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11 September 2017, 09:18
It's a Branning bombshell.
EastEnders viewers are still digesting last week’s gas explosion drama, which resulted in Steven Beale’s sudden death. Now the BBC soap has confirmed that two long-running characters connected to ‘Psycho Steven’ are also on the way out.
Lauren Branning and her younger sister Abi will be leaving Walford, possibly at Christmas. “We can confirm that Jacqueline Jossa and Lorna Fitzgerald will be leaving EastEnders. They have both been wonderful to work with. We wish them all the very best for the future” a spokesperson for the soap said
Lorna joined the show aged 10, and has played the role of mixed-up Abi since 2006. Jacqueline took over the role of Lauren from actress Madeline Duggan in 2010. She gave a shout-out to her onscreen sibling as the news broke.
There’s no word yet on how the Branning girls will make their exit, but we hope it’s not as final as Ronnie and Roxy Mitchell’s watery end. Lauren and Abi are currently involved in major storylines, as Abi is pregnant with her sister’s dead fiancé’s baby. Lauren remains blissfully unaware – for now.
The Branning sisters’ father Max (Jake Wood) was also secretly involved in Steven’s death, which is sure to have repercussions for his volatile family.
"I still love ya, Tarn!" [Picture: BBC]
Will Max’s estranged wife Tanya (Jo Joyner) return as part of Lauren and Abi’s departures? The actress is currently busy with the second series of Channel 4’s school drama Ackley Bridge, but we’d love it if she could be involved.
As Steven Beale’s hospital death scene played out, Jacqueline Jossa’s husband Dan Osborne tweeted a photo of him watching the show with actor Aaron Sidwell. Dan seemed to have misplaced his shirt for some reason – in September.
Meanwhile, viewers of The Jonathan Ross Show at the weekend were treated to an impromptu EastEnders rap. Chat show guest Rag’n’Bone Man, whose son Reuben was born earlier this month, admitted he was sleep deprived.
He had, however, come up with a 4am ode to ‘Enders. The audience lapped it up, but Dynasty legend and fellow sofa guest Joan Collins looked rather bemused.