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EastEnders is due to feature a storyline that will see Denzel Danes (played by Jaden Ledgega) become dependent on anabolic steroids.

In scenes set to air in the spring, Denzel begins to struggle with his body image after a new obsession with exercise takes hold. The storyline will follow the experience of Denzel, and those around him, as he is introduced to steroids, highlighting the influence that social media has on his perception of body image as well as the impact on his mental health and relationships as a result.


As the storyline progresses, viewers will see Denzel attempt to hide his steroid usage from those close to him as he continues to suffer in silence by imposing heavier restrictions on his diet and exercise regime.


To portray the experiences that some young people face when struggling with steroid use and self-esteem issues, EastEnders has collaborated with charity WithYou alongside experts with lived experiences.


Speaking on the storyline, Chris Clenshaw, Executive Producer said: “It was imperative for us to work alongside WithYou and individuals with lived experiences of steroid usage to accurately present and portray Denzel’s storyline. Jaden’s [Ladega] performance has thoughtfully portrayed the isolating realities of a steroid dependency as we explore how social media has an impact on his perception of body image and the affects that anabolic steroid misuse are having on the youth of today.”


Abigail Wilson, Lead Clinical Pharmacist at WithYou, said of the storyline: “It is really important that this type of storyline highlights the character's journey and the risks they may face in a realistic way. It has been amazing to work alongside the EastEnders team, and I really hope that this storyline will help and encourage people affected by similar challenges to access support, from WithYou or another substance misuse support service.”

EastEnders is available on BBC One and iPlayer.


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