twitter.

They captioned the images: “Thinking of them both at this Christmas time. RIP George and Hev, having a laugh up there I bet!”

But amid the chaos that stemmed from the post, it seems it was a humorous tribute to her soap character Heather, rather than Cheryl herself, as Heather was a big George Michael fan on the show.

But alas, users soon started flooding Twitter demanding to know whether the claims that Cheryl had passed away were true, and the actress had no choice but to speak out and quash them once and for all.

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A post shared by Cheryl Fergison (@cherylfergison1)

The 55-year-old took to Instagram to reassure fans, posting a selfie of herself alongside a caption thanking everyone for their concerns.

Smiling to the camera, the actress wrote: “Thank you for your concerns but I am alive and well despite confusion on some social media that I had passed away.

“Sadly we did loose George Michael the legend & wonderful man 4 years ago…

“Heather Trott well yes she is dead but as for me Cheryl Fergison I’m looking forward to a wonderful new year where I wish our industry to get back into full flow…”

She added: “So with confidence I say look out for me back on your screens in the new year and here’s to exciting and wonderful new projects (like the secret says open your mind and be positive in the knowledge you will receive).

“Wishing you all a prosperous and wonderful new year, be patient stay safe and remember life is for living it to the best we can,” followed by a thumbs up, kissing and red heart emoji.

It came as a huge relief for her 16,500 followers who were quick to respond to the news.

“So relieved! I got so worried seeing some tweets! Love to you!!” one fan penned.

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Another said: “Thank Gawd you are. Happy New Year wishes to you and Yours.”

“People are so MEAN! all the best in 2021,” a third slammed the people who started the hoax.

The actress recently admitted she would have liked to have returned to EastEnders as Heather’s long lost twin.

During an interview on Loose Women, she revealed her wishes: “I had this idea when they took me out of it that they could bring back Heather’s long lost twin.

“I thought I could come back as Heather’s long lost twin as the same actress.

“It didn’t happen and you know what, I live up north now so it’s the cobbles or the dales.”

Heather was last on our screens on Christmas Eve in 2016, after Dot Cotton (June Brown) discovered a mix tape that Heather and best friend Shirley Carter (Linda Henry) had made years earlier.

She could be heard saying “it wasn’t Christmas without a bit of George Michael”.

Since her untimely departure from Walford, Cheryl has appeared in numerous stage productions.

She also dabbled in reality TV when she entered the Celebrity Big Brother house in 2012, but was the second star to be evicted.

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