Jacqueline Jossa to make 'explosive' return to EastEnders five years after exit
2 October 2023, 14:38
The 30-year-old actress admitted she couldn't wait to get stuck into her juicy new storyline.
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Jacqueline Jossa has revealed she is making an "explosive" return to Eastenders, five years after quitting the popular soap.
The actress, 30, is set to reprise her role as Lauren Branning in a matter of weeks as she re-joins the BBC cast full-time.
Since her departure in 2018, the mother-of-two has made a number of guest appearances, including at Dot Cotton's funeral, but now the sassy character is back for good.
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Announcing the huge soap news online, both BBC One and Jacqueline shared a joint post on Instagram with the caption: "Lauren Branning is making an explosive comeback to Walford as @jacjossa is set to reprise her role in the coming months!"
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The post continued: "Jacqueline was last seen on screen this June when her character travelled to France to spend some time with Peter and their son Louie, but things soon took a turn for the worse when Lauren discovered Peter was keeping a huge secret from her – his mum, Cindy, was alive.
"The Beales have since returned to Walford, but just what brings Lauren back to the Square is yet to be revealed…"
Opening up about her latest career move, Jacqueline admitted she couldn't wait to feel at "home" on set.
She told The Sun on Sunday: "I’m really excited. It’s such an amazing time to be back as there is so much buzz around EastEnders at the moment. I’ve been watching and loving it like a fan."
"Walford holds a special place in my heart, so it really does feel like coming home."
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Jacqueline, who shares daughters Ella, eight, and Mia, five, with husband and former Towie star Dan Osborne, will burst onto Albert Square this autumn as part of a stormy storyline with Cindy Beale, played by Michelle Collins.
Speaking of her upcoming return, a TV source said: "Jacqueline’s return as Lauren Branning is going to spell lots of drama in Albert Square.
"The character has a lot of history and scores to settle, she is definitely going to bring the drama.
"Bosses are staying tight-lipped about when fans will see her return on-screen.
"But it’s set to be around the end of the year and likely to coincide with the soap’s legendary festive storylines.
"Her old castmates can’t wait to start filming with her too as she’s such a pro and has a great sense of humour."
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Eastenders executive producer Chris Clenshaw said he was thrilled to have the former I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! winner back in Albert Square.
He believes Jacqueline, who first joined the soap when she was 17, will open up a whole new world of drama.
Also speaking to The Sun on Sunday, he said: "I’m delighted to welcome Jacqueline back to the role of Lauren Branning.
"We only saw Lauren on-screen a few of months ago, but her return left plenty of unfinished business between her and the Beales.
"The Branning family have a long history of being at the heart of the drama in Walford, and we’re thrilled to have Jacqueline back in the Square as she continues that family tradition."
Speaking to the Soap From The Box podcast about her desire to go back to acting, she added: "I won the Jungle and have done things like that.
"But I get people shouting Lauren at me the most out of everything. People still care about her.
"I would 100 per cent put the leather jacket back on and the boots and get going, because it’s the best job in the world, and it’s still my dream job.
"I’ve realised that’s where I am my happiest, and my passion and enjoyment comes from that side of things.
"Since going back to EastEnders, I’ve had that little fire in my belly again, like there is that part of me that isn’t fulfilled any more, that creative side."
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